Ticketfly Picks Up Northern Tickets in Canada


Ticketfly boasts of its technology but doesn't shy from the deal-making that defines the ticketing business. On Friday the San Francisco-based ticketing company announced the acquisition of Northern Tickets, a small ticketing company of The MRG Group, a Canadian entertainment and hospitality company.

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MRG Group is interested in shifting focus elsewhere in the fast-growing company and using Ticketfly's technology -- from the ticketing platform to event marketing tools -- to give the fan a better experience, says Matt Gibbons, President of The MRG Group. "I don't see it as a sell-off. I see it as almost a happy marriage for many years to come," says Gibbons.

Northern Tickets was established in 2011 and services numerous music venues, festivals, and other events. Among the venues Ticketfly picks up are the Adelaide Hall in Toronto and the Vogue Theatre, which CEO and co-founder Andrew Dreskin calls "a great cornerstone partner," in Vancouver. The MRG Group owns properties in Toronto, Hamilton, London and Vancouver.

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Northern Tickets is a small part of Ticketfly's quest for growth. Through the end of 2014, Ticketfly has amassed $1 billion in cumulative gross transaction value since launching in June 2009. Last year, Ticketfly sold 16 million tickets -- for 38 percent year-over-year growth -- with a gross transaction value of $500 million, a 42 percent improvement. As a point of reference, Ticketmaster had gross transaction value of $23 billion in 2014 -- 46 times that of Ticketfly -- according to Live Nation's fourth-quarter earnings release.

Ticketfly's first entrance in the Canadian market came in January 2013 with its signing of Union Events and Collective Concerts and the acquisition of ticketing company Prime Box Office.


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