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Ticketmaster.com to offer PC-printable tickets

The online unit of Ticketmaster-Online Citysearch this week is expected to unveil a new Internet service that will allow customers to buy, download and print tickets using their personal computers.

Ticketmaster.com, an online unit of Ticketmaster-Online Citysearch, is expected to unveil a new Internet service later this week that will allow customers to buy, download and print tickets using their personal computers.

Pasadena, Calif.-based Ticketmaster will introduce the new online purchasing system at the International Ticketing Association Conference (INTIX 2000) in Albuquerque, N.M., company executive vice president Tom Stockham said. The e-ticket service could be made available sometime in April for those events that adopt the service, Stockham said.

"Basically, when you buy a ticket online now, you can choose to pick it up at will call, or have it mailed to you," he said. "With the new system, you can immediately take possession of your ticket."

The ticketing system, which Stockham said took the company five years to develop, marks the latest effort by the company to ramp up its Web offerings. In the last two weeks, Ticketmaster-Online CitySearch announced partnerships with Internet party planning site Evite.com and online convenience goods provider Kozmo.com.

E-tickets are verified at participating venues through a device called a bar code reader, which scans the code printed on each ticket, Stockham said. Ticketmaster.com intends to share the cost of the code readers with the venues, he added.

The downloadable tickets offer Ticketmaster new ways to market goods and services to customers. For instance, instead of a selling a small slip of paper, Ticketmaster will have an 8X11 piece of paper in which to place coupons, special offers and advertisements, Stockham said.

"We now know where a customer is going to be on the night of certain events," he said. "This offers us opportunities to link up with restaurants, bars and other merchants that do business in the area that the venue is located."

USA Networks, owner of Ticketmaster Corp., spun off its Internet businesses in 1998 to form Ticketmaster-Online Citysearch. Since then, Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch has operated Ticketmaster.com, which will partner with Ticketmaster Corp. to offer the e-ticket services.