FC Barcelona unites with live entertainment industry to fight ticket touting

L-R: Joan Laporta, FC Barcelona president; Neo Sala, FEAT founding director; and Juli Guiu, FC Barcelona vice-president

Featured image credit: FEAT/FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona has stepped up its campaign against unauthorised ticket resale by becoming the first sports club to partner with the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT).

FEAT is a non-profit organisation, formed in 2019, that seeks to promote better ticket resale practices across Europe. FEAT’s current members are leading live event professionals from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway and Switzerland.

As part of its ‘Visiting Supporter Security and Control Protocol’, which Barcelona set up for high-risk fixtures, the club has already started implementing a series of measures to combat unauthorised ticket resale, including personalised tickets and a tracking system to prevent misuse.

In becoming FEAT’s latest member, the Spanish LaLiga football club has joined with live events professionals across Europe to make three key promises as part of their pledge: to fight for face-value ticket resale, to only support resale marketplaces that are legally compliant and embrace transparency, and to stand up to search engines and social media platforms accepting advertising from irregular resale platforms.

FEAT has recorded a number of achievements in its campaign for face-value ticket resale, including helping to secure key provisions in EU law to regulate resale platforms, such as the Digital Services Act, and its publication of two comprehensive guides on best practice to avoid unauthorised ticket resale.

Last year also saw FEAT unveil its ‘Make Tickets Fair!’ campaign to the live events sector, which aims to educate and empower fans to avoid being ripped off by predatory ticket resellers.

Juli Guiu, vice-president of the FC Barcelona marketing area, said: “Tackling unauthorised ticket resale has been a priority of the club’s for some time so this partnership makes perfect sense.

“This alliance is also aligned with the different actions that FC Barcelona has been undertaking to protect its members and season ticket holders against any situation and for purchasers of tickets for all sectors to feel safe in the knowledge that the tickets they buy are legitimate and fairly priced.”

Neo Sala, founding director of FEAT, added: “We’re delighted to bring FC Barcelona, our first non-music member, on board to continue our fight against unethical ticket resale.

“This strengthens our voice, building a united front on the issue across entertainment and live events. Through FC Barcelona becoming FEAT’s first sports member, Barcelona will now become FEAT’s official home city, and will host its Annual General Meeting there every year.”

Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys is currently serving as the temporary home of Barcelona while the club’s Spotify Camp Nou stadium undergoes major renovation work. Barcelona will be playing at the Estadi Olímpic until November 2024 while the Camp Nou is transformed.

The club officially commenced work on the Camp Nou expansion in May, with the project set to add a roof to the stadium and increase its capacity from 98,000 to 105,000. In November, it was reported that Turkish company Limak Construction would receive a €1m (£853,000/$1.08m) bonus after completing the first phase of the Camp Nou revamp project ahead of schedule.

In October, FC Barcelona secured final approvals for its revamp of the Camp Nou, with Barcelona City Council granting the main licence that will enable the club to complete remodelling work at the famous venue.