This is the second edition of the ‘Talking Tickets’ newsletter, delivered to your emailbox once a week. Sign up below or by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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5 stories and why they matter to you in tickets and live entertainment:
1. MLB’s attendance is down 14% since its high in 2007: Everyone has a theory on why this is happening: pace of play, costs, technology, millennials. What we know is that baseball is sharing that about 68.5 million fans went to games this year and our lying eyes would tell us that isn’t true. This matters we know that the business plan of MLB has relied heavily on the secondary market to support it for many years, but as there is less demand for baseball tickets…the likelihood that the secondary market is going to support baseball tickets gets less certain, at least at the prices that baseball has come to expect.
2. Patrick Ryan uncovers a trend in tickets that we all might have missed, Facebook Groups: This is an interesting one because all of us have seen fees get out of hand. But we all know that this also opens the door to a great deal of fraud opportunity, akin to those stories about people buying fake tickets on the walk or off of Craig’s List. From my perspective, this is worth paying attention to because at the first sign of trouble, it is likely to become a big story about how the secondary market is “stealing” from customers.
I retweeted this to my audience on Twitter and have started getting some interesting comments, check it out.
3. Access All Areas asks, “Is the Festival Boom Over?”: This is a really interesting question coming on the back of several festival cancellations and the hangover from the Fyre Festival. For all of us, some of the factors listed in this story are at play no matter where in the world we find ourselves: expenses related to putting on the shows, booking artists, fees, approvals, and marketing are all driving the costs of tickets up and making it more difficult to convince fans to come to our shows. To me, it seems like just having a unique festival isn’t nearly enough and adding the benefit of a destination and an extended experience may be likely to help folks come out to festivals. Or, we could just be reaching the point where we have too many festivals?
4. Endeavor calls off their IPO: TicketNews picked up my piece on the subject and I laid out my thoughts on this loosely there. But a few ideas I want to highlight here that we should be paying attention to is that debt seems to be driving so much of the sports, entertainment, and ticket industry right now that we have to wonder how healthy and sustainable that is. Two, many companies seem to be trying to plant their feet in the “content” space or something else and I wonder if this is stealing power from their core businesses, or making the core businesses have less impact.
What say you?
5. William Hill and Monumental Sports combine forces to create the first Sports Book at an American arena: I spend a lot of time in Europe these days working with clients and I have had a chance to see the evolution and apprehension that folks are starting to have about having betting be so heavily involved in sports and the impact of having uncontrolled betting everywhere.
I also live in DC and think it will be an interesting story to follow and recognize that the money being injected into sports is probably good because it offers diversification from a business model that has relied far too heavily on TV revenues for the last decade or more.
That said, do I worry that sports betting is the latest shiny object that the industry is using to cover for a number of business operations that likely need rethinking and refreshing? I think so.
The thing we have to watch is what does the introduction of gambling actually do from an attendance standpoint, a sales standpoint, and other meaningful metrics of the health of the industry.
What do you think?
What I’m up to?
Great podcast episode with Doug Mann this week from the Victoria Racing Club in Melbourne, Australia.
You coming to my workshop in Melbourne, Australia on 18 November?
Keep up with me at www.davewakeman.com