The Washington Commanders, of North American football’s NFL, have struck a multi-year deal with online ticket exchange platform SeatGeek as they look to elevate the gameday experience for their fans.
The deal, which begins in the 2023-24 season, will see the Commanders fans able to buy and sell tickets through SeatGeek’s app, as well as access local weather, driving directions, and ride-hailing services.
As part of the deal, the Commanders will be given access to SeatGeek’s backend technology platform, allowing them to see fan data and ticket distribution data.
SeatGeek replaces fellow ticket sales and services company Ticketmaster, whose contract with the team expires after the upcoming 2022-23 season.
Danielle du Toit, president of SeatGeek’s enterprise business, said: “The Washington Commanders are an incredibly dynamic organization, with a new president who is truly focused on the fan experience, and I know they will pave the way for digital transformation across the league.
“Partnering with such a visionary leader that prioritizes the entire journey of the fan experience is incredibly rewarding, but more importantly, signals how teams should be prioritizing integrating innovative technologies into their organizations.
“Our work together will focus on adapting to radical shifts in fan habits, preferences, and needs. It’s critical to innovate today to reap the long-term benefits of tomorrow.”
The franchise is hoping the partnership will boost ticket sales after the team held the NFL’s lowest average home attendance percentage for 2021, only filling 64.3% of the FedExField capacity with an average attendance of 52,751.
The number was well below the team with the second-lowest average attendance, the Detroit Lions, which filled an average 79.9% of their stadium’s capacity.
Washington Commanders team president Jason Wright said: “This partnership reflects our belief in one another. It’s as simple as that.
“SeatGeek sees the immense talent we have brought in to return our 90-year franchise to championship performance, on and off the field. We see the innovative, bold approach they are taking to transform their industry. We share an entrepreneurial spirit that is willing to do things differently to improve the experience of every Commanders fan, and I can't wait to get started.”
The low attendance numbers come during a time of uncertainty for the team, which has been embroiled in controversy over the past two years, including multiple investigations over workplace culture and allegations of sexual harassment, a federal investigation involving their head athletic trainer, an ownership dispute, and name change.
More than 40 women have come forward to detail a workplace culture of sexual harassment and verbal abuse during Daniel Snyder’s ownership of the team.
It led to a 10-month investigation by DC attorney Beth Wilkinson which ended with the team being fined $10 million by the NFL and ordered to implement changes to their workplace structure, including Snyder’s wife, co-chief executive Tanya Snyder, taking over day-to-day operations.
Most recently, Snyder testified before the United State House of Representatives Committee for Oversight and Reform, which is currently investigating the team’s workplace conduct and culture, as well as the allegations against Snyder, which he denies.
In March, Anheuser-Busch InBev, the international brewing giant and long-time partner of the NFL, became the third sponsor to end its partnership with the Commanders joining media bill review company Medliminal and charity health provider Inova.
The Commanders were formerly named the Washington Redskins but changed their name after pressure from sponsors on the grounds it was a derogatory and racist term.