Ron Draughon’s letter relating his experience buying tickets for the Paul McCartney concert four years ago actually reveals the truth of the ongoing ticket buying charade that has proliferated for years. Beginning my major facility management career over 50 years ago, I hosted several thousand ticketed events. Buying a ticket then, you went to the host facility’s box office to purchase the best ducat you wanted and could afford. The building, having much fewer events, unlike today, often required the show to set up a temporary box office elsewhere in the area. From the thin printed cardboard ticket handed over the sales counter came the ability to reserve tickets by phone, then the amazing growth of computerized ticketing systems, resulting in the speedy, apparently effortless ability to buy, now in vogue
Within that modern, consumer friendly advantage, saving time and travel, several factors remain hidden. Those prime seats you desire, are held for sponsors, event celebrities, the promoter and the silent partner of the undertaking — the credit card companies. Income flow required to propel advance ticket sales and secure financially solid tours became interesting to the credit card industry. On top of the card fees paid by the ticketing system, or the building or the event, this assures an accelerated card fee income flow as the potential customer is solicited to buy in advance. "Buyer beware."
James F. Oshust
Salt Lake City
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