How to get the cheapest tickets for Civic Center shows - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

How to get the cheapest tickets for Civic Center shows

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The Columbus Civic Center has attracted big name performers to the Valley for nearly two decades.

But how is it funded and where does the money go when you pay for a ticket?

Friday night, southern R&B singer and actress, Fantasia Barrino will be at the Columbus Civic Center for one night only. 

Columbus resident, Lakeya Whatley, has been dying to see the show, but she can't afford the tickets she's seen advertised on various third-party web sites that are almost $70.00.

She came to the mayor's public forum Thursday expecting to take the city to task for what she calls high prices.  But what she learned surprised her.

"I found out it's the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous," said Whatley.

It turns out the Civic Center only gets $2.50 for every ticket sold.  The rest goes to the promoter of the event, who pays for the artist and the expenses related to their performance. If the tickets are purchased online, there are additional fees paid to web site middle-men. 

Most of the time, the Civic Center is just barely breaking even, and sometimes it loses money.

But mayor Tomlinson said Columbus sees a less obvious benefit from its operation in the form of tourism.

"They stay overnight, have a meal, spend a little money in Columbus and it's an economic development tool for us."

As for those "expensive" tickets that Whatley spoke of, Ross Horner, director of the Civic Center, said fans can get tickets for much lower prices than the ones she found.  His advice to the public is not to trust the third party web sites where she was shopping.

"They will fish out in the market and you'll see them saying that they have the tickets.  They're waiting for you to pay an exorbitant amount of money, and then they'll go out and acquire those tickets from us or from TicketMaster."

Horner said TicketMaster.com is the only web site affiliated with the Civic Center, but even they charge an additional fee for processing. His best advice to get the lowest price is to buy tickets at the window in person to avoid all extra charges.

As for Lakeya Whatley, she'll be at the Civic Center, Friday, just not inside.  She's got a permit to hold a picket sign at the entrance and she'll be out there protesting Fantasia's show because she wants her to charge less for her performances.

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