Opinion Columns & Blogs

Arena must meet varying priorities

SMG is proud to be the manager of the soon-to-open Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita's downtown. We are proud to have been selected by Sedgwick County as the steward of this facility, and we take our obligation to serve the citizens of Sedgwick County very seriously.

With outstanding events scheduled at the arena — such as Brad Paisley, Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, Elton John and Billy Joel, the Professional Bull Riders, the Wichita Thunder and more — we are especially proud of the early fruits of our labor, bringing the best available events and entertainment to the people of Sedgwick County and south-central Kansas.

In this endeavor, we strive to meet and exceed the expectations of our multiple customers — artists, promoters, ticket buyers and patrons — who are the lifeblood of all successful facilities. In doing so, we must strive to meet a varying set of priorities.

In some cases, the artists have their identified constituencies, such as fan clubs or sponsors that they wish to please and cultivate, and we respect their needs. Though this may change from event to event, the one constant is our ability to sell tickets through multiple avenues to try to meet the demand of today's marketplace.

Tickets for events at the arena are sold through Select A Seat, its Web site, outlets and phone system, and through our box office. At our box office, our on-site ticket sales are managed through a lottery system in an attempt to ensure that everyone has a fair chance at getting tickets while maintaining a safe environment.

Through the combined convenience of our multiple sales channels for purchasing tickets, it is possible for nearly 1,000 points of sale to be operating at any one time. For high-demand shows, the average transaction time is four minutes, meaning that 4,000 tickets may be sold every four minutes, 8,000 tickets in eight and so on, explaining how high-demand shows sell out within minutes.

We sympathize with those who attempt to purchase tickets but are unsuccessful for those high-demand shows. And while there are indeed people who take advantage of the high demand for these shows, we are not able to control that without impacting our ability to make tickets as available as possible to all our patrons.

Select A Seat is our only authorized ticketing agent, and we strongly discourage ticket buying from any other channel. (Select A Seat is also accessed through the Web site Tickets.com.)

As the world leader in venue management, SMG pledges to continue our outstanding delivery of management services for our multiple customers. It is our hope that the community will celebrate the quality entertainment that has been announced thus far and will be faithful in supporting our continuing efforts for that caliber of entertainment in the future.

With the continued support of the community, for which we are grateful, Wichita will continue to be seen as a prime market by the agents, artists and promoters, and we will all reap the benefits of expanded entertainment as a result of the arena. Please be assured that we are working every day to garner your trust, respect and support.