By Nick Smith
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 20, 2005
To break even, promoters would have to sell more than 1,000 tickets
Cast members from "Napoleon Dynamite" are still expected to appear at tonight's show despite sluggish ticket sales and a change of venue.
As of 4 p.m. yesterday, 65 tickets had been sold out of the 1,400 needed in order to break even.
Tickets for the event have been on sale for the past two weeks and will be available at the door for the 7 p.m. show.
Actors Efren Ramirez and Aaron Ruell, who played the characters Pedro and Kip, respectively, will appear at the Student Union Memorial Center South Ballroom instead of Centennial Hall as originally planned.
The show was moved because of cost issues, said Carrie Pixler, ASUA Speakers Board director.
It would have cost $2,500 to reserve Centennial Hall in addition to fees for ushers and audio technicians, Pixler said. Reserving the South Ballroom costs $300, plus fees for audio-visual equipment, bringing the total closer to $500, Pixler said.
In addition to venue fees, $13,500 is taken out of the Speakers Board budget to bring Ramirez and Ruell to campus. This includes flight and hotel accommodations, Pixler said. In order to break even with booking and venue costs, 1,400 student tickets would have to be sold, well above the ballroom's seating capacity of 600.
"The show was never intended to be like the Format or Mraz," Pixler said. Unlike the ASUA Special Events Committee, Speakers Board events are not expected to turn a profit. No matter how many tickets are sold, the show will still be held, Pixler said.
Students like Mandy Maes, a chemistry graduate student, said she felt the cost for the event was steep considering only a few hundred students would probably attend the show.
"From what I've heard, they (Speakers Board) haven't been using their money wisely," Maes said.
She felt the Speakers Board should bring someone with more real-world application to campus instead of movie actors.
Other students, like pre-physiology junior Michelle Davis, said she saw the event advertised in her dorm and thought the Speakers Board should bring someone more controversial to campus.
"No names come to mind, but something like the Michael Moore show last year," Davis said.
Tickets for tonight's show are $10 for students and $12 for adults and are available at Centennial Hall, the UofA Bookstore and at the door before the show.