Charlottetown Civic Centre

   Key Elements:
   - Ticket sales done one year in advance of
     tournament
   - Numerous packages and pricing levels
   - Rock solid financial control

   In November 2009, the Charlottetown Civic Centre (www.civiccentre.pe.ca) learned that they were successful in their bid to host the 2011 Scotties Tournament of Hearts® that would be held February 19-27, 2011. The Scotties is a Canadian women’s national curling championship, the winner of which goes on to represent Canada at the World Women’s Curling Championships. the winner of the tournament also gets to return the following year as “Team Canada”.

Janet Caird, the Box Office/Finance Manager at the Centre, decided that her first plan of attack would be to contact the Arts Management Systems Support Team to make sure that they would be able to do the sale of the tickets through Theatre Manager, as selling tickets for this curling event is different than a concert or hockey season. She laid out a general plan of what needed to be done and set a number of deadlines.

Some of the set up things that needed to be done: Creation of a number of different maps - one for each package, plus there were over 2,500 holds on each map. There were 14 different price codes (the Civic Centre normally has 5 or 6) and 20 different promo codes. One of the more difficult challenges was the packaging. Janet said that they didn’t know what the organizers were to going to ask for, as nothing was finalized until a couple of weeks before the tickets went on sale.

Tickets went on sale in January 2010, and were sold throughout the entire year. For the first 10 months, only full packages were available. there were 24 draws within a 10 day period and patrons bought passes from which they used certain tickets for certain draws. A unique challenge for curling bonspiels was having to hold a seat in every draw once a patron selected it in one draw. This meant that they had to hold more seats than they were selling, which tied up the number of seats available. Single tickets didn’t go on sale until one month before the event. Janet said that it was like having a full hockey season in the course of a week, something she was fully accustomed to.

In November 2010, some mini-packages were released, such as: opening weekend and weeknights or closing weekend/weeknights. In December, they introduced a promotion - Rocks in your Socks - where a patron could buy 2 tickets for any one draw, and these were sold up until Christmas. The Rocks in your Socks promotion ended up being very popular with people buying them as Christmas presents. Over $10,000/day in sales went through Theatre Manager during the month of December.

At the request of the Scotties Tournament organizers, no tickets were printed until January 2011. Once they started the printing process, it took about 3 days to complete. A total of 47,610 tickets were sold for the event, and at the end of it all, their End of Days balanced to the penny.

The Charlottetown Civic Centre also had 4 concerts going on during this time and Theatre Manager handled everything without any issues. The Tournament organizers of the were very impressed with the results as this was the first time they had worked with the actual venue and not a ticketing service. They were very happy to work with one specific person, as well as having a local contact. It was a great experience for Janet and the team at Charlottetown Civic Centre.