Ticket prices for major events could soon plummet thanks to the rise of virtual-reality (VR) viewing, according to TicketIQ chief executive Jesse Lawrence.
In a piece for The Daily Beast, Lawrence argued that more and more fans will choose to watch events from the comfort of their own homes knowing they can enjoy a front-row experience via their VR headset.
Lawrence said that huge areas of empty seats at American football games such as the St Petersburg Bowl could be a sign of things to come. He added that event organisers that want to remain successful must accept and adapt to the new reality of VR.
“With virtual reality on the horizon, there’s a dystopic view of future live events where everyone has the same front-row seat on their couch and the actual stadium is empty,” wrote Lawrence. “In such a world, there’s never a sell-out and there’s always a sideline seat available at a fraction of the price of a real one. Companies like Jaunt VR and Next VR are already pushing toward a virtual future with unlimited supply.
“As the CEO of a ticketing company, I believe VR is poised to disrupt the current event-attendance model in meaningful ways. As that happens, we should expect the nature of demand for the live experience to change.
“While the St Pete and Bahamas Bowls may feel like a crude version one of this new reality, a future without the need to actually sell tickets could create evolutionary opportunities for event promoters that actually benefit fans. Smaller, more-intimate stadium experiences that are a throwback to the old days of smaller stadiums, for one, are already happening, and will likely continue.”