Purchasing tickets to all of your favorite West Virginia University athletic events is about to get a lot easier.
Earlier this week, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking an outbound ticket sales service to assist the Mountaineer Ticket Office in selling excess tickets to WVU athletic events.
Matt Wells, West Virginia University’s associate athletic director in charge of sports marketing and sales, says contracting companies for outbound ticket sales is becoming quite common in collegiate athletics these days.
“This isn’t replacing what we’re currently doing from the sports marketing or ticket office end. It’s to supplement what we’re doing,” he explained.
According to Wells, West Virginia has set a time frame for later this spring to have a company on board to make outbound calls in an effort to increase attendance and sales for home athletic events.
Many athletic departments around the country simply don’t have dedicated personnel for outbound ticket sales, so several companies have gotten into the business to help fill the void. “They can bring on the staff, compensate them, and we would share some percentage of the sales with the vendor,” he said.
Wells noted that West Virginia has studied what several institutions around the country are doing with their outbound ticket sales, specifically focusing on schools in the Big 12, SEC, Big Ten, Pac 12 and ACC.
“We saw what they were doing, read some RFPs from peer institutions and formulated our RFP based on what we saw and what we felt like we needed,” he said.
In football, there could be any where from 2,000 to 5,000 unsold tickets for any given game at Milan Puskar Stadium. Wells said there are two goals the department hopes to achieve with this new approach, “We’re trying to maximize ticket revenue and get more people in the stadium,” he explained.
“The vendor that is awarded the contract will also sell tickets for men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, volleyball and other varsity sports events.
“Basically, any sport we sell tickets to will be on their menu of things to sell,” Wells said.
The new service will work in conjunction with normal ticket office operations and will have no impact on the sales structure that is currently in place.
“They would not necessarily be doing anything with our existing priority seating renewal structure, but they would potentially be helping us call people who didn’t renew at the deadline, and also work with groups and other individuals trying to sell that excess inventory,” said Wells.
“Once the season ticket renewal deadline passes they can call all non-renewals and begin targeting other groups to try and increase our ticket sales. They will transition from season to mini packages, to single game,” he said.
Meanwhile, West Virginia will continue to sell tickets through the Mountaineer Ticket Office. Fans can order tickets by calling 1-800-WVU GAME
or by logging on to the ticket office website WVUGAME.com
For more information or questions about the RFP, contact Eva Hajian, WVU – Procurement, Contracting and Payment Services (304) 293-5152.