Move to better seats with the Pogoseat app

By using Pogoseat, fans in the nosebleeds can upgrade to fill unoccupied seats closer to the action. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Have you ever been to a game, and from your seats in the upper deck looked enviously at all the empty first-level seats? What a waste! (Yankees fans know what I’m talking about.)

Pogoseat co-founder Evan Owens also knows the feeling. That’s why, at a Nationals game in D.C. two years ago, he and his friends decided to sneak into better, unoccupied seats.

An usher abruptly removed them, but a new idea was born: Pogoseat.

Pogoseat is an app (available on Android and iOS) that displays a map of all the available seats in a venue. Users can select available seats for an upgrade, and go from cheap seats to courtside in an instant.

Simply sign in via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Pogoseat.com, and the new ticket is sent to your phone.

“Pogoseat creates a win-win scenario for fans and the venue: Fans get a better view of the action, and the venue increases its earnings by filling once-empty seats,” says Owens.

Co-founder Abel Cuskelly says pricing for upgraded seats is based on a variety of factors.

“Pogoseat has built an upgrade-pricing algorithm that's based on the difference in face value between a fan's original ticket and his new Pogoseat, and any discounts applied to the new seat by the team based on the amount of time remaining in the game, score and other variables," says Cuskelly. "However, teams control pricing and some teams may opt to charge a flat rate for an upgrade.”

The Golden State Warriors are the first team to adopt Pogoseat, and in doing so, provide a good case study of how the app actually works.

The Warriors take quality of opponent into account when setting upgrade prices. For example, in the second quarter of last week's Warriors-Cavaliers game, two fans used Pogoseat to upgrade their seats from the upper bowl to the lower bowl for $12 apiece.

Brandon Schneider, the Warriors' vice president of ticket sales and services, says that after 10 years in the business, he sees Pogoseat as an innovative development for both venues and fans.

“Ticket sales used to be very static, technology-wise. Nowadays, we see the way tickets are being sold is changing. We're always looking to drive revenue, and what we like about Pogoseat is we see this as a win-win, and we see this as an enhancement to our fan experience.”

The app works by integrating with a team’s current ticketing system. Pogoseat communicates with the ticketing system’s database every 10 seconds for updates. Schneider says he expects it to make quite an impact in the arena.

“There’s no reason any team in the world wouldn’t want to use it,” he notes. “We wanted to jump right in and progress right alongside with Pogoseat.”

The Stanford men’s basketball team just signed on to use Pogoseat, and the company reports it is negotiating contracts with several NFL, NBA and collegiate teams.

The app could have a broader impact than you might think. According to Owens, nearly half the seats at sporting events go unoccupied every year.

“Between the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS, roughly 71 million seats are left empty,” says Owens.

In the future, Pogoseat will have even more benefits. Owens says the company is working on a function that will appeal to season-ticket holders: If they can’t make it to the game, they can sell their seats on Pogoseat and make some cash.

Pogoseat is available through the Warriors app here.