ENTERTAINMENT: Discounting trend frustrates industry

The Times Board of Economists - update from Charles Blum, president of Star Plaza Theatre
2014-02-02T00:00:00Z 2014-02-02T00:05:54Z ENTERTAINMENT: Discounting trend frustrates industryVanessa Renderman vanessa.renderman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3244 nwitimes.com

One of the biggest challenges facing the local world of entertainment is discounting.

Charlie Blum, president and CEO of Star Plaza in Merrillville, calls it the "Bed, Bath & Beyond theory." 

"I don't know of anybody who goes to Bed, Bath & Beyond without a coupon," he said. "Once you start doing that, they will never pay full price again."

He said he would love to raise ticket prices for every show in the industry to $100 and then discount them to $50, so people could get the feel of a deal.

"But if I'm wrong, I can never go back," he said. "Everybody would expect to get a discount. That is truly the dilemma."

Another challenge comes from a secondary buying industry. In some cases, the industry selling tickets also has brokers selling them at a higher price on a secondary market, Blum said.

Overall, entertainment is a healthy industry, he said.

He said there is an increased cost in big-name talent. Country group Zac Brown Band on average won't take less than $750,000 for a one-hour show, Blum said.

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