Friday, December 27, 2002

Race tickets cost more, easier to get


Tickets.com to take over call center functions

By Gina Holt
Enquirer contributor

Seats to watch the action in Sparta will soon be easier to buy, but they'll cost more.

Tickets.com will take over Kentucky Speedway's ticket call center Jan. 6, which could cost customers an additional $7 per ticket.

Tickets to the events and camping at the $152 million Gallatin County racing complex will be easier to get - available at more stores, in more states and for more hours - but the convenience will cost you.

"The Speedway's call center didn't charge a fee but Tickets.com will," said Tim Bray, spokesperson for Kentucky Speedway. He added that the average ticket at the Speedway costs $45.

"The service fee will be $4 per ticket. There will be a handling fee of $3 per order."

So, for a single Kentucky Speedway ticket, that would be a $7 increase. But, for a pair of tickets or multiple tickets, a buyer would pay the handling fee only once, with the service fee on every ticket. So, two tickets would be $11 more.

"With change comes fees. Service charges are standard in the ticketing business. Those are the pains of doing business," Mr. Bray said.

Tickets.com's call center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week whereas the Speedway's was only open during normal business hours.

Race fans can avoid the extra charges by purchasing tickets at the Sparta racetrack or at the Kentucky Speedway's Fort Mitchell office located on Dixie Highway in the PNC Bank building.

The 1.5-mile speedway about 40 miles south of downtown Cincinnati has partnered with Tickets.com for the past two years to sell tickets online and in retail stores.

Tickets.com retail locations include Meijer Supercenters and stores, which recently entered a five-year agreement to become the title sponsor of Kentucky Speedway's NASCAR Busch Series event, "The Meijer 300," and "The Official Supercenter of Kentucky Speedway." A network of 34 stores throughout Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan will participate in Speedway promotions.

Mr. Bray said the partnership will also enhance the security of an individual's ticket and allows race fans to get through the gates faster.

"We are securing every ticket with a barcode," he said. "Instead of getting your ticket torn in half, it will just be scanned."

There will be a new service for campers as well. People have always been able to reserve an RV camping spot but now they can pay for it online in advance. There are approximately 200 RV camping spots behind turns 1 and 2.

"This just makes it more convenient," said Mr. Bray.

Tickets purchased online or by phone will be mailed to the recipient or, if purchased just a few days before the race, the tickets will be held at the Will Call box office.



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