There’s a new kid on the ticket resale block and he’s making quite a bit of noise. CitySide Tickets, based in Boston, is quickly gaining a name and capital in the ticketing world. A publicly traded company (symbol: CIST), CitySide has taken the street smarts of its CEO and parlayed them into a profitable ticket resale business.
CitySide CEO Michael DeAmicis started out in the ticket resale business as a teen-ager, selling his extra tickets to Boston Red Sox games outside of Fenway Park. “Through this experience I realized there was a lot of money to be made in the ticket business,” DeAmicis told TicketNews in a recent interview. In 2002, DeAmicis took the knowledge he had gained selling tickets in his youth and honed it into what would become CitySide Tickets. Operating initially out of his home, DeAmicis eventually upgraded his office to a storefront, mere steps away from Fenway Park.
In fact, one of the cornerstones of Citywide’s success has been its prime location. According to DeAmicis, “Currently, about 50-60 percent of CitySide’s business comes through walk-up traffic at the store.” However, with the company’s new national marketing campaign and current focus on acquiring smaller companies, CitySide hopes to expand its reach into the country’s most popular ticketing markets.
CitySide has recently made news through its acquisition of smaller ticketing brokers, most notably StadiumSeats.com, which CitySide hopes to groom into a competitor to current industry giant StubHub. While the acquisition of a smaller business might not be a stellar feat within the ticketing world, the way in which CitySide has structured its business model makes its growth particularly novel. The key lies within CitySide’s status as a publicly traded company.
According to Michael McCarthy, corporate communications director for CitySide Tickets, the company’s public status makes it “lean and mean” and allows the company to “roll with the economy better than some of the competition.” Furthermore, according to McCarthy, when CitySide acquires a smaller business, it is able to offset the costs of the purchase through offering CitySide stock, thus allowing CitySide to focus the bulk of its capital on acquiring inventory to keep customers happy.
In addition to acquiring new businesses, CitySide has also begun a national advertising campaign, aimed at creating a presence in larger markets such as New York, California, and Florida. Over the course of the next several weeks, CitySide will roll out this campaign, bringing the company national recognition and further raising its profile.
While the future of CitySide Tickets lies in acquiring new locations for sales and developing the company’s presence on the internet, DeAmicis doesn’t see the company’s moves as aimed at generating fresh competition within the ticketing industry.
“I don’t look at it as a competition,” DeAmicis said. “CitySide just wants to make some noise in the ticket industry.”