Box Office Manager
Hard Rock Live Sacramento
The adage is that no one expects or plans to find themselves in the event ticketing business, but fate may still play a part.
“I was 14 years old and one of my friends’ dads was head of security there at the time, and he got us in as street teamers,” Molly Landis said, referring to popular hometown 1,000-capacity club Ace of Spades in Sacramento. “I didn’t get paid but it was free concerts, which was a dream for a 14-year-old.”
After street teaming for a few years and handling odd jobs at the venue, Landis joined the payroll as a box-office attendant and quickly found her calling. “I loved it. You’re the face of the venue as people come in, and I had a lot of energy and passion for it,” she said.
When Live Nation acquired Ace Of Spades in 2016, Landis found she had a real knack for the Ticketmaster platform and became more deeply entrenched in the data and technical side of ticketing.
“It just clicked well in my brain. I really enjoyed building out shows and the Ticketmaster system and the organizational aspect of the box office, too,” she said. “I was over there for about three years as the supervisor and I loved every second of it.”
When COVID hit, Landis left Ace of Spades and found an opportunity with the new Hard Rock Live venue being built at the new hotel/resort that opened in Wheatland, California, near Sacramento.
“I was the third person on our team to be hired,” she said. “I had to pretty much start building out all of the seated charts right away and work with Ticketmaster to get our venue built up and ready to go with their system.
(Director of entertainment) Randy (Maddocks) was a huge help because this was my first time opening a venue and he has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to this kind of stuff, especially in the casino world.”
The 2,400-seat (3,000 standing) venue opened in June 2022 with a Maroon 5 concert and hosted 90 ticketed events in 2023.
Landis revels in the busy periods and thrives in a fast-paced environment, particularly enjoying back-to-back show nights — or multiple shows in one day, which additional support from Hard Rock casino and hotel staff make possible.
“It’s amazing that it’s not just us that run the venue. We have our executive people coming in and helping us clean everything for a 30-minute turnover,” she said. “Everyone’s so alive on nights like that, and it just feels like we’re all one unit. I love that. The hectic nights are always the best because everyone’s hustling, everyone’s going, and it always ends up being successful. You put the hard work in, you get it done.”
Along with building the seat maps and helping develop the pricing structures from scratch, Landis also had to build her own team, which totals four, including herself.
“We have a small but mighty team, and they’re just as passionate as I am,” she says. “I’ve had the same three girls running our box office since we opened, which I take great pride in as well.”
Landis says post-pandemic, VIP merchandise and meet and greet bundles are becoming commonplace for shows of all types, leading the venue to add an additional row of Gold Circle seating for patrons with extra perks.
She’s focused on further revenue-generating ideas on the ticketing side.
“How can I structure the price levels, can we add in dynamic pricing?” she said. “It’s about trying to figure out what are the best seats to the customer, making sure we’re upselling the right kinds of seats.”