Author Topic: Advice for starting a ticket group?  (Read 651 times)

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Offline CowherPower

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Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Topic Start: August 21, 2018, 11:34:18 PM »
Apologies in advance if this topic has already been covered.  I did a quick search but didn't find much, but please feel free to direct me to a thread if I'm re-hashing an old topic...

I've been managing tickets for a company that has had season tickets since Day 1 back in 2005.  Unfortunately the company has shut down, so now three or four of us are thinking about creating a group to keep the tickets.  I'm clueless about the best way to manage this.  I know that many of you are in ticket groups, so how do you make it work?  Do you do a draft for the whole season before the season even starts?  It's hard to know your schedule for the whole summer, so maybe it's better to do a draft every month instead.  And how do you deal with Stubhub sales?  Honestly we'll probably sell more games than we go to, so we'll split the money for those games.  But if someone drafts a game, but then decides to sell it at the last minute, does that money go to them or get split among the group?

Obviously I haven't given this much thought yet.  Just figured I'd throw the question out there since I know many of you have been doing this for years.  I'm sure there are some Do's and Don'ts that might be helpful to others who are thinking about starting a group.

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

Offline PowerBoater69

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #1: August 21, 2018, 11:37:42 PM »
One person needs to be the group leader and the official plan holder. Snake draft. No monthly draft, just do it all at once and let the individual members make trades. No splitting Stubhub sales, each person picks their games and sells their own extras.

Where are the seats.

Online Slateman

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #2: August 21, 2018, 11:38:33 PM »
Step 1: Find people who want to buy tickets

Offline CowherPower

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #3: August 22, 2018, 12:31:13 AM »
One person needs to be the group leader and the official plan holder. Snake draft. No monthly draft, just do it all at once and let the individual members make trades. No splitting Stubhub sales, each person picks their games and sells their own extras.

Where are the seats.

Good tips.  The group leader will definitely be me.  The seats are in Section 213.  I've always managed the Stubhub sales over the years and assumed that I would still do that going forward, but it would definitely be easier if everyone managed the sales for their own seats.  We'll see if they are up for that.  I just think it would be hard to pick out games for the whole season up front.  In the past we've always gone month-to-month, but I guess that's where trades come into play.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #4: August 22, 2018, 09:08:00 AM »
I've managed a group since Day 1 in 2005. I now have 3 separate full season groups. (I'm looking for partners if any one is interested.)  I can give you tons of advice but I will stick to your specific questions:

Do you do a draft for the whole season before the season even starts?  Yes, we draft right after the scheduled games times are released sometime in the Jan-March time frame. We use a snake draft, pick order out of a hat.

And how do you deal with Stubhub sales?  Each person will have the allotted number of games they have purchased. They can do what they want with those. SH resales are easy through the Nats site. Money will go to them since they've already paid for that game. You will lose money on most games you put up on SH.

Biggest piece of advice is to keep it as simple as possible. It can be a lot of work to manage ticket groups. Also, get commitments from partners and get their money right up front. Have a plan for how many games each partner will get and collect that money. For example, all three of my plans have eight partners and each partner gets 10 games. Recruiting partners will be difficult this year because the fair weather fans will probably have deserted the team after this down season. If Harper leaves that will make it even more difficult.

Happy to answer any more questions.

Offline PowerBoater69

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #5: August 22, 2018, 09:11:04 AM »
I forgot to include the most important advice about buying a plan, don't. With a very few number of exceptions tickets are cheaper on the resale market. Buy day of game and save a ton of hassle and money.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #6: August 22, 2018, 09:14:00 AM »
I forgot to include the most important advice about buying a plan, don't. With a very few number of exceptions tickets are cheaper on the resale market. Buy day of game and save a ton of hassle and money.

If price of tickets is the issue, you are absolutely right. You can get resale tickets much cheaper for the most part. But the benefits are worth it for some people.

Offline PowerBoater69

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #7: August 22, 2018, 09:19:32 AM »
If price of tickets is the issue, you are absolutely right. You can get resale tickets much cheaper for the most part. But the benefits are worth it for some people.

The only benefit worth anything is playoff priority and you can buy into that this time next year if the team is doing better. The Red Carpet Rewards prizes aren't worth the price of the plan, neither are the plan holder events. If those things really matter, find an existing group and buy a small share.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #8: August 22, 2018, 10:12:01 AM »
The only benefit worth anything is playoff priority and you can buy into that this time next year if the team is doing better. The Red Carpet Rewards prizes aren't worth the price of the plan, neither are the plan holder events. If those things really matter, find an existing group and buy a small share.

May not work for you but some people value the SPH events (Hot Stove luncheon, fan photo day, etc.) and the RCR points that give you extra tickets, merchandise, etc. Also, access to special events like concerts (Eagles/James Taylor and Zach Brown this year) in addition to playoff and opening day priority. Also, some people just like having set seats and games so they are encouraged to go on a regular basis. I also like the camaraderie that's developed in our ticket groups. You can get much of this stuff by joining a group but I'm a control freak so I like to run my groups.

This above may not be of value to everyone and I understand that.

Online bluestreak

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #9: August 22, 2018, 10:49:41 AM »
May not work for you but some people value the SPH events (Hot Stove luncheon, fan photo day, etc.) and the RCR points that give you extra tickets, merchandise, etc. Also, access to special events like concerts (Eagles/James Taylor and Zach Brown this year) in addition to playoff and opening day priority. Also, some people just like having set seats and games so they are encouraged to go on a regular basis. I also like the camaraderie that's developed in our ticket groups. You can get much of this stuff by joining a group but I'm a control freak so I like to run my groups.

This above may not be of value to everyone and I understand that.

I am going to continue with my season tickets. I actually really like my seats (they are in the front row of the section and I don't think I can guarantee them every game and I like sitting next to familiar folks when I go to the park.
I find some of the extra benefits to be very valuable. 20 percent off on concessions for two people makes up for a lot of what I spend on tickets. if you spend 75 bucks on beer and food that's 15 bucks. When you include the stubhub fees it's kind of a wash.
I really like some of the other benefits as well. The autograph day was nice, the RCR program has value if you use it correctly (I did not use it correctly in my first year), the ability to get the guaranteed giveaways, and Opening Day priority make it worth it for me.

As ticket prices crater, That calculus may change, but for right now, I find value from being a season ticket holder.

Offline dcpatti

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #10: August 22, 2018, 11:06:53 AM »
I actually really like my seats (they are in the front row of the section and I don't think I can guarantee them every game and I like sitting next to familiar folks when I go to the park.

This is kind of a big deal to me.  I love my seats (on an aisle, and in the shade by the 3rd inning for day games after June or so), and I really like the people who sit near me.

  I find some of the extra benefits to be very valuable. 20 percent off on concessions for two people makes up for a lot of what I spend on tickets. if you spend 75 bucks on beer and food that's 15 bucks.

Those adult juice boxes are a lot more delicious when they're $11.20 instead of $14.00.  Mmmmmmm bag of booze....

The merch discount really helps too. My husband and I buy a jersey each year and I like the fancy ones with the patches on them, so getting 20% off a $250 jersey is kind of a big deal.

I really like some of the other benefits as well. The autograph day was nice, the RCR program has value if you use it correctly (I did not use it correctly in my first year), the ability to get the guaranteed giveaways, and Opening Day priority make it worth it for me. 

Yep to all of these, plus the post season ticket strips. I f'in hate that tickets.com virtual waiting room bullcrap and I don't feel like fighting it out with everyone else trying to get a deal on stubhub, especially if we ever advance to the NLCS.  And I love the Hot Stove session. To me, it's the best SPH event of the year.

I will say, though, your experience as a SPH will depend on the number of tickets you actually want to keep (because that dictates how many you will have to sell) and your ability to get good partners.  I have never had a problem getting partners but my seats are in a section that is only available as a full season plan and  has a SPH price that's significantly lower than the face value. I know folks who have seats in other sections that literally cannot give their tickets away for free.   So I would start with some due diligence and see if there are a lot of people looking for partners in your potential section, or groups looking for members. It may be possible to get some (or even all) of these benefits by joining someone else's group.

 
 

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #11: August 22, 2018, 11:15:50 AM »
I totally forgot to mention two of the biggest benefits that bluestreak highlighted...20% off on all merchandise and vendors sales and dedicated e-cash lilnes. If you eat and drink at the park, that can be serious savings. Also, the e-cash express lines are a godsend at times. And the SPH dedicated entrance can be incredibly useful on real big days like Opening Day, etc.

But no matter what, I will never wear those nerdy lanyards with the SPH cards in them. ;)

Online bluestreak

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #12: August 22, 2018, 11:38:05 AM »
I will say, though, your experience as a SPH will depend on the number of tickets you actually want to keep (because that dictates how many you will have to sell) and your ability to get good partners.  I have never had a problem getting partners but my seats are in a section that is only available as a full season plan and  has a SPH price that's significantly lower than the face value. I know folks who have seats in other sections that literally cannot give their tickets away for free.   So I would start with some due diligence and see if there are a lot of people looking for partners in your potential section, or groups looking for members. It may be possible to get some (or even all) of these benefits by joining someone else's group.

I go to an insane amount of games. I am on track for 50 this year. So that makes it worth it to me. If I was schlepping in from Outer Virginia and only made it to 10 games a year, I might evaluate differently. My seats usually sell fairly easily, although its been harder this year between team suckage and weather earlier in the year.

I totally forgot to mention two of the biggest benefits that bluestreak highlighted...20% off on all merchandise and vendors sales and dedicated e-cash lilnes. If you eat and drink at the park, that can be serious savings. Also, the e-cash express lines are a godsend at times. And the SPH dedicated entrance can be incredibly useful on real big days like Opening Day, etc.


The dedicated lines are good sometimes. Season ticket holders tend to be older than the general public and sometimes the SPH entry gate gets gummed up with folks bringing in two weeks worth of provisions for a 2 hour game (Say what you will about milennials, they don't feel the need to bring 3 full bags of stuff to the park).  That being said on super busy days it's worth it when they enforce it.

But the ecash lines for concessions are awesome. Especially at the Shake Shack where it literally saves you 2-3 innings of waiting time. 

But no matter what, I will never wear those nerdy lanyards with the SPH cards in them. ;)

I don't understand why folks wear these. Is it bragging over seat location? Is it so if you get lost an employee can guide you back to your seat? The one purpose I can think of is so the person that guards the section can look without me pulling the card out of my pocket. But after like 3 games the guy knows me and never looks anyway.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #13: August 22, 2018, 12:14:29 PM »
Using RCR points for experiences is also an awesome deal. I know bluestreak used his for a tour of the radio booth and I'm going to use some for seeing BP from the field for a game in September.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #14: August 22, 2018, 12:17:02 PM »
I don't understand why folks wear these. Is it bragging over seat location? Is it so if you get lost an employee can guide you back to your seat? The one purpose I can think of is so the person that guards the section can look without me pulling the card out of my pocket. But after like 3 games the guy knows me and never looks anyway.

It could be for the "prestige" factor or it could be just for the convenience of not having to take the card out of your pocket or wallet every time you need to get to your seat or buy from a vendor.

Online bluestreak

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #15: August 22, 2018, 02:25:50 PM »
Using RCR points for experiences is also an awesome deal. I know bluestreak used his for a tour of the radio booth and I'm going to use some for seeing BP from the field for a game in September.

I also go to do this this past weekend. It was pretty cool down there, although not all of the Nats do batting practice on the field. Bring a ball because some of the players come down to sign autographs.  I also got Don Mattingly's autograph.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #16: August 22, 2018, 02:47:22 PM »
I also go to do this this past weekend. It was pretty cool down there, although not all of the Nats do batting practice on the field. Bring a ball because some of the players come down to sign autographs.  I also got Don Mattingly's autograph.

All great advice except the part about getting Mattingly's autograph. I never liked him after he talked some smack about Stras a few years ago when he was with the Dodgers.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #17: August 22, 2018, 02:49:01 PM »
One more excellent benefit for being a SPH. You can exchange tickets ahead of time if you can't make a particular game. For seats of equal or less value depending on availability and blackouts.

Online bluestreak

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #18: August 22, 2018, 02:50:54 PM »
One more excellent benefit for being a SPH. You can exchange tickets ahead of time if you can't make a particular game. For seats of equal or less value depending on availability and blackouts.

This is great, but doesn't really apply if you're comparing it to buying last minute tickets on Stubhub. But you're right it is a great benefit.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #19: August 22, 2018, 03:06:58 PM »
This is great, but doesn't really apply if you're comparing it to buying last minute tickets on Stubhub. But you're right it is a great benefit.

One of the perceived drawbacks of being a season ticket holder is having to purchase tickets for dates way ahead of time before you know your schedule. Even the OP posted this. Ticket exchanges addresses this.

Offline PowerBoater69

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #20: August 22, 2018, 03:40:27 PM »
This is great, but doesn't really apply if you're comparing it to buying last minute tickets on Stubhub. But you're right it is a great benefit.

Downside to the exchange is you give up the right to resell.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #21: August 22, 2018, 04:29:32 PM »
I have a very large (20+ member) ticket group.  We have 4 seats and I allow folks to pick 2 or 4 seats, and match up members so that 2 2s = a 4 for a game.  It is a heck of a lot work.

I can only make / keep less than half my group as "partners" giving them their own accounts and the like. It is a bit of a pain, but I manage to make it work for the members without partner accounts by using emailed ticket recall to do distribution and swaps. This actually gives me a lot of flexibility when folks inevitably can't make games. 

That said, I really don't think large groups work well. The group is large because it started as an office group, but now 3 of my heavy hitters never worked at my office and I also have a fair number of retirees.  I'd see if you can get whatever level you are going for (full season, half season) with some sort of minimum purchase.

Offline CowherPower

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #22: August 22, 2018, 04:31:42 PM »
Great discussion - thanks everyone.  The thread has kind of changed to a discussion of the pros and cons of being a SPH, but I'm still curious about some of the nuts and bolts of running a ticket group.  After you do your draft, can the group leader create My Nats Ticket accounts for all members and then transfer tickets to each member?  That way each member can manage/exchange/sell their own tickets without messing with other people's tickets.

I imagine that things can get messy when the playoffs roll around.  Some of you say you have up to 8 members in your group.  As we all know painfully too well, the Nats can be booted out of the playoffs with as little as one or two playoff games.  That must make your drawing for who gets first dibs pretty dramatic.  It sucks having to put down money for a full playoff strip and then not get any of that back since the Nats keep it for the following season.

What about RCR points?  Does every member have their own Access account?  If so, can each of them use the RCR codes that lylegreen kindly provides us every day?  That would be pretty cool.  If you have 8 members in your group, you're essentially getting 8x the RCR points (collectively) each game, but maybe that's not how it works.


Online bluestreak

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #23: August 22, 2018, 04:36:04 PM »
Great discussion - thanks everyone.  The thread has kind of changed to a discussion of the pros and cons of being a SPH, but I'm still curious about some of the nuts and bolts of running a ticket group.  After you do your draft, can the group leader create My Nats Ticket accounts for all members and then transfer tickets to each member?  That way each member can manage/exchange/sell their own tickets without messing with other people's tickets.

I imagine that things can get messy when the playoffs roll around.  Some of you say you have up to 8 members in your group.  As we all know painfully too well, the Nats can be booted out of the playoffs with as little as one or two playoff games.  That must make your drawing for who gets first dibs pretty dramatic.  It sucks having to put down money for a full playoff strip and then not get any of that back since the Nats keep it for the following season.

What about RCR points?  Does every member have their own Access account?  If so, can each of them use the RCR codes that lylegreen kindly provides us every day?  That would be pretty cool.  If you have 8 members in your group, you're essentially getting 8x the RCR points (collectively) each game, but maybe that's not how it works.

I only have 2 partners who take like 8 games total. I just have them listed as partners on my account and they have there own cards. I just transfer the tickets to them on the website. They signed up for their own account and just linked their's to mine online.

I am not sure how RCR works.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Advice for starting a ticket group?
« Reply #24: August 22, 2018, 04:40:07 PM »
I think there is a limit on the number of partners now, and it is around 8.  The main account SPH can allocate RCR points to the partners and they can manage the points for themselves.  They can also earn points through various bonuses like the codes lylegreen puts up.  I'm not 100% sure if they can do their own exchanges, but I think so because I can't recall the tickets I allocate.