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Just the ticket!

Posted on 12 March 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

David Buchler on Thursday announced a giant step forward for Spurs-kind where buying match tickets for White Hart Lane is concerned.

Our vice-chairman addressed the media to launch our state-of-the-art online ticketing system with 'view-from-seat' technology that goes live on 11 March 2002.

The revolutionary service is to be launched in conjunction with Data Factors and will be the first of its type in the game.

Pat Bernstein, CEO of Data Factors, demonstrated the slick and easy to use system that has been tested by simulating 15,000 users at the same time. It is integrated with the ticket office and call centre off a single central system and every transaction is done in 'real time'.

To operate the service you simply log in with your membership number, date of birth and post code, select the match you wish to book tickets for and pick the area of the ground you'd like to sit in.

You then pick a block from the graphic of the stadium using your mouse and a seating plan of available seats will be displayed in green. As it is all done in real time you select a seat and this is held for you for a period of 15 minutes (this might be reduced slightly in time as fans get used to the system).

You can then opt to view the pitch from the particular seat you have chosen, using the 3D technology, to establish whether you are satisfied with your choice. If you are not, simply go back and select another.

Once you have made your selection, standard e-commerce procedure commences and you click to buy the seat or seats and enter your bankcard details (payment is via secure connection). Once this is completed the system will recognise your details the next time you buy so there is no need to repeat the card entering process.

All you then have to do then is agree to the terms and conditions and finalise the process.

"We have really got a great innovation," beamed David Buchler.

"We have got the foremost innovative ticketing system that exists in this country or in Europe today. There is no other club that goes anywhere near the innovation that we're able to produce for you.

"It is unique, it is innovative, it is quick and it is a going to be, for us, a great solution for our club, our fans to solve all of the issues, all of the problems that have existed over the last few years in trying to book tickets.

"What are we talking about? We are talking about being able to go online, buy a ticket and not only choose the stand you want to be in and the seat you want to sit in, but from that seat also get a view of the whole stadium showing your view from where you'll be sitting watching the game.

"You'll be able to see your view and if you don't like it you can change your seat. It is really great stuff and for us it's very important as we have been overwhelmed this season.

"Overwhelmed because the style of football that's being played now, the quality of football, the journey we are taking means that we are inundated with requests for tickets we cannot cope with at the moment. Our stadium holds 36,000 people and is pretty much full every single game now.

"We could have sold our allocation for the Worthington Cup final many, many times over - the demand was so huge.

"What we're trying to do is make life simpler for people when they want to book - they can just go online."

Pat Bernstein offered an example of how the internet solution will ease the burden on the traditional methods of purchasing tickets.

"Spurs played Arsenal in November last year and there were about 12,000 seats available for that game with 30,000 members eligible to buy them on the first day. Of those 30,000 there were 470,000 telephone call attempts - something like 37 call attempts for every seat sold.

"Not good customer service, but nothing Spurs could have done about it - no call centre in the world could have dealt with that demand.

"On the internet you can deal with things slightly differently."

Online ticketing is not yet available to overseas members, but fans can still enter the system and familiarise themselves with it in preparation for the introduction of this facility.