Continuing our look at what a solid or great venue needs to hold a wrestling show I talked to the people behind Inspire Pro: Justin Bissonnette, Max Meehan, and Joshua Montgomery to see what they look for in venues. To be honest it was their most recent move that inspired this series.
The big things that came up for Max were location, parking, the presence of a bar and affordability. While three of the four factors were agreed upon by the rest of the team, Max was alone in his insistence for a bar. He felt you NEEDED one but the others didn’t always agree. While they said it was a bonus, they didn’t feel that the lack of a bar would kill business. This was just a general opinion and not one made by any one person.
One issue that had not even occurred to me but was brought up in our discussion is that as interest in wrestling grew, lots of potential venues got burned in one way or another by a wrestling show and therefore would refuse to host another wrestling company. Many times it was an up and coming company that was started but not well planned out. Most likely, that company is no longer around but they left the venue with a bad taste for the wrestling business. The fly-by-night promotions either didn’t pay the bill or only paid part of it; sometimes the fans were loud, rude, and/or messy and the company didn’t clean up afterwords. They could have broken stuff or were not fully honest about what may happen during a show or how short or long it would run. All of these could upset a venue enough to block all wrestling and assume all companies are the same.
Joshua talks about how even outside of Austin it happens. He helped run several small shows in North Texas and the biggest issue they had month to month was finding a venue another company had not already been in and not paid for, trashed, or did something against the venue’s moral obligations. So with all the problems a company can have from not having a solid person or group running it, not finding enough performers or finding ones that will bring in the people you want or need, paying them, making a card, who wins, who loses.
Who has a belt even and the biggest issue was not knowing if you would have a place as no one would take you if they were screwed by any wrestling company at any point. Also here in Austin, even more so in the recent years with many businesses having to move from the locations they have been at for 10, 15, even 20 years since they can no longer afford rent or worse just shut down as they can’t afford to move or the places they can afford to move wouldn’t give them the business they had in their current locale. This plays into finding a venue for wrestling as well, many places OVER value their location and ask for too much for what a wrestling show is about. Some places demanding $3000.000 or more which you can’t make at the door or with pre-sales. You also want the fans to have money to buy beer, food, and the merchandise of the wrestlers.
They bring up lots of points I had not thought about and a few I had heard of before. They are on their third venue since starting and that is not bad. They started out back on July 7th, 2013 at Marchesa Theater on Middle Fiskville Road. They did many shows there. It started without a bar but soon got one and added more types of food and drinks over time. It was a nice place with lots of room and a lobby to hang out in while you waited for the show, so you didn’t have to hang out outside. April 24th, 2016 at Splendor in the Splash was the last show at Marchesa and was not till August 14, 2016 that Inspire Pro returned but now at Red Oak Ballroom on West Anderson Lane and they had shows there until December 18th, 2016 as Super Fantasy Force was the last show at Red Oak.
Now they return, for the first time at Austin Sports Center 425 Woodward Street, Austin, TX on March 26th, 2017. Go see Ecstasy of Gold 4.