More ticketing options give more fans the chance to experience the teams they love.
The challenge was familiar — a Knicks or Rangers fan trying to land tickets for one game, or perhaps a few games each season, faced a difficult trail. With games typically sold out and most seats held by season ticket holders, their only option was to turn to brokers adding a whopping premium to the cost.
Now, matching up the way it sells tickets with the way most people want to buy them, Madison Square Garden has dramatically altered practices that had stood in place for years. In season two of a new strategy, The Garden is reducing the number of full season memberships and instead offering many more smaller plans and making more tickets available through group sales.
The idea is to invite in more fans, who may be just as feverish in their support of the Knicks or Rangers but may not be able to purchase a full season of games. Now, the fan going in for perhaps a five-game or 11-game plan, or even just a single game, can purchase seats across The Garden, from the Delta Club to the Chase Bridge and the Blue Seats.
In turn, MSG is addressing a problem that has bedeviled scores of teams across all sports — the speculator who buys up hundreds of tickets at a discount and then sells them at a whopping profit. It is perfectly legal for anyone to resell tickets. That is not in dispute. But the marketplace has been conditioned to think that this is often the only way to secure seats, particularly for the big, high-profile game.
Taking A Cue From Broadway
By taking back thousands of season tickets and offering those seats in so-called mini-plan memberships and individual game tickets, the teams are eliminating a common pain point. For fans who want to buy great seats but can only attend a handful of games a year, buying a full season ticket and having to resell unwanted games can often be a real hassle. With the new system in place, fans can now cherry-pick the games that are right for them.
In selling more individual tickets on msg.com, the Knicks and Rangers are able to form a direct relationship with their fans and eliminate the risk of anyone winding up with counterfeit tickets from questionable sources. And by increasing the number of group tickets — which often go to schools and youth groups — and by offering more seats at student discounts, the hope is to engage the next generation of fans.
Borrowing a tradition from Broadway where theaters make last minute tickets available, the teams have begun offering a service that sends text alerts right to your mobile phone. Once fans sign up at https://www.nhl.com/rangers/tickets/all-for-one or at http://www.nba/knicks/last-minute-pass/ they will receive special offers before every game.
To be sure, demand for season tickets remains high, and thousands of Knicks and Rangers faithful will never part with their full season seat. But these days, MSG is making sure that fans can buy what they want, when they want it, as often as they want to.
Ultimately, the goal is simple: to allow more fans the opportunity to experience the teams they love, live and up close.
About The Madison Square Garden Company
The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) is a world leader in live sports and entertainment experiences. The company presents or hosts a broad array of premier events in its diverse collection of iconic venues: New York's Madison Square Garden, The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, CA; The Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston. Other MSG properties include legendary sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL) and the New York Liberty (WNBA); two development league teams -- the Westchester Knicks (NBAGL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL); and one of the leading North American esports organizations, Counter Logic Gaming. In addition, the Company features the popular original production - the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes - and through Boston Calling Events, produces outdoor festivals, including New England's preeminent Boston Calling Music Festival. Also under the MSG umbrella is TAO group, a world-class hospitality group with globally-recognized entertainment dining and nightlife brands: Tao, Marquee, Lavo, Avenue, The Stanton Social, Beauty & Essex and Vandal. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com