March 3, 2021

Ticketmaster Competitor to Unveil a Web Site

In the latest volley of the entertainment industry’s ticketing wars, the Anschutz Entertainment Group, a concert promoter that owns major arenas like the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the O2 in London, will begin selling tickets to its concerts this weekend through a sleek new Web site it has developed to compete with Ticketmaster.

On Tuesday, A.E.G., which is owned by the Anschutz Company, will announce its new ticketing brand, AXS (pronounced “access”), and a Web site,, that on Saturday will begin selling tickets for events at two spaces in Denver that A.E.G. operates, the Bluebird Theater and the Ogden Theater. The company created with Outbox Enterprises, a ticketing start-up whose co-chief executive is Fredric D. Rosen, Ticketmaster’s chief for much of the 1980s and ’90s.

In its announcement, A.E.G. refers to several aspects of ticketing that Ticketmaster consumers have long complained about. will display the full prices for tickets, counting all fees, and the company also says it will never charge to let people print their tickets at home. (Over the last year Ticketmaster has made efforts to disclose most of its fees up front and eliminate the print-at-home fee, although those changes have not been made throughout the entire site.)

A.E.G. is using the Denver theaters as a test run, and plans to introduce the system to more theaters by the end of the year. Timothy J. Leiweke, A.E.G.’s president and chief executive, said in an interview that the company expected to begin selling tickets for the Staples Center by early 2012, and at the O2 after the Olympic Games next summer in London.

The company began developing its own ticketing system after the merger of Live Nation, the world’s biggest concert promoter, and Ticketmaster in early 2010. As part of the Justice Department’s conditions for approving the deal, A.E.G. was allowed to license Ticketmaster’s software, but instead it chose to build its own service as a competitor.

A.E.G.’s deal with Outbox allows it to use that company’s technology for a “white label” ticketing system, meaning it would make generic tickets that individual theaters or arenas could adopt. But Mr. Leiweke said in an interview that the company’s goal was to build AXS into a consumer brand for all of A.E.G.’s theaters and events. Eventually, he said, the site will include video segments from concerts or a television network that A.E.G. is developing.

“You will start to see a lot less A.E.G. and a lot more of AXS,” Mr. Leiweke said.

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