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An App That Moves Sports Fans to Better Seats Evan Owens designed Pogoseat, an app that helps fans at an event swap seats.

By Matt Villano

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ushers call them "seat pirates": people who buy cheap tickets to sporting events, then scavenge empty seats closer to the playing field once the game begins. For years these squatters have jumped around arenas and stadiums, driving sports franchises nuts as they undercut the value of the higher-price tickets. But a new app from Santa Monica, Calif.-based Pogoseat could enable those franchises to turn the pirates into upstanding ticket holders--and generate additional revenue along the way.

Co-founder Evan Owens explains that unlike third-party services that sell discounted tickets prior to tipoff, the Pogoseat app is designed for use by fans already at an event. "Inside the arena, people may want better seats for a multitude of reasons--to sit with friends, get away from a drunk, get out of the weather or be closer to the action," he says, admitting that the idea came to him a few years ago after he was caught pirating seats at a baseball game. "Once you switch, the last thing you want is to sit there and constantly worry, Are they going to kick me out?"

Here's how it works. A fan logs into the app, which determines through geolocation the user's exact position within the venue, then displays a map of available seats and prices. After selecting new seats, users can pay for the upgrade through their smartphones. (Depending on the score or amount of time left in a game, the fee may actually be lower than the difference in ticket price.) The app then generates a new e-ticket to show to ushers. Pogoseat takes an undisclosed cut of the transaction.