Manchester Arena announces major tech investment with Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster and SMG Europe, the largest operator of sports and music venues in the UK and Europe, have introduced the latest digital ticket technology at Manchester Arena for the first time - giving fans total control of their live experience.

Digital tickets make the process of buying tickets safer and easier than ever before, all while ensuring that tickets are being bought and used by real fans.

Fans going to the Manchester Arena can now receive tickets directly to their mobile phones, send tickets securely to friends to enter the venue separately and make use of Ticketmaster’s fan-to-fan marketplace to re-sell unwanted tickets to other gig-goers. 

Other innovative benefits include the introduction of animated tickets with moving digital panels, which prevent people from attempting to use screenshots to enter shows while allowing venue staff to immediately assess the authenticity of tickets at the gate. 

Digital tickets will be available for all upcoming events at the Manchester Arena, including Andrea Bocelli, Cher and Little Mix who all play the venue this year. 

John Sharkey, Executive Vice President, European Operations of SMG Europe, said:

“We know fans want the buying and using of tickets to be as simple, straightforward and safe as possible, which is why we are excited to begin rolling out digital tickets at our flagship venue, the Manchester Arena. Being able to partner with Ticketmaster to do this also helps to give fans the peace of mind that while they can now receive their tickets straight to their mobile, it is being powered by a ticket agent they know and trust.”  

He added: “We’re approaching Manchester Arena’s 25th anniversary in 2020, and are very much looking forward at what the next 5, 10 and 25 years looks like for the venue and this great city. Along with the arena’s landlords, we are committed to ensuring we continue to deliver a world-class experience for our visitors who come from far and wide each year.”

Andrew Parsons, managing director of Ticketmaster UK said:

“We are committed to bringing the benefits of digital tickets to fans across the country. Partnering with SMG Europe to introduce the technology at the UK’s largest indoor venue is a huge step in our journey and we are proud to be here given our strong presence in Manchester.” 

Both Ticketmaster and SMG Europe have ties with Manchester having made significant investments in the region. Ticketmaster UK’s second largest office is located in the city and is the centre of all its customer service operations.

Earlier this year, Manchester Arena celebrated welcoming its 30 millionth visitor through its doors since opening in 1995, and reaffirmed its ambitions for the city-centre venue with a new landlord at the helm.

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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