Fans wait in line to take a photo and create a commemorative personalized ticket, one of the interactive stations StubHub set up in the newly-renamed facility. (VT Photo)
REPORTING FROM CARSON, CALIF. — Though the naming rights deal at StubHub Center in Carson became official June 1, the unveiling of the new name and signage happened at the LA Galaxy versus Portland Timbers Major League Soccer match, June 19. Before the curtains dropped and the new blue and orange StubHub Center sign was revealed, executives involved took part in a press conference, addressing the new partnership between StubHub and the facility, which just celebrated its 10th year.
“It’s hard for me to explain just how important this is for our company. There are lots of companies that put their names on the side of a building and call it a sponsorship and they end there, but that’s not our vision,” said StubHub President Chris Tsakalakis.
Tsakalakis said that StubHub’s goal is for every fan to have a fantastic experience at the venue from the time they buy their tickets to the time they leave an event.
StubHub’s commitment to being part of a fun experience was evident upon walking through the gates. The company introduced the Ticket Oak’s Backyard area with turf and chairs, highlighted by a large screen that alternated between showing Ticket Oak, the StubHub mascot, and Instagram photos from attendees. Fans added the hashtag #StubHub to their Instagram posts in order to interact with the installation and have their photos show up on the monitor, which played the soccer game during match time.
There were also several branded ‘Make Your Own Commemorative Ticket’ stations throughout the facility. Fans could take a photo and receive both a printed and digital version of their personalized ticket to the day’s game.
Beckerman addresses the crowd. (VT Photo)
AEG CEO Dan Beckerman called StubHub and AEG “like-minded companies” during the press conference.
“We hit it off immediately,” Beckerman added. “We share a common vision and from those initial meetings grew a broad and comprehensive partnership between AEG, StubHub and their parent company eBay.”
LA Galaxy President Chris Klein recalled how exactly StubHub first won him over during meetings six months ago.
“What struck me was not the innovative company that StubHub is or the amount of growth they’ve had as a company. What struck me was that they sat in our suite and all they wanted to talk about was the game,” he said. “They wanted to talk about soccer, talk about the Galaxy and our players and the championships we’ve won.”
“That makes me excited to have a partner like StubHub that we can move into this next generation with,” Klein added.
In addition to the new name, there could be other exciting changes ahead for StubHub Center.
LA Galaxy supporters called the Angel City Brigade cheer in front of the new signage. (VT Photo)
Beckerman met with Venues Today after the press conference to speak about potential long-term plans for the venue, which he’s been part of since he drove around the construction site on a golf cart back in 2002 trying to figure out where everything was going to go.
He said that AEG has looked into growing the relationship with Cal State Dominguez Hills, working with them on educational programs and partnering with them when it comes to sports management. StubHub Center is located on 125 acres of the CSU Dominguez Hills campus.
“We’re always looking to expand facilities, also,” said Beckerman. “There’s real estate around here and we have an appetite to grow, and there are things that I think could benefit both us and the university in terms of additional training facilities or additional construction projects on- site.”
More details about future facility projects on-site should be solidified sometime next year.
VT Reporter Jessica Boudevin's commemorative ticket.
In more immediate changes, Beckerman revealed that StubHub is in the process of developing a mobile app for the venue, and that AEG has been looking at making investments in companies in the sports, venue and technology space.
“There’s actually one we’ve already invested in related to servicing fans in the hospitality area called ByPass,” he said, adding that eBay and StubHub are co-investors in the company.
ByPass, which provides mobile points of sale, will roll out in StubHub Center’s premium seating areas, including the new Champions Lounge, July 4.
“We won’t exclusively serve AEG venues, although it is one of the focuses of our partnership and their investment to upgrade their POS technology in their buidings,” said ByPass President Brandon Lloyd, who added that many venues have outdated POS technology and will soon be making a decision on investing in it.
He added that typical POS hardware cost $4,000 per register. ByPass Mobile runs on tablets, which cost just $299. All in all, venues can cut their investment in POS technology by 75 percent, he said.
Pepsi Center in Denver deployed ByPass recently and generated a return on investment on hardware and software in 30 days, Lloyd continued. The implementation of the technology at StubHub Center will be about half the size of Pepsi Center’s.
The company’s smaller tablet solution will be implemented for club and premium seating. ByPass’ 10-inch tablet solution, used for ringing customers up and running tabs, will be used at the Champions Lounge, the new lounge experience from which fans can actually see the players walk from the locker room to the pitch.
“It provides an added level of access that’s unprecedented,” said Kyle Waters, assistant GM at StubHub Center.
Membership to the Champions Lounge includes either a club or fieldside seat, preferred parking, and free food, beer or wine. Memberships are sold on a three-year term, with club seat options running $3,850 per year and fieldside seat options priced at $4,400 per year.
Interviewed for this story: Dan Beckerman, (213) 742-7155; Chris Klein, (626) 432-1540; Brandon Lloyd, (512) 291-6192; Chris Tsakalakis, (415) 222-8494; Kyle Waters, (310) 630-2006