A Cavalier Way To Sell Tickets

Web sites like StubHub, RazorGator and eBay are always under fire for generating enormous revenue that never makes it back to the teams or artists named on a ticket.

With the growth of the secondary ticketing industry, many sports teams and venues are rolling out their own systems to cash in on the lucrative ticket market and edge out some of that secondary competition. Even Ticketmaster got in on the action last year, launching TicketExchange, an "exclusive" portal for tickets on the secondary market at scores of venues also holding TM contracts for primary ticketing.

One recent addition to the bandwagon, the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, has taken its entry into the market a step further with the use of an entirely paperless ticketing system called Flash Seats.

The system, which is currently available for season ticket holders, allows fans to swipe a driver’s license or credit card to get into a game at the Quicken Loans Arena. They can also transfer seats via e-mail and resell on the Flash Seats Web site, which charges buyers a 20 percent fee but eliminates any doubt as to the authenticity of a ticket purchased on the site.

The team has apparently signed up nearly a third of season-ticket holders for the e-ticketing service, and will continue to move toward the paperless route, eventually selling single-game tickets electronically as well.

At this point, Flash Seats is only a Cavaliers product, Tad Carper, senior VP of communications for the Cavaliers and the arena, told Pollstar.

And although Carper explained that Flash Seats is not being used for any other event in the arena, he said he wasn’t sure what could happen in the future.

"I think the whole technology part of it is probably still just in its infancy compared to where it could go eventually and just on a larger scale in terms of retail applications and what have you with consumers," he said. "It’s going to be interesting to see how it evolves."