THE SANTA CLARA
April 3, 2014
Imagine taking the Caltrain up to the city for a San Francisco Giants game with nothing but your Buster Posey jersey and a cell phone. That’s right, you don’t even have a ticket to the game that starts in less than an hour. Sound crazy? Well, a local startup called Gametime has ensured that it’s not crazy at all.
For the first time ever, sports fans can buy paperless tickets on their mobile device minutes before a game and still get to their seats before the first pitch, tipoff or puck drop. There’s no printing involved and tickets are sometimes discounted up to 80 percent off retail price.
“The secret is in the expiring asset nature of tickets,” Gametime CEO Brad Griffith told the Marina Times. “Tickets are essentially worth nothing an hour or so after the game begins, so sellers get very competitive within minutes of tipoff. Like Hotel Tonight or Uber, you can summon something you need right on your phone and use it within minutes. It’s the future of entertainment.”
Griffith came up with the idea for Gametime in 2012 when he and his brother had purchased Giants playoff tickets from a similar mobile app but missed the first part of the game because they couldn’t find anywhere to print the tickets.
Bay Area sports fans know the excitement that comes when Pablo Sandoval hits a home run for the Giants, Patrick Marleau scores a goal for the Sharks or Stephen Curry drains a 3-pointer for the Warriors.
For most college-age fans, these moments appear on a television screen rather than in person due to the budgetary constraints associated with being a student. Attending a sporting event can be expensive. Gametime has swooped in to solve this problem by partnering with sports venues that want to get rid of their unsold tickets. The result is extremely marked-down prices on Gametime.
The San Francisco-based app is free to download and compatible with any iOS or Android device. After linking a payment card, users are just a few clicks away from having the tickets electronically delivered to their phones, which can then be scanned at the venue just like a paper ticket. Each ticket can also be sent to other people via text message or email even if they have not downloaded the app.
According to Griffith, his company created an algorithm that finds the best ticket deals by price and seat.
“We only show you the 25 best (options), not an impossibly long list,” said Griffith. “The last-minute nature of the app allows you to watch prices fall, buy tickets and show your barcodes on your phone at the gate.”
Gametime started out by tackling the Bay Area and Los Angeles sports markets, but has recently launched in Chicago, New York and Boston.
Contact Nick Ostiller at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4894.