Comcast Launches Ticket Agency
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - September 12, 2006 -- Comcast-Spectacor is jumping into the ticket-selling business at its major sports and entertainment venues, an enterprise announced Tuesday that will replace Ticketmaster and other companies that had provided the service.
ComcastTIX will serve all events at the Wachovia Center, the home of the Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia 76ers, and the neighboring Wachovia Spectrum in South Philadelphia. The first tickets to go on sale through the new service will be Flyers seats, which go up for grabs Saturday.
People will be able to buy tickets to games, ice shows, concerts and other events over the Internet, by phone and at some Acme supermarkets. The tickets also will allow event-goers to buy food and drinks, T-shirts and other products, as well as enable them to e-mail their ticket to a friend if they can't make it themselves.
"Our interaction with our fans will now be seamless," said Peter Luukko, president of Comcast-Spectacor, the division of Comcast Corp. that owns the Flyers and Sixers. "It's all about convenience and fan interaction."
ComcastTIX will also serve events held at Temple University's Liacouras Center, the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, N.J., and the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, N.J., as well the Budweiser Events Center near Denver and two facilities in Portland, Ore.
The ticket-selling business was created through a branding agreement between Comcast Cable and New Era Tickets, which was created by Comcast and sold 6 million tickets last year. Fees are expected to be comparable with what other services charge - often about $13 a ticket - and customers likely would see very little change, company officials said.
The venture replaces other ticketing companies, including Ticketmaster, which previously sold tickets for events at some of the affected venues. But those involved said they don't see themselves as being in direct competition with Ticketmaster.
"We don't see it that way," New Era Tickets President Fred Maglione said. "Because of the technology, because of the local flavor here, we just think we have a unique offering."
A message left with Ticketmaster was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Comcast-Spectacor's interest in ticket sales dates back several years. In 2004, the company invested in Paciolan Technology, a major player in the in-house ticketing industry. It also created New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing company for events throughout North America.
New Era Tickets previously has sold tickets to various events in the Philadelphia region, including last year's "Body Worlds" show at the Franklin Institute and events at the Liacouras Center.
The addition of the Wachovia Center and Wachovia Spectrum was the next logical step, according to one industry expert.
"All contracts come to an end at some point," Gary Bongiovanni, editor of Pollstar, a concert-industry newsletter, said of the Ticketmaster agreement. "I don't know that ComcastTIX is going to get into an all-out war with Ticketmaster."
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