The first of two related items from the Tuesday night Wilmington City Council meeting is a resolution that proposes to purchase reserved seats for the Fiscal Year 2022 concert season (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) using money from the general city fund.
The second is an ordinance establishing a new policy, allowing the city to use VIP seats – as well as other tickets provided “at face value” by Live Nation – for “economic development, recognition of employee performance. of the city and community development “. It also gives city council members a first look at how tickets are used for these purposes.
Live Nation actually sent out an invoice for seats in early May – the invoice describes the seats as a “VIP table,” charging $ 13,200 plus $ 924 in tax (anyone who knows Live Nation and Ticketmaster knows there is the ticket price and then there is the real ticket price). The bill includes four tickets and two parking passes, and insures at least 20 shows per season – this number is likely to increase at the CEO’s discretion, depending on Live Nation’s contract with the city; it’s $ 176.55 per seat with parking (assuming guests are carpooling with at least one other person).
According to Live Nation’s seating plan, Table # 30 is at the south end of the venue, near the border between the seated tickets and the venue lawn. These tickets are not available through Live Nation’s regular online portal, so it is difficult to compare prices (the site redirects you to the Live Nation portal. premium ticketing site, who has yet to create a page for Wilmington) – but it’s probably fair to say that when it comes to VIP seating, they’re some of the humblest on offer at this venue.
New ticket policy
The resolution attached to the budget ordinance deals with what the city can do with these tickets, that is, to whom it can deliver them and for what reasons.
The resolution notes that in addition to VIP seating, the new ticket policy will also cover tickets offered by Live Nation to the city at face value for performances at both the Riverfront Park Amphitheater and the Hugh Morton Amphitheater. in Greenfield Lake (where Live Nation also has a management contract). This is important, since tickets to sold-out shows are usually worth a lot more than face value tickets.
The city may offer its VIP seats or tickets to (likely) sold-out shows for three reasons, under the new policy:
- According to the resolution, “Economic development” means “[o]ongoing activities as determined by the City to increase the city’s population, taxable properties, agricultural industries, employment, industrial production or business prospects. Simply put, this means the City can use its VIP or hard-to-find tickets to entice developers and business owners.
- Then there is the “Employee Performance Recognition”, described by the City as “recognition by the City Manager of employees who have demonstrated a high level of achievement with respect to the City’s core values of service, professionalism, respect, integrity and safety, or with regard to any other important attribute related to the job, or who have significantly increased customer satisfaction, or who have been a key contributor in an innovative program that has had positive benefits for the city or community. In less words, it is a way for the City Manager to reward employees.
- Then there is “community development,” described in the resolution as “the city’s support for public, nonprofit and private sector partners who are actively involved in initiatives designed to address issues impacting the city. the quality of life in Wilmington, including the revitalization and empowerment of low-income communities, the advancement of education, the development of employment and the enrichment of youth and culture. ”That is the broadest category, and there’s probably a myriad of people and organizations that fit in. Basically, it’s anyone the city wants to say a ‘thank you’ to.
The policy also includes other ethical safeguards, including prohibiting the use of tickets for personal use, the resale (or barter, raffle, exchange, etc.) of any city tickets. and stipulating that tickets cannot be exchanged for other events.
While the ticket policy states that seats will be offered to city council members first, it reiterates that they can only be used for the limited purposes listed above. In other words, board members can’t just go see Chicago play in October because they want to, they’ll have to explain to the GM’s office what the public purpose of the tickets will be. (They also cannot sneak up on family or friends, under policy – although employees rewarded for their performance can, with permission from the city manager).
If there is a dispute over which council members get tickets to a particular show and they cannot resolve the issue with the city manager, they will have to use a lottery. Conversely, if some or all of the tickets are not claimed by elected officials, it belongs to the general manager and his management team.
And, if there is again the remaining tickets – unlikely, but not impossible – they will be offered to the general public, via a random system set up by the CEO.
Sadly, even though the resolution and ordinance are passed Tuesday night, city council members and officials have already missed the venue’s inaugural kickoff, three nights of widespread panic shows. But there is always next year.
Wilmington City Council meets on Tuesday, July 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Wilmington Convention Center, 10 Convention Center Drive. You can provide online comment with its form. Comments received electronically by noon on Monday July 19 will be read aloud at the meeting. Comments received before 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 22 will be placed in the file. The meeting can be viewed remotely via:
Below: The city’s proposal to purchase 2021-2022 VIP season tickets and the proposed new ticket distribution policy.