SeatGeek has further broadened its Major League Soccer portfolio by agreeing a partnership with Austin FC ahead of the expansion franchise’s entry into the competition in its new stadium in 2021.

Austin FC, the 27th club in MLS and the city’s only major league team, announced today (Wednesday) that it has reached a multi-year agreement for SeatGeek to serve as its official ticketing partner.

Austin FC said it selected New York-based SeatGeek after a thorough review of the evolving ticketing space, with the club placing particular emphasis on fan experience. Austin FC recently announced it has secured deposits which presently total in excess of 35,000 seats, including the successful deposit launch which produced 30,000 seats reserved in the first 24 hours of availability, an MLS record.

SeatGeek said its mobile-focused ticket platform will provide Austin FC supporters with a seamless experience when it comes to buying, selling and transferring tickets. Upon arrival to the stadium, supporters will be able to directly scan into the facility using the SeatGeek app.

Andy Loughnane, president of Austin FC, said: “Our leadership conducted a thorough process to ultimately identify the best partner for this critical aspect of our fan experience infrastructure.

“SeatGeek’s advancements and commitments to create the most fan-friendly mobile ticketing experience across the sports and entertainment industry was the driving factor in our decision process.

“SeatGeek is best-positioned to fulfil the purchase and sharing capabilities that the modern ticket buyer demands, and Austin FC is excited to begin working alongside SeatGeek to harness their successful ticketing advancements and apply to a project that serves a region which takes great pride in innovation.”

Austin FC will become SeatGeek’s seventh partner in MLS, as the tech company continues to experience continued growth in the ticketing world. SeatGeek also now tickets 35% of the English Premier League, more than any other ticketing provider, as well as a number of other major league properties including the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.

“Austin FC is going to be a true representation of the city of Austin, and we can’t wait to work with them and their other partners to build a unique matchday experience,” said Jeff Ianello, executive vice-president of partnerships at SeatGeek.

“We know that Austin is one of the most innovative cities in the country, and it was crucial for the club that they work with the ticketing platform that can provide the best possible experience to their fans and the business community.”

In addition to the ticketing partnership, SeatGeek will also become the presenting partner of Austin FC’s fully immersive, 360-degree, virtual reality guide to stadium seating, the Austin FC Shared VR Tour. The tour will be one of the highlights of the Austin FC Experience Center, providing a preview of the future home of the club where visitors can see the vision for the stadium and the match-day experience come to life.

Housed in Austin FC’s interim headquarters, in close proximity to the stadium site, the Austin FC Experience Center will be available to supporters who placed deposits.

The SeatGeek deal comes after investment and management company Two Oak Ventures replaced Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV) as the owner of Austin FC earlier this month and assumed responsibility for overseeing the development of the franchise’s new stadium.

Two Oak Ventures has been created by executives from PSV, the previous investor-operator of Austin FC. In March, PSV selected Austin Commercial as the construction manager for the team’s 20,500-seat soccer park and stadium, which is expected to open ahead of Austin FC’s MLS debut in 2021.

Last month, the club released fresh renderings of the $242m (£198.2m/€217.2m) development, which will be privately financed, ahead of groundbreaking in September. Gensler is the lead architect, with CAA Icon set to serve as the project manager and Two Oak representative.

Image: Austin FC