Fans at Manchester Arena can use their phones as their tickets for all future shows. (Getty Images)
Ticketmaster, SMG Europe introduce option at U.K.’s biggest indoor venue
Ticketmaster and SMG Europe have introduced digital ticket technology at Manchester Arena.
The aim is to offer fans a safer and easier way to buy tickets while ensuring that tickets are being bought and used by real fans through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan processes.
Visitors of Manchester Arena can receive tickets on their mobile phones, send them securely to friends entering the venue separately and make use of Ticketmaster’s fan-to-fan marketplace to resell unwanted tickets to other gig-goers.
When digital tickets are resold, Ticketmaster cancels the original barcode and reissues a new one to ensure that tickets are verified and cannot be duplicated or missold.
The digital tickets are animated on the header and footer, making it obvious if the ticket has been transferred correctly or is a screenshot.
The announcement states that digital tickets will be available for all events at Manchester Arena, including Take That, Hugh Jackman, Michael Bublé and Cher, who all play the venue this year.
Gig-goers can still buy other forms of tickets if they prefer.
As opposed to the U.S., tickets in Europe are allocated by the promoter to various ticket agents, a model that won’t be affected by the deal.
John Sharkey, executive vice president of European operations for SMG Europe, said: “We know fans want the buying and using of tickets to be as simple, straightforward and safe as possible, which is why we are excited to begin rolling out digital tickets at our flagship venue, the Manchester Arena.
“Being able to partner with Ticketmaster to do this also helps to give fans the peace of mind that while they can now receive their tickets straight to their mobile, it is being powered by a ticket agent they know and trust.”
Andrew Parsons, managing director of Ticketmaster UK, said: “We are committed to bringing the benefits of digital tickets to fans across the country. Partnering with SMG Europe to introduce the technology at the U.K.’s largest indoor venue is a huge step in our journey and we are proud to be here given our strong presence in Manchester.”
Both Ticketmaster and SMG Europe have ties with Manchester, having made significant investments in the region. Ticketmaster UK’s second-largest office is in the city and is the center of all its customer service operations.
Earlier this year, Manchester Arena welcomed its 30 millionth visitor since opening in 1995. Last year, real estate investment group Secure Income spent 436 million pounds ($608 million at the time) on two portfolios that included the 21,000-capacity venue.