Fans still buying tickets, startup CEO says
So how’s the market for sports and concert tickets holding up, given the economic turmoil that has dominated the public imagination since last year? Better than you’d think, according to Mike Janes, the founder and CEO of FanSnap, a live-event ticket search engine that launched in March.
“People’s appetite for the shared experience of a game or show hasn’t changed. Their bank accounts may have changed, but not the desire,” Janes said.
The difficult economy has had the effect of bringing many ticket prices down, he said, meaning there are plenty of bargains out there. While there will always be insatiable demand for big-name performers or games (Springsteen; Yankees vs. Red Sox) keeping those ticket prices high, Janes said tix for your average major league baseball game can be had for below face value in some cases, as folks looking to resell tickets flood the market with supply. It’s a bit too early to see about NFL games, he said.
FanSnap, whose main investor is VC and private equity firm General Catalyst Partners, runs in a similar way Kayak does flight searches. Since there is so much variability in ticket prices (unlike in airline tickets) FanSnap’s search engine turns up seats within mere feet of each other — displayed on a nifty interactive map — but with very different asking prices. (Janes said the site aims to “make it really hard to overpay for tickets.”)
FanSnap has deals in place with dozens of vendors and re-sellers, including big names like StubHub and RazorGator, and is working to bring others into the fold.