LeBron James has made Cleveland Cavaliers tickets hard to get. Flash Seats wants to make them practically disappear.
Flash Seats is an electronic ticket marketplace, venue entry system and marketing information system that the Cavaliers launched at the start of the 2006-2007 NBA season. Available tickets come from season ticket holders who can't use them. Buyers purchase tickets through the Flash Seats Web site, receive confirmation by e-mail, and gain entry to Quicken Loans Arena, the Cavaliers' home court, by having a Flash Seats representative scan their driver's license or credit card at the turnstile.
"We are making history by eliminating the preprinted paper ticket," said Joe Angelo, VP of operations of Flash Seats, LLC. "If we do our jobs properly, our children won't know what a paper ticket is."
Flash Seats isn't strictly eliminating tickets. The Flash Seats representative uses a Zebra mobile printer to create a commemorative ticket with the seat location for the fan.
Flash Seats is eliminating preprinted tickets that need to be distributed and can be lost, stolen or damaged. By doing so, it eliminates the need for ticket holders to work out a way to deliver the tickets they sell to buyers. By doing that, Flash Seats creates the flexibility to sell tickets, even after tip-off. But to do that, Flash Seats needed printers that could quickly and reliably produce tickets as fans swarm gates in the last few minutes before game time.
"Roughly two-thirds of the crowd enters in the last half-hour before the event. That's the rule of thumb," said Angelo. "So we needed a device that could print tickets at a high rate of speed. It also had to handle commemorative ticket stock, have a high capacity, and be easy to reload.When thousands of people are trying to enter an arena, we can't take five minutes to change a roll of media."