September 12, 2011 | last updated May 31, 2012 9:07 pm
FOCUS ON HOSPITALITY

XL Center to use AEG ticketing site, eventually

The operator of the XL Center is launching a new ticketing Web site giving facilities opportunities to promote themselves and forge local partnerships. It also offers consumers a chance to avoid fees.

Los Angeles-based AEG — operator of more than 100 facilities include the XL Center and the Staples Center in L.A — launched its axs Ticketing platform in August. The forum provides venues an alternative to Ticketmaster by selling directly to consumers, controlling ticket inventory and pricing.

"It will be a lot different from the standard Ticketmaster ticket," said Nick Ammazzalorso, AEG spokesman.

Axs (pronounced: access) uses special label technology that allows the venues to sell the tickets directly under their brand. Venues can sell advertising on tickets, install logos or design the ticket to suit their needs, Ammazzalorso said.

The idea is for venues — such as the XL Center — to promote themselves to customers while also dealing with local businesses to set up advertising on specific event tickets, Ammazzalorso said.

In addition to providing venues with more options, axs seeks to reduce some of the fees Ticketmaster customers face, specifically eliminating the extra fees for printing tickets at home. The full price of the ticket is shown upfront.

Axs was first rolled out at two venues in Denver. AEG plans to roll out the platform to more of its venues through 2012, including the Staples Center. The initial rollout includes only AEG-operated venues, and the company hasn't announced when — or if — it will be available to non-AEG venues.

The rollout date for the XL Center hasn't been established yet.

"We haven't made any specific announcements for the XL Center," Ammazzalorso said.

Without any specific information, local entertainment officials are tight-lipped on what they could do with axs.

Officials at the XL Center referred all inquired to AEG.

Bob Crawford of Whalers Sports & Entertainment, which runs the minor league hockey team CT Whale out of the XL Center, said the organization would look at its options with the tickets when axs becomes available in Connecticut.

"For us, it is status quo at this point," Crawford said.

Rentschler Field in East Hartford used to be operated by AEG, but the facility switched to Bushnell Management Services, LLC of Hartford as its operator. The venue now has a multi-year deal with Ticketmaster for its ticket sales, so switching to axs isn't a possibility at this point.

"It won't impact us at all," said Michael Fresher, general manager at Rentschler Field.

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