Sunderland in ticket exchange deal with StubHub
LONDON (Reuters) - English football club Sunderland's season-ticket holders will be able to sell unwanted tickets for Premier League matches online under a new sponsorship agreement with U.S. firm StubHub.
The deal marks a further step in the international expansion of StubHub, owned by online auction company eBay, which entered the British market earlier this year where it is competing with established secondary ticket company Viagogo.
Season-ticket holders will be able to sell seats online for games they cannot attend at a price fixed by them, with StubHub getting a 25 percent commission.
The agreement should mean fewer empty seats at Sunderland's Stadium of Light and allow the club to make more money on sales of food, drink and merchandise, said Nick Harford, head of business development and partnerships for StubHub's international arm.
The sponsorship deal would help compensate the club for lost revenue from selling extra tickets on its own account.
Restrictions will be placed on sales to prevent crowd trouble at the northeast derby with Newcastle United.
Sunderland, owned by U.S. businessman Ellis Short, finished last season in 13th place in the 20-team Premier League. The club had an average attendance last season of just over 39,000 -- around 10,000 short of capacity.
Founded in 2000, StubHub is the market leader in the United States where it works with teams including baseball's New York Yankees.
Co-founder Eric Baker moved to Europe and set up Viagogo in 2006. Viagogo has worked with European Champions League winners Chelsea and top German club Bayern Munich.
(Editing by Dan Lalor)
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