Is attending a Super Bowl game on your bucket list? If money is part of the equation, then gaining admission to the planet’s most expensive single-day sporting event might become a bit less painful thanks to SeatSmart.
The San Antonio startup that connects ticket brokers directly with fans and “cuts out the middle man,” is now officially open for business. It describes itself in a press release as, “the only direct broker-to-fan ticket marketplace.”
SeatSmart advertises access to $100 million worth of tickets to thousands of sporting events, concerts and theater tickets across the nation “for sale five to 50 percent less than other secondary ticket marketplace options.”
SeatSmart has a simple mantra: Same tickets as other commercial ticket brokers, such as StubHub and Ticketmaster/Ticketmaster+, at lower prices. Guaranteed. The site guarantees prices 18% below the average cost of a re-marketed seat.
Here is a link to SeatSmart’s ticket offerings for Super Bowl XLIX. That’s number 49 for those of you who struggle with Roman numerals. With five days to go, of course, most of the 63,400 seats at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AR are long gone.
The price of “discounted tickets” to Sunday’s big game is relative. A pair of nosebleed seats in Section 434, in the highest reaches of the stadium just off the end-zone, will cost you $3,500 a ticket on SeatSmart. You can enjoy a slight upgrade to seats with a slightly better view in Section 438 for $4,000 a ticket, but you will still be closer to the Metlife Blimp than the playing field. End zone seats in Section 118 within shouting distance of a Patriots or Seahawks wide receiver celebrating a touchdown can be had for $5,500-7,500.
I shopped for the same seats on StubHub, which offered 21 seats in Section 434 starting at $4,478.75, about $1,000 more than the SeatSmart offer. StubHub’s Section 438 seats started at $4,551, or $551 more than SeatSmart. StubHub, which generally has more seats available at higher prices than SeatSmart, actually has fewer seats down low in Section 118, with prices starting at $5,447 and the upper prices omitted.
I limited my comparison to StubHub, which I’ve used for concert tickets in the past, but for the really serious secondary ticket buyer, SeatSmart claims it will save you 5-50% over the cost of “the exact same tickets” found on StubHub, Ticketmaster+, Vivid Seats, TicketsNow and SeatGeek.
“The current ticket resale system is broken – fans are paying more than they should, and brokers are not building their customer base,” said Brett Cohen, SeatSmart’s CEO, and a veteran player in the secondary ticket market. “We aim to change not only how secondary tickets are bought, but how they are sold. SeatSmart bridges the gap between the broker and the customer, allowing brokers to grow their business and set their end ticket price.”
SeatSmart is basing itself in San Antonio and apparently benefitting from a $1 million venture capital investment by unidentified local investors. The four cofounders include Brett Cohen, his father and the board chairman Jerome Cohen; Aaron Pearson, chief technical officer and Andrew Powell-Morse, chief marketing officer. The Cohen father-son team cites extensive industry experience prior to the launch of their new company Tuesday.