A New Era for Nebraska Football Fans: "Seat Yourself" Ticketing
Randy York’s N-Sider
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln
A new era for Nebraska football fans launched today with a Big Red version of Seats3D.com, an easy-to-navigate ticketing technology program that allows Husker fans to select their seats inside Memorial Stadium after seeing a 3D view of all available season tickets.
“We’re calling our version Seat Yourself,” said Nebraska Assistant Athletic Director for Ticketing Holly Adam, whose team has worked diligently alongside the Huskers Athletic Fund (HAF) staff on a process that replaces a decades-old antiquated system. “We have placed the tools of technology into our customers’ hands. They get to interactively view their seating choices via a 3-D program and then decide where they want to sit, with the best information available to them,” Adam said.
Taking Customer Service to Next Level
Nebraska launched its new online ticketing system to streamline the seat-selection process, while cutting the response time from months to minutes. The process is efficient and secure, whether you are choosing new seats or upgrading current seats. Fans no longer have to describe their requested exchanges in writing and wait for a reply. Seat Yourself is a highly intuitive software system from Ballena, which develops products and simplifies the ticketing process at major sporting venues.
“We’re taking customer service to a new level at Nebraska,” said Paul Meyers, Associate Athletic Director for the HAF. “We’ve always valued our relationships with donors and season ticket holders whose support makes us who we are. Now we have the capability to enable everyone to go online, contemplate the seats they wish to purchase, and then get a 3-D view of what they’ll see when they actually sit in the seats. Anytime you can simplify the process and provide the exact view and donation level required, it becomes a more efficient experience for everyone.”
Seat Yourself: Customer-Driven Solution
“It’s a new, more flexible world for all of us,” Adam said. “In the past, it was hard to define what ‘best seats available’ really meant to the ticket holder. Now, for example, fans can see if there are one or two tickets available next to the four they already have a couple rows away. Fans may have gone online initially to upgrade their season tickets and instead may choose to purchase a couple of additional tickets. Seat Yourself is an open and transparent process and puts the control where it needs to be – in the fans’ hands.”
Seat Yourself is a one-stop, customer-driven solution in a three-step staggered process. Beginning today, approximately 3,500 seats were made available to donors, season ticket holders and fans seeking to become first-time season ticket holders. Having some seats in Memorial Stadium become available through the renewal process is not an unusual occurrence. What is unique this year is the process for acquiring those non-renewed tickets and the addition of single seats to the inventory. Approximately 500 of the available season tickets are single seats scattered throughout the stadium – tickets that previously have been sold primarily on a single-game basis. The tickets available for purchase include a limited number seats with no donation required (row 90 and above in the North Stadium only).
The Goal: Improve the Game Day Experience
Nebraska fans have produced an ongoing NCAA record of 333 consecutive sellout games at Memorial Stadium and this season should be no different, with a 95-percent renewal rate in 2014.
“Once again our fans made an incredible statement of support by renewing their season tickets at a rate consistent with previous years,” Nebraska Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst said. “Our collective goal is to provide the nation’s greatest college football fans with the best-possible experience in Memorial Stadium. Selecting their seats interactively through the Seat Yourself program is just one of many new customer service improvements we are introducing to our fans to celebrate our 125th year of football. In addition to the interactive ticketing system, this fall our fans will be able to connect with WiFi throughout the stadium, enjoy a state-of-the-art sound system and use our innovative new app to be part of a game-day experience like no other.”
The three-step process is designed to improve customer service, increase buying options for fans and simplify the experience.
Step 1 launched Monday, April 28, and concludes Tuesday, May 20.
Approximately 3,800 donors and season ticket holders have indicated their interest in upgrading or purchasing seats and have elected to be a part of this 22-day process. All have received detailed instructions and assigned times on how to participate in the upgrade/purchase process online. With that access, users can click a button and watch an instructional video that will guide them through the process that includes: 1) seeing what tickets are available; 2) making a decision to choose specific seats; and 3) completing a transaction that will be verified instantly. The assigned times for donors are based on Nebraska Athletic Donor Priority Points, while assigned times for non-donors are based on season ticket holder numbers. The third group eligible to pick seats are fans seeking to become first-time season ticket holders who have joined the Request List before April 1. Those who joined after April 1 will be part of Step 2.
Step 2 accommodates fans who joined the Request List after April 1. This group will be granted access to the Seat Yourself software after May 21. Step 2 qualifiers will only be able purchase new seats up to a maximum of six. Fans joining the Request List from now until May 20 will have the opportunity to choose and purchase season tickets on a first-come, first-served basis before they are made available to the general public. Step 2 ticket availability will include all tickets remaining after the Step 1 process.
Step 3 will begin in June. Any and all remaining season tickets will be made available to the public using the same Seat Yourself software on Huskers.com.
Fans Encouraged to Join Request List Now
Participants who have concerns about using the online process can call 1-800-8-BIG RED, to speak with personnel in either the HAF or the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office on weekdays throughout the 22-day selection period. Selection times are assigned from 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Employees of both offices have been trained to assist fans with the process over the phone but cannot complete the transaction online for fans. Patrons can visit the HAF Office on the third floor of the Osborne Athletic Complex (North Stadium) for personal assistance with the process.
Executive Associate Athletic Director Marc Boehm said Nebraska’s marketing theme for the 2014 season is Be Ready, “because we don’t want anyone to miss the moments that make viewing Husker Football live the best way to take it all in. There’s nothing like Husker Game Day in Memorial Stadium where new memories are made every game." With the new sound system and WiFi throughout, "our season ticket holders are going to enjoy the game in a completely different way," Boehm said. "We're encouraging fans who don’t want to miss the 125th season of Nebraska Football to join the Request List before May 20. That reserves their place in line to buy season tickets when Step 2 begins.”
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