SKyPAC ticket sales strong

By JENNA MINK, The Daily News, jmink@bgdailynews.com/783-3246
Saturday, November 5, 2011 12:26 AM CDT

When preparing for the first ticket sales at Bowling Green’s new performing arts center, Tom Tomlinson wasn’t expecting this.

Ticket packages for some of the first shows at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center went on sale Tuesday. By Friday, about 1,800 tickets had been sold, totaling $95,000. That’s double the amount that Tomlinson, the SKyPAC executive director, expected to sell.

“I’m very pleased,” he said. “It bodes well for the future. It lets us know … we’re on the right track.”

Tickets for a total of 17 shows, which begin in March, are now for sale in packages. The shows have been grouped into series, and the packages range from $46 to $209, depending on seating location.

So far, the biggest seller is the Broadway package, and “Cats” and “Mamma Mia!” are the fastest-selling individual shows at about 350 tickets each, Tomlinson said.

“This is the first time these kinds of events have been available in Bowling Green,” he said, “and I think that’s evident by Broadway being the No. 1 seller.”

Once a person purchases a series of tickets, he or she can buy individual tickets for any of the 17 shows, said Dawn McGriff, SKyPAC development and marketing director.

About 13 percent of available tickets have been sold, and the public can purchase individual tickets beginning Feb. 1. There’s no limit to the number of ticket packages that can be sold, but officials might consider a cap if they begin to sell out before February, Tomlinson said.

Other theaters sometimes halt package sales when 80 percent of the tickets are sold, he said.

“If we get somewhere to that point, we will consider that because I do think it’s important that single tickets are available,” he said. “On the other hand, knowing in advance where you are is a good thing.”

The 1,800-seat facility on College Street opens March 10, and officials have not yet announced the opening-night act, which could be one of a slew of performers that range from Kenny Rogers to Kansas. SKyPAC officials expect to generate $4.6 million in revenue during its inaugural season, according to the organization.

Now, people are lining up at the box office, and workers are constantly answering phone calls for tickets. The rush is partly because of the holidays – several will purchase theater tickets for Christmas gifts. But people are also excited to take part in something that’s new to the Bowling Green area, Tomlinson said.

“People are excited about the ability to buy tickets and attend something here in town that they’d (normally) have to drive to Nashville or Louisville or somewhere else to attend,” he said.

In addition to entertaining locals, the new center hopefully will draw visitors to Bowling Green, said Vicki Fitch, executive director of the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We’re very excited for SKyPAC to open because it adds another layer to our tourism infrastructure,” she said, “and it just adds something else that visitors could possibly do while they’re here in Bowling Green.”

Article can be found here: http://www.bgdailynews.com/articles/2011/11/05/news/news2.txt