The SAP Center at San Jose has seen an uptick in day-of-show sales. (Courtesy SAP Center)
Google’s plans to build a new campus in downtown San Jose are great news for venues in San Jose, said Steve Kirsner, vice president of booking and events at the SAP Center, a 19,000-capacity arena that’s home to the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. Kirsner, who has worked at the SAP Center for nearly 23 years, shared his insights with VenuesNow Staff Correspondent Noelle Riley on the local market.
Tell us about the San Jose venue scene.
There are venues of all sizes. There’s a wide, wide variety of venues to choose from. The music scene is very healthy. Right now I have right about $14 million in ticket sales for concerts that haven’t happened yet. Most shows are selling extremely well.
How are ticket sales?
Very strong, but I’m seeing a little trend in the day-of-show sales. Our day-of-show sales have gone up considerably. We just had Marc Anthony here and sold over 780 tickets the day of the show. We also had 2Cellos and sold over 340 tickets the day of the show. At every event, I see a little more day-of-show sales than we’ve had in the past.
What’s the venue competition like in your area?
It’s about to become extremely more competitive with the Golden State Warriors’ new venue (Chase Center in San Francisco), which opens in September. It will create three major arenas in the Bay Area. There’s a lot of competition for entertainment, but with that said, it seems like everyone is healthy right now. As we learned at the Pollstar conference, the concert industry as a whole is extremely healthy.
What are the fans like in San Jose?
We have a very diverse audience, from your general hockey fans and lots of families to a very large Latin community. We have a very large Asian community. Recently, we’ve been working with more Indian promoters for more … shows from India. We serve everyone as much as we can.
What’s next for San Jose?
In our venue, we’re having a lot of discussion about upgrades, new experiences and using technology to be 100 percent mobile. We’re developing new ways to reach consumers and ways to talk to our guests. Security is another issue we’re dealing with. We’re working with all these new technologies to get everyone through faster but still have the venue secure.
Also, in the next five to 10 years, Google will be building a campus in downtown San Jose. We proposed that they build a theater as a part of their campus that they can use for meetings and they can use for other events, but there’s been no solid plans. The Google campus is probably the single biggest transformation that’s going to happen in San Jose.