Ecommerce is as big today as it's ever been. Likewise, getting tickets to your favorite event is as easy as it's ever been. There are a ton of ticket brokers and companies out there; enough to make your head spin. However, they weren't all created equally. Below are some of our favorites and we've provided you with plenty of background information to help you distinguish each from one another.
Chicago, IL based 'Gold Coast Tickets' comes in at number 10 on our list.
Gold Coast Tickets is the ticket reseller of choice for Chicago sports fans. They have numerous pickup locations at Wrigley Field, U.S. Cellular Field, the United Center and other locations throughout Chicago. They have no service charges and have been in operation since 1994. Interested in seeing a concert or show in Chicago? They're the main outlet for those events too. The company is named after the historic Gold Coast neighborhood on Chicago's north shore.
Viagogo may be unknown to many fans in the United States but they operate in more than 50 countries and was founded by Eric Baker who also created Stubhub. It has the same business model as Stubhub. Fans can sell their tickets to other fans and Viagogo takes a small percentage of each sale. The company was founded in London, England but has it's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. They hold partnerships with some of the most recognizable brands in the world including Manchester City, Aston Villa, Madonna, Chelsea FC, Roger Waters and numerous tennis events. They're easily the highest regarded ticket authority in Europe.
ACE Ticket is the official ticket partner of the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox. They also maintain a huge inventory of Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics tickets. They are one of the older ticket companies among the industry leaders, founded in 1979 by Jim Holzman. They have a number of store locations serving the greater Boston area and are long time members of the NATB (National Association of Ticket Brokers). They are also a very charitable brokerage, often donating tickets to Boston area youth so that they are able to see their first live games.
RazorGator was founded in 2001 by Doug Knittle and Thomas Ball. They are headquartered in Los Angeles, CA and cater to sports, theatre and concert fans all over the country. They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and have sold more than 3.5 million tickets to more than 250,000 different events in it's 13 year tenure. They consistently maintain an inventory of more than 10 million tickets at all times. They always make their discount codes available to the general public on the web and via their affiliates. They also have top notch site security and a 100% guarantee on all ticket purchases.
ScoreBig is a unique company (founded in 2009) and they operate under a very secretive model so not to upset season ticket holders. Their service allows fans to actually bid on tickets rather than paying full price for them; netting an average savings of 10-60%. Even after submitting a bid, fans are not guaranteed to get tickets and cannot bid on the same event more than once in a 24 hour period. If you do happen to win the auction, you aren't required to pay surcharges of any kind. They have also received an extensive amount of venture capital in recent years. The only knock with their service is that you aren't able to see which row or seat the tickets are located in. Instead, potential buyers are only presented with the section numbers.
Ticket City is a ticket brokerage founded in 1990 by Randy Cohen and are based in Austin, Texas. They were the first ticket company on the secondary market that allowed fans to purchase tickets online for the first time (1998). The company used to sponsor their own college football bowl game until recently, dubbed the 'TicketCity Bowl'. They have many partnerships with college football programs as well as one with the NFL's San Francisco 49ers. They maintain a 100% guarantee on all tickets and even refund for all event cancellations. They maintain one of the most fan friendly websites in the industry and ESPN's Chris Fowler is even their official spokesperson.
Ticket Network is perhaps the biggest competitor to Stubhub. Like Stubhub, Ticket Network is a secondary ticket marketplace where fans can sell their tickets to other fans. However, they are much much more than just a ticket reseller. The company was founded by Don Vaccaro and Doug Kruse in 2002. Every summer in Las Vegas, Ticket Network hosts 'Ticket Summit', the largest trade show in the ticketing industry. The company is based in South Windsor, Connecticut. They maintain an inventory in excess of 80,000 tickets worth over $1B. Many fans are probably unaware that Ticket Network owns a ton of subsidiaries including Ticket Liquidator, Super Boleteria, Ticketnews.com, Prime Tix and the Better Ticketing Association. They also offer a 'Point of Sale' software system which allows small time brokers to maintain inventory and track sales.
SeatGeek has shown tremendous growth in just 5 short years. Founded in 2009 by entrepreneurs Jack Groetzinger and Russel D'Souza, they are the Kayak.com of the ticketing and event world. Just last year, they acquired their main competitor 'FanSnap'. They have partnerships with more than 60 ticket companies and aggregate the best deals for sports fans and concert goers. About 60% of their sales are tickets to sporting events and the other 40% is concerts and other events. They have excellent interactive maps to make choosing your tickets easier and have put a lot of focus and resources into their apps for smart phones. Their bread and butter seems to be their algorithm which predicts whether or not fans are getting a good deal on their tickets.
Ticketmaster/TicketsNow needs no introduction, really. They're the largest primary ticket marketplace in the World and are the official ticketing services of some of the largest venues, sports franchises, theatres and musicians out there. They were founded in 1976 by a small group of entrepreneurs led by Albert Leffler in Phoenix, Arizona and are still showing growth. They merged with Live Nation in 2010 and acquired Paciolan, Inc. in 2008. In 2012, they boasted revenue of 1.37 billion and control more than 80% of the primary market at popular venues. They are now headquartered in West Hollywood, CA and employee upwards of 7,000 people throughout the country. They have implemented great efforts to prevent ticket resellers from purchasing tickets in bulk so that “regular” fans have the opportunity to purchase tickets at face value.
Stubhub – No other ticket reseller can come close to Stubhub when it comes to the market share of the ticket resell industry. They are the prime middle man between ticket buyers and ticket sellers taking a small commission from each sale. Stubhub has encountered a number of lawsuits from competitors and ticket law lobbyists on the state level in the past but have almost always come out on top. They were founded in 2000 by Eric Baker and Jeff Fluhr and were acquired by Ebay in 2007. They have partnerships with more than 100 companies including ESPN, AEG and Major League Baseball and are headquartered in San Francisco, CA. They stand firmly behind their 100% guarantee and were one of the first innovators of the 'print at home' option. The company also offers plenty of “extras” that other ticket companies don't offer including gift cards, a rewards program for fans and last minute service centers throughout the country.
1. Ticket Monster is the new kid on the block in the ticket industry. They are headquartered in Manhattan, NY and were founded by entrepreneur Brian Lefton just a few short years ago. They operate with no extra fees, free shipping and a 100% fan guarantee. They operate under the same model as Stubhub and Ticket Network where fans sell tickets to other fans. They also have planners that can arrange for group events if you would like to treat your co-workers to an outing or concert.
2. 333 Seat or Riverfront Choice Tickets are a lesser known brand across the country but are well known in the Midwest. They have been in operation since 1982 in downtown Cincinnati. They are the preferred broker by Cincinnati Reds and Bengals fans as well as fans of the University of Cincinnati Athletics. They have excellent location downtown near Great American Ballpark, US Bank Arena and Paul Brown Stadium. Best of all, they allow fans to pickup their tickets in person for free within five days of the event.
3. Barry's Tickets is another ticket company many fans may not have heard of but if you're from Southern California, you most definitely know about Barry's Tickets.They have been in operation for 30 years in 2014. They offer 24 hour customer service around the clock via telephone and charge no service fees for ticket purchases. They have four retail locations throughout the area including one directly across the street from the Staples Center, home of the Lakers, Kings and Clippers. They are an official partner of the NBA's LA Clippers and the NHL's LA Kings.
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