Tickets.com Chips Away at Ticketmaster's Lead

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Tickets.com twice last week forged agreements to handle offline ticket sales for two Major League Baseball teams, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles.


Through the agreements, Tickets.com, Costa Mesa, CA, will handle telephone sales for both teams using its own call centers. It also will offer tickets through its bricks-and-mortar retail centers in Baltimore and official Oriole Team Stores. In Pittsburgh, tickets will be offered through Pirates ClubHouse stores.


All of the teams' ticket sales will be integrated through a single distribution system, the company said. Tickets.com already had exclusive rights to offline and online sales for six other major-league teams: the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A's, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox.


In June, Tickets.com acquired exclusive rights to online sales of all Major League Baseball tickets. Distinction from that deal has garnered added attention for Tickets.com from venues the company needs to continue growing its business, said Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, vice president of marketing at Tickets.com.


Competing with Ticketmaster, which dominates the ticket sales industry, has been a tough fight for Tickets.com, Van Rensselaer said. For a venue to decide to handle ticket sales through any other company is a risky decision, he said.


"We've got a lot of folks rooting for us," Van Rensselaer said. "People are anxious to have an alternative that's flexible and innovative."


While Tickets.com has been trying to grow its Internet business, offline sales are currently its main source of revenue, Van Rensselaer said. The company also provides ticket-distribution solutions for ticket sellers.
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