Seat Geek Review (Brief)

stubhubAs many online users know, there are several different ticket brokers to use when securing concert, theatre or sports’ tickets. Last year, I reviewed several such as Ticket Network, Ticket Exchange, Vivid Seats and Cheap Tickets. Most of these companies had additional fees attached to the ticket price but I was more interested in knowing the exact price I would pay once my tickets were selected. Stub Hub provided that service although I had some challenges maneuvering around their website. I stumbled upon Seat Geek while listening to a Bill Simmons podcast. For the time being, I have used Seat Geek several times and often leverage SG when looking for theatre or sports related functions.

I like their service, although there are a few challenges when using their app. This article briefly outlines some of the challenges I have recently found. I wonder if other users of SG have experienced similar challenges?

Geography Searches

I live in between Milwaukee and Chicago in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. I’m about 40 miles from the Loop and 45 or so from downtown Milwaukee. Milwaukee is the easiest to get to. Sometimes, the drive to the loop may take 2 hours, the same distance from my home to Madison.

stevie nicks large againWhen I do a search for concerts or events in Waukegan, which is in between Chicago and Milwaukee, it will provide all Chicago events. This is fine, however, if I want to see exclusively what concerts are in Waukegan, there’s no option to exclude Chicago. Or vice versa. It would be nice to have the filter where you can drill down to just one medium to large city improving the user experience of the consumer.

I will say one other thing about Chicago, sometimes using this search value will provide Milwaukee area events. These cities are about 90 miles apart and I’m not sure how the algorithm is assigned to produce these results.

events largeNot the Right Chronology after Searching

The concerts are not in order in terms of the calendar, very annoying trying to pick through these. If I search for concerts in Chicago, I may see the Ed Sheeran concert on Sept 16 followed by Kenrick Lamar on July 27, and Roger Waters on July 23. It is not always well organized by date.

Moreover, you have concerts advertised in September and October sometimes before events in the summer of ’17. With a large city like Chicago and dozens of concerts being advertised, having items not in the correct date order is sometimes challenging and can be time consuming. This should be seamless.

For example, I searched for ‘All’ sports in Chicago as a test. The first event was baseball in July, followed by an NFL game in September, proceeded by a soccer game in August at Soldier field (pic here of Toyota Park, oops), baseball in July, followed by a Big Ten game in Evanston in October…a few events later, ice hockey in December. Can someone explain why these events for Chicago are so discombobulated?

Ticket Price Challenges

Paul McCartney is scheduled to play at the Hollywood Casino on Wednesday, July 26. If you review upcoming concerts, his concert will appear under the Chicago location. As of July 23, the least expensive seat is $46. When you drill down, you will see it’s a lawn seat. You’ll not know that unless you see the seating chart. In other words, the ad will say ‘$46+’ which means that the least expensive seat. Of course, non-lawn seats will cost a lot more money.

stevie nicks largeSame situation at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois. Stevie Nicks will perform on Saturday, September 9. Ticket prices state ‘$120+’. Indeed, if you click on the concert to view the seating chart, you will find only lawn seats for that price. Perhaps Midwesterners think that is one of the last outdoor concerts of the year, with this venue and performer, the demand exceeds the supply. Anyway, if anyone has visited Ravinia, the lawn seats will enable visitors to crowd around the seat venue in the hopes of seeing the performer. If you’re not in the first row or so of these crowds gathering around, your best hope is to be the height of an NFL tight end to view the stage and over the packed crowd of standees. The next inexpensive ticket for Ms. Nicks is $239 — It’s pricey but basic economics seems to come into play, what the market will bear.

seat geek largeOne thing to note about Stevie and Ravinia, going through their box office may be the way to go, you can secure a lawn seat for $82. Seat Geek currently has lawn seats between $120-154.

One advantage of booking through SG and not Ravinia is you’ll not be tempted to purchase a $48 veggie basket at checkout (including a green salad & veggie crumbles) or a $48 Little Italy basket (spinach & kale artichoke dip, brownies & Caesar salad).