North America’s Major League Baseball (MLB) has today (February 27) announced a new long-term partnership with online ticket exchange platform SeatGeek.
Through the agreement, SeatGeek becomes the official ticket marketplace of MLB. Forbes reports that the two parties have agreed a revenue-sharing deal worth around $100 million annually over five years.
The firm replaces rival StubHub as the league’s resale partner. StubHub had held rights since 2007.
The deal sees SeatGeek complete the set of major US sports leagues as it also has partnerships with American football’s NFL, basketball’s NBA, and ice hockey’s NHL.
The partnership will include ticket barcode integration which will allow fans to resell their MLB tickets on SeatGeek’s marketplace. MLB and its teams will have access to SeatGeek's analytical tools and database of event-goers to help identify new audiences.
The ticketing firm has developed a strong presence across the US sports landscape and in recent months has added the Baltimore Ravens (NFL), Utah Jazz (NBA), Real Salt Lake (Major League Soccer), United Soccer League, and collegiate sports ticketing giant Paciolan to its vast portfolio.
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MLB generated record revenue of $10.8 billion for the 2022 regular season, with attendance accounting for about 40%, according to Forbes.
The league attracted around 64.6 million fans last season, up from 45.3 million fans in the Covid-affected 2021 but down from 68.5 million fans in pre-pandemic 2019.
Noah Garden, MLB chief revenue officer, said: "SeatGeek is a data-driven company that is relentlessly focused on improving the fan experience from purchase to post-game. We're eager to tap into SeatGeek’s extensive user base across numerous categories to reach an even wider audience of potential attendees.”
Russ D'Souza at SeatGeek added: "Baseball is the largest spectator sport in the world in terms of total attendance, and the nature of the league's 162-game season makes it ripe for innovation on the ticket resale side of the business.
"With MLB, we get a chance to re-imagine what the ticketing experience is like while bringing new fans to the ballpark.”
Image: Stacy Revere/Getty Images