“We had lines around the place; I mean, it was huge,” said an enthused Bob Arum on Tuesday afternoon. “We tweeted it out; we sent out a photographer.”
According to the veteran promoter and CEO of Top Rank Promotions, the building will be configured for around 14,000. It’s clear that for the rechristening of this storied boxing venue, the organizers want as many asses in the seats as possible. With that in mind, they offered a special April 1st promotion (that was no April Fools joke), offering a “complimentary companion ticket” for seats in the $75 and $150 range available between noon and 4 p.m., Pacific time on Tuesday, as the tickets were released to the public.
That said, I did receive some emails expressing some dissatisfaction over the ticket buying experience:
I read an article of yours in which you stated there was two-for-one tickets at the upcoming Forum fight. So I go on Ticketmaster at 12 p.m. to secure two paid tickets in the hope of getting two freebies. Nothing in my order summary indicated I got the additional two tickets. I contacted Ticketmaster. They say I needed a special promo code which I can’t find anywhere, so I canceled my damn order. F*ck those unscrupulous business tactics. Ticketmaster “doesn’t know” the code. As a consumer, I can’t contact Top Rank and speak to someone, so I guess my question is, do you know the promo code? Was it released to the press? Thanks.
According to Dena duBoef, who handles tickets for Top Rank, “Nobody had a problem,” as a couple of thousand tickets were sold. She further explained, “They even went online at Ticketmaster and it did say, ‘Buy one and take your companion.’ So this guy was the only person, everybody at the Forum, everybody who did this, they made sure all the ducks were in order and there wasn’t a problem. So this guy, we are happy to honor whatever he wants.”
(DuBoef asked that Casey give them a call at the office where he would be accommodated with the original promotion. This gentleman was given the proper numbers to call.)
Then there was this email:
Steve and Gabe,
Photo © Mikey Williams /Top Rank
I wanted to give you guys the lowdown on Arum’s “promotion” for the Marquez vs. Alvarado fight.
The ad is for “buy one/get one free” in $75 or $150 price range. When I went to purchase four $75 tickets, it basically downgraded the seat quality to $37.50 seats. Mid-rows of upper level. You think you are getting $75 seats but you really get marked up $37.50 seats sold as $75, four tickets for $150 plus fees (buy one, get one free).
If you go to buy $75 seats outside the promo, you will get lower-level seats. I thought I would be able to get four of these. Wrong.
This is a fake promo. Fans should be aware. This is wrong.
To this, duBoef responded, “It didn’t downgrade them. It’s $37.50, half of 75. You’re getting your $75 tickets for $37.50. If you bought a $150 ticket; you’d be getting it for $75. We’re not downgrading the tickets. She added later, “We never said, ‘two-for-one tickets’ - it’s buy one and bring your companion. ‘Two-for-one,’ we never used that because we didn’t want to sound like it’s not a good fight. It’s a fantastic event. We were just doing something to say, ‘Hey, let’s get people on board.’”
The bottom line is Top Rank wants as full a house as possible on the night of May 17th.
“We did it because we know people wanted to go see Forum boxing again and we were bringing it back,” said duBoef. “The Forum was supportive of it. They thought it was a great idea. The radio stations in L.A. thought it was a great idea and they helped promote it because they wanted everyone to have the opportunity to go.”
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