Hot on the heels of Manchester City’s dramatic last-gasp title win back in May, the UK football club has announced some interesting ticket news.
Starting from this coming season, Manchester City season ticket holders will be able to resell tickets for matches they can’t attend, thanks to a partnership with online ticket exchange service Viagogo. This follows on from existing partnerships with football clubs such as Chelsea, Aston Villa and Bayern Munich, as well as Rolland-Garros tennis (French Open).
As Manchester City’s official Ticket Exchange Partner, this new link-up means that Superbia and Platinum members will be able to (legally) shift tickets for games that they can’t attend, for a profit.
On the one hand, the service will help members that have spent their hard-earned money on a seasoncard to recoup the cost and ensure that they’re not left out of pocket, but at a time when many fans are already being priced out of attending games, the profit-making aspect of this scheme will likely raise eyebrows in some areas.
However, there will be a cap in place – fans will be able to sell tickets for between 90% (thus making a small loss) and 150% of its face value. So, a £60 brief could suddenly become £90, if the seller decides they want to cash in.
It’s also worth noting that while any member can buy tickets through this Ticket Exchange scheme, only Platinum and Superbia members can sell them “It’s just one more reason to upgrade,” says the promotional gambit.
Earlier this year, both Viagogo and its competitor Seatwave hit the headlines, following an exposé by UK broadcaster Channel 4. Viagogo ultimately failed in its attempt to have the programme barred from the airwaves, and the Dispatches programme was aired, claiming that the majority of tickets offered for sale through Viagogo “are not from individual fans but from large scale professional ticket resellers, or tickets allocated by promoters to viagogo.”
Whether that’s true or not, in this instance it likely will be individual fans shifting tickets, given that only season ticket holders can sell their tickets on.
“Demand for tickets and Memberships over the last couple of seasons has gone through the roof,” says Danny Wilson, Head of Sales and Service for Manchester City. “Our new partnership with Viagogo is great news for both supporters who are occasionally unable to use their seasoncards and fans struggling to get a ticket to must-see games. It’s another small step in providing our fans with a premium supporter service, which is flexible and great value.”
In terms of the practicalities, listing the ticket itself is free, and if it sells then your seat is automatically transferred to the buyer, who receives a paper ticket in the post. If it’s bought after the cut-off date, it can be collected from the stadium before kick-off. Indeed, the ticket won’t have a face value figure on it, instead it will have a ticket exchange emblem on it.
As part of the partnership, Viagogo will donate £25,000 annually to a charity or initiative chosen by Manchester City.
Feature Image Credit: Ewiemann | Flickr