Global venue company Oak View Group is entrusting Ticketmaster with its full suite of new venues. Today the two businesses have announced a long-term partnership for six new OVG venues.
The partnership will bring Ticketmaster technology to New York’s UBS Arena, Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, Austin’s Moody Center, Savannah Arena and Coachella Valley Arena in Palm Desert, Calif. Outside North America, the deal will also include ticketing for Co-op Live in Manchester, England which is set to be the largest arena in the U.K. All six venues are expected to open between 2021 and 2023.
“I’ve had a long relationship with Ticketmaster,” Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke says. “When we’re betting $4 billion on these buildings, I’m going to bet it on somebody I completely trust — somebody that knows how to open buildings better than anyone in the world. I choose Ticketmaster because I’m going to be with them for the next 35 years because I trust them.”
OVG and Ticketmaster will work together at music-forward facilities including Austin’s newest multi-purpose arena and Savannah’s latest entertainment destination. Savannah Arena will also be the home of a future ECHL hockey team. Coachella Valley Arena will also focus on music and will serve as the home of a future American Hockey League team in Palm Springs.
Ticketmaster managing director Marla Ostroff says Leiweke and the team at OVG are some of “incredible” partners to work with, adding that the vision for this new slate of venues would have given her pause had it been proposed by anyone else.
“To think that they’re doing this as we come out of what was a very difficult year for many people and continuing to move forward. Tim is just one of those inspirational people who, when he’s going to do something, he does it,” Ostroff tells Billboard.
Ticketmaster will expand its relationship with the NHL’s New York Islanders as they move to the new UBS Arena and support the NHL’s newest expansion team, the Seattle Kraken, when they become the home team at Climate Pledge Arena. Climate Pledge Arena will also serve as the home of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm.
“When we announced the deposit campaign for the NHL, we went right to Ticketmaster and they came in and helped us set up a system that allowed us to take orders, take deposits, develop a relationship with fans and begin to build this account out,” Leiweke tells Billboard. “We did 34,000 deposits in two days and Ticketmaster never missed a beat.”
Across many of these venues, OVG will have the option to utilize Ticketmaster’s digital technology and offer fans features like instant ticket delivery and transfer right from your mobile device. Venues may be equipped with “Ticketmaster Concierge,” a contactless box office with the ability to handle all ticketing transactions, account support, refunds, or will-call, while reducing the need for physical interactions between fans and staff. Fans can check themselves into the event through contactless scanners accessing digital tickets on their mobile device, providing faster entry.
The venues can also use new capabilities for contactless payment, mobile ordering, and in-venue experiences via the Ticketmaster app. This will provide full autonomy for services like in-seat concessions as well as merchandise pre-order and delivery to reduce wait times at pick-up windows in the venue and allow fans to enjoy more of the event.
“We are super excited to know that OVG has several arenas opening this year and just the idea of what they are going to do next. It is infectious,” says Ostroff. “It’s fun dealing with partners who think out of the box.”
Both the Climate Pledge Arena and UBS Arena are expected to open later this year.