Last-minute sales on upswing, ticketing company says

New research from a survey by ticket company Gametime shows that 27% of fans are now buying event tickets after the start of the event, a significant disruption to the traditional pattern of fans buying tickets ahead of time, sometimes weeks or months before the event.

“The wave is crashing on the beach for the industry and the research is showing us that this behavior is here to stay,” said Brad Griffith, Gametime’s CEO. “It feels like 2019 is the year that last-minute will make huge impact. The statistics bear out the same for sports events and concerts.”

Gametime’s recently introduced last-minute ticket product is taking advantage of the growing trend.

“What we’ve built is a product that makes it simple to get a ticket after an event has started,” Griffith said. “There’s been a demographic shift toward buying at the last minute across the industry, and last call is no longer the start of a show. With 27 percent of people buying after an event has started, it’s become mainstream behavior now and it wasn’t even conventional behavior last year.”

The survey was conducted via Survey Monkey online in January. Gametime surveyed 287 people across two surveys, one composed of Gametime users with 154 respondents, and one composed of non-Gametime users with 133 respondents. The majority of respondents across both surveys were between the ages of 17 and 39 and the survey was subject to sources of error related to sampling, coverage, nonresponse and question-wording.

Gametime users, who skew young, were 7.2% more likely than non-Gametime responders to buy a ticket to an event after it started.

“Millennials are leading the way on this,” Griffith said. “They are not locked into the old school idea of choosing their night’s entertainment weeks in advance.”

Another key finding of the survey was that 47.4% of surveyed Gametime users would consider buying after the start while only 21.05% of non-users would consider buying after the start.

Generally, prices tend to decline after an event has begun.

“Prices will fluctuate. It’s a market economy. The sellers set the prices. Prices fall based on supply and demand,” Griffith said. “On average the tickets fall to between 50 percent to 80 percent from face value.”

Gametime lists tickets from both venues and fans and will suggest a price for the ticket based on its dynamic ticket mechanism. A deal with Ticketmaster and Axs has also helped shine a light on the new concept.

“The key is the seamless buying experience that utilizes duration as a marker and has a fast, easy checkout,” he said.

Gametime is privately owned and has processed more than $300 million dollars in tickets since opening in 2016.