Typically when a fan buys season tickets, they expect a sense of routine to come with it. They know they’ll always have the same seats, with the same view of the field. They may even grow to know some of the concessions staff, or memorize the shortest route to the bathroom from their seat. But in an effort to disrupt the standard way of doing things, some schools are experimenting with the idea of having ‘Sliding Seats’ by offering season passes at a reduced price. These passes guarantee that the fan will have a seat for the game, they just don’t know where that seat will be until shortly before game day.
For $99 Tennessee’s basketball program is offering the Vol Pass, which allows pass holders to login to their account 48 hours before game day and chose their seats from the best available selections for all 17 home games. 48 hours before the game, an automated email is sent out based on the one-time rules the University staff made in AudienceView to target all Vol Pass holders. After that, it’s simply up to the fan to go online and select a seat. Not only does this mean the amount of work is limited for the ticket office staff, it also makes the fan’s experience better since all they need to do after selecting their seat is to wait and receive the email with their ticket.
The Vol Pass and Lady Vol Pass allows the fans to pick specific games they want to attend, and then gives them the ability to chose their own seats instead of automatically assigning them.
Other Athletic Departments all over North America have taken notice of this trend, and the University of Oregon is the latest one to offer these ‘Sliding Seats’ for their fans. For $99, fans of the Ducks will be entered into a system where they’ll be assigned an automated seat 24 hours before the game. Fans with this pass will have access to all 20 home games, and be able to see the game from one of 20 assigned seats.
This offering has its roots in the Golden Ticket, an offer that the Minnesota Golden Gophers presented to their fans that allowed them to watch all nine men’s basketball games for $75. Built through AudienceView, the program allowed the holder of the Golden Ticket to go to as many of those nine games as they wanted, but once the team lost at the game the holder attended, the pass became inactive.
Tennessee and Minnesota both built their programs within AudienceView, which means that they aren't forced to deviate from their primary platform for this season seats program. By choosing a primary and integrated ticketing platform in AudienceView, both Minnesota and Tennessee control their entire fee structure and are able to create these types of programs ad hoc to adjust to the fluctuating market that is college athletics.
Providing a perfect fan experience becomes more important if you’re trying to compete for attention from your community. While moving inventory may be the name of the game, the fan experience should be the same regardless of where they sit. Not only is fan engagement boosted, but you get to experience an improvement to your bottom line. These passes offer an affordable entry into the game for new fans, while ensuring that you’re minimizing the amount of empty seats in your stadium.