"Our days are numbered," says Vince Campise, owner of Atlas Tickets, a ticket resale company of nine employees. "If it wasn't for the fact that we have a successful football team, we'd be out of business."
According to Campise, reselling concert tickets is not as viable a business as it was five years ago, and tickets to sports events have become more profitable. With concerts, the business strategy is to invest in tickets that will increase in value. Campise admits he got burned on the July 1 Fall Out Boy show at Coors Amphitheatre.
"It was a complete embarrassment to have that band play at that large of a venue." He says Atlas forked out cash to buy tickets for a show that bombed. "I heard they eventually sold tickets for six dollars apiece."
Campise says Atlas lost money on Police tickets, even though that tour sold out all of its Southern California shows.
"They used market manipulation." Because the Police's three Southern California shows were not announced all at once, the demand for concert tickets was held in check.
Campise points out that he is not a scalper, that Atlas is part of the "secondary" ticket industry, with Ticketmaster being a "primary" ticket company.
"The bottom line is my customers are affluent individuals who can afford to sit in the first 20 rows."
One local promoter says, "On shows we know will sell out, we deliberately hold back tickets until the day of the show just to fuck with the ticket scalpers." Releasing last-minute tickets to a sold-out show cuts into the ticket reseller's profit.
Stub Hub -- which Campise characterizes as "a clearinghouse who put together the seller with the buyer" -- has hurt the ticket-resale business, but Campise's biggest threat is Ticketmaster.
"Ticketmaster now has an auction. In my opinion, this is a creative way to avoid the negative light that is placed on secondary ticket sellers. If they put tickets on auction [for a higher price] and they don't sell, all they do is sell them for the face value."
Another trend that hasn't helped Campise is that artists and promoters now seek premium prices for the best seats, thereby cutting into the profit that used to be reaped by resellers.