Apr 10

Gwinnett Arena drops Ticketmaster


By: Meghan Kotowski

Published: April 10, 2013

DULUTH -- If you missed the group at the free Final Four concert on Saturday, British trio Muse is coming to the Arena at Gwinnett Center with special guests, Cage the Elephant, the arena announced Monday.

But if you want to purchase tickets, you can't look them up on Ticketmaster anymore. The Gwinnett Center is transitioning to AXS Ticketing, which was developed by and is operated by AEG. The Duluth venue announced its partnership with the Los Angeles-based international sports, entertainment and venue organization in March.

"Ticketmaster has been a great partner for about 16 years, but we just felt it was time to change," Gwinnett Center General Manager Joseph Dennis said. "We're excited about AXS and its innovative systems."

Over the next few months, the Gwinnett Center will wean from Ticketmaster to its new ticketing system.

"All of our Ticketmaster shows are going to burn off," Dennis said. "We have shows to about July. All of the new shows will be AXS platform."

Those new shows include the Muse concert, Gwinnett Center International Film Festival in July and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents "Built to Amaze" in February.

In the next two months, approximately seven additional shows will be announced at Gwinnett Center using AXS Ticketing, including family, speaking, sporting, adult contemporary and country events.

With AXS, attendees should notice a lower price, since there is no processing fee per ticket, and a more user-friendly online experience, said Bryan Perez, AEG's president of digital, ticketing and media.

"There's no surprises. You will know how much your ticket is immediately," he said. "There's no last minute fees and you know what the ticket inventory is in real time."

Plus, purchasers can look at a 3-D seating chart to pick the best available spots.

AXS also offers two other features for fans, including the virtual AXS Waiting Room.

"We're trying to make the on-sale experience more pleasing," Perez said. "Saturday morning, a gun goes off, everyone is trying to buy tickets at once. It's a confusing process that I think the fan has become used to."

To help stop the confusion, the Waiting Room was created to shorten purchasers' transaction times by allowing fans to enter their payment details prior to general tickets going on sale.

This feature also allow venues to see the demand for tickets at any given time before and during the sale.

Another feature is AXS Invite, where one person can purchase tickets for a group of people, but instead of fronting the entire bill, reserved seats are available for their friends to buy in a 48-hour period. The original buyer can spread the word about the seats through email and Facebook.

The ticketing system is used around the world at some of the most attended venues, including the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Best Buy Theater in New York's Times Square and The O2 arena in London.

"(The response has) been really positive from the other venues," Perez said. "With AXS Invite, the average number of tickets people are ordering verses regular purchasing has increased 13 to 40 percent. People are liking it because it was an easier process."

The Muse concert is slated for Sept. 4 and tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. through www.gwinnettcenter.com, The Arena at Gwinnett Center Box Office or by calling 1-888-9-AXS-TIX. Prices range from $49.50 to $59.50.