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Software prices tickets for best value

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Bill Radke: If you would like to go to tonight’s game two of the World Series in New York, it’ll cost you hundreds of dollars per ticket, at least. Yet if you watch a regular season game in any sport, you’ll see usually giant patches of empty, unsold seats. All games are not created equal.

Now a Texas company is marketing software to help teams sell tickets at the prices fans are willing to pay. Barry Kahn is the co-founder of Qcue. Good morning.

Barry Kahn: Thanks for having me, Bill.

Radke: What is the pricing problem that your software goes after?

Kahn: Well I think for years, and I guess probably forever, tickets haven’t been accurately priced. You’ve got times where tickets are going to be resold for two, three, ten-times face value. And then for every ticket that gets resold, you’re looking at four tickets that never get sold. And a lot of that problem is because tickets are priced 9-12 months before a game.

Radke: So games shouldn’t all cost the same amount?

Kahn: No. I mean the same reason that when you look at the schedule, you don’t value every game the same. You choose to go to one game versus another, and we’re helping the teams kind of reflect that in prices.

Radke: So give us an example of how the pricing would change. So the San Francisco Giants hired you last spring to handle the pricing for about 2,000 seats in their park. And what happened differently when you worked with them?

Kahn: I think you saw a lot of games changing price to reflect the value that you wouldn’t have expected at the beginning of the year. A great example being the Colorado Rockies. You know, the Rockies aren’t a big rival for the Giants. It’s generally not a very popular opponent. But when you started looking down the stretch, the Rockies were leading the wild card. The Giants were a game or two behind, and that became a really popular series.

Radke: Would your software also work for music concerts? Kanye West, you made a fool of yourself at the music awards, your tickets just got cheaper.

Kahn: Yeah. It definitely would, and that’s a direction we’re looking to go. As it was, Kanye got kicked off the tour. So those are the same factors that if you’re sitting there looking at buying tickets, that change what you decide what to do.

Radke: Barry Kahn is founder of Qcue. And Barry, we appreciate your time.

Kahn: Thanks for having me, Bill.

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