04/01/11 — Duplin will seek new company for tickets

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Duplin will seek new company for tickets

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on April 1, 2011 1:46 PM

KENANSVILLE --The electronic ticketing company Ticketmaster will not renew its contract with the Duplin Events Center in Kenansville, citing the facility's lack of online traffic.

Ticketmaster notified the county that it was not going to extend its contract, which was set to expire April 30, but agreed to allow a two-month extension until the end of Duplin County's fiscal year.

"They kind of called us up out of the blue," County Manager Mike Aldridge said. "What they told us is we weren't selling enough tickets online."

Aldridge said Ticketmaster's costs to maintain the events center as a client, which included having a ticket printer and computer terminals on site, were not being covered by the revenue generated online.

Aldridge said the county had a more favorable contract with Ticketmaster. The e-ticketing site agreed to help the county out during its first year of transition by signing a contract with Duplin, but didn't see enough online interest, which Aldridge said is simply a reality considering the area's demographic.

"We don't sell a lot of events online," Aldridge said, noting that the Events Center caters to an older clientele than many of the other venues Ticketmaster works with. He said Events Center customers are more likely to buy ahead in person or purchase tickets at the door, though when acts are scheduled that attract audiences from the many military bases nearby, the need for online ticketing is evident.

"They buy online," he said of the center's military patrons. "But that's a different demographic than our local folks."

Because Ticketmaster was the center's only means of selling tickets online, the county is now in the market for a new e-ticketing partner. Aldridge said he and the board will look into new alternatives, such as Live Nation or a Walgreens ticketing service, but that those discussions hadn't begun quite yet.