Wednesday, July 1, 2009

TPAC ends sales through Ticketmaster

It makes 'better business sense' to use own system, performing arts center says By Harriet Vaughan • THE TENNESSEAN • July 1, 2009 After years of research and a plan to make its Web site easier to navigate, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center severed its relationship with ticket retailer Ticketmaster. Beginning today, TPAC will use only its own box office, Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Web site and call-in number to sell tickets to future events. "Especially with the dramatic increase in online ticket sales, it makes better business sense to sell tickets on our own system," said Brent Hyams, TPAC's executive vice president and general manager. "The new model supports direct relationships between TPAC and its customers, who will pay less handling fees and communicate directly with our staff during transactions." The new system means reduced fees tacked on to the ticket price. Ticketmaster's per-order and print-at-home fees added an extra $6.35 to the ticket price. TPAC joins the ranks of other performing arts centers that sell their own tickets, including Schermerhorn Symphony Center. TPAC once owned the Ticketmaster Nashville franchise but sold it in 1996. Hyams says their relationship was so close, one of the founding partners of Ticketmaster flew in to town to try to persuade TPAC to continue selling through them. Ticketmaster 'saddened' "While we're saddened to lose our longtime partner, we understand the competitive business we are in and that our venue clients have many choices," a statement issued by Ticketmaster said. "We wish TPAC nothing but continued success in the future with the arts-specific in-house software they have chosen." TPAC's Web site is and ticket line is 615-782-4040. Ticketmaster will continue to sell tickets for TPAC events that are already on sale, including the Broadway tour Wicked.

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