“Best Seats Online” (from Australia)

Best seats online
By Dino Scatena
September 18, 2004

The days and nights of camping outside the box office to secure choice seats to the latest shows are well and truly over. Welcome to the 21st century, people, where if you don’t have a credit card and access to the internet, then best you go out and buy yourself some binoculars.

While internet ticketing was first introduced into Australia in 1997, it’s only in the past couple of years that it has started doing better business than traditional outlets and phone sales. With some shows, up to 70 per cent of tickets are now purchased online.

In more recent times, the introduction of internet-only “pre-sales” has proved extremely popular. Take, for instance, Neil Diamond’s effort last week in selling out two SuperDome shows in a single day. By the time tickets were made available through other channels, half the seats to the first show (scheduled for March 11) were already gone through the pre-sale.

Paul Dainty, promoter of the Diamond tour, says he purposely limits the number of places made available through pre-sales. He says with Diamond, he could easily have sold-out two shows through the pre-sale alone, but that would not be fair to those without credit cards or access to the web.

In research recently conducted by AC Nielsen on behalf of Ticketek, 33 per cent of Sydneysiders said the internet was their first port of call when considering purchasing a ticket of any kind.

So if you’re fan of Cher, take this as a warning. While tickets for her March 3 show at the Entertainment Centre ($96.25-$496.25) officially go on sale next Tuesday, the internet pre-sale started last Wednesday.

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