Costco Jumps Into Ticketing

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — In the way that Costco has revolutionized the homegoods retail market, it is now looking at ticketing too.

In a trial run for the month of January, is offering tickets to a few Seattle SuperSonics and Portland Trail Blazers games for about 40% off average prices. The company is also offering tickets to performances of “Sweeney Todd” at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City.

The tickets to the SuperSonics games are priced at only $44, for seats that are normally sold through Ticketmaster and other outlets for $78.

“Normally, we do not do a discount of that magnitude to the general public,” Brian Byrnes, VP of sales and marketing for the Sonics told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “This is a trial for the month of January, and the discount is exclusive to Costco.”

Byrnes is hoping for a 5 to 8 percent increase in single-game tickets. He told the paper that the team averages about 16,000 tickets sold per game at KeyArena, which hold 17,000.

“If I could get another 200 to 300 tickets in this channel, it would more than pay dividends,” said Byrnes. And if the tickets sell well, “we’ll have a much bigger conversation with Costco.”

When asked if Costco would extend its reach, beyond Seattle, Portland and New York to other cities, and beyond sports and theater to music, CEO Jim Sinegal told the paper, “We could be. It depends on how successful we are with out present offerings.”

But, he continued, “If you had asked me a few years ago if we would be selling movie tickets in our warehouses, I would have said you are nuts. And now we are.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers