August 15, 2003, 12:00 AM

Major League Baseball pitches web features to score with online tickets

Major League Baseball is scoring big with online ticket sales sparked by self-service features, including one that lets fans see the view from particular stadium sections before making a purchase.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Major League Baseball is scoring big with online ticket sales sparked by self-service web features, including one that lets fans see the field view from particular stadium sections before making a purchase. The viewing feature, developed in-house by MLB Advanced Media LP, has helped drive up the number of tickets sold online as of Aug. 12 this year to 6 million – 54% more than the 3.9 million tickets sold online during all of last year. MLB expects to surpass 7 million online ticket sales for the 2003 season, or more than 20% of overall ticket sales.

 

The viewing feature, which fans activate by clicking on a section of a stadium seating diagram, is currently available for 19 teams. In addition, 8 teams now let fans purchase and print out tickets from their home computers under a self-printing feature MLB developed with Ticketmaster.com and Tickets.com, its two online ticketing partners.

 

MLB Advanced Media operates MLB.com as an umbrella web site for all of Major League Baseball, with links to each of the individual sites of the 30 Major League Baseball teams. MLB Advanced Media also operates each of the 30 team sites, though it works with each baseball franchise separately to develop the sites, a spokesman says.

 

Noah Garden, senior vice president of e-commerce for MLB Advanced Active Media, said online ticket sales already surpass the number of tickets sold by telephone or at ticket outlets. "We believe that buying tickets online is the way most single-game tickets will be purchased in the future," he said.

 

An MLB spokesman notes that online ticket sales have not led to incremental sales and declines to comment on their effect on profit margins. "The sale of tickets online is all about convenience, creating a better experience for the fan," he says.

 

 

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