By Zach Colick
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, November 9, 2005
Phoenix-area pop-punk band The Format will take the Centennial Hall stage tonight. With more than 1,600 tickets sold, student leaders said they're hopeful the remaining tickets will be bought to fill up the auditorium.
General public and student tickets have been on sale since mid-October for $10, and there are still about 800 tickets left to fill the 2,400-seat venue, said Ryan Patterson, special events coordinator for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.
Patterson said they will likely break even on the talent costs for The Format show, but will probably still end up paying for production and security costs.
"It's a calculated risk," said Patterson, a third-year law student. "When I do a show, I look at it like a perfect world that we'll break even."
For Centennial Hall, tonight's concert is a rental show separate from the UApresents season. ASUA is renting the auditorium for a $5,000 fee, which also covers any incidentals incurred during the show and earns Centennial Hall $2 for each ticket sold, said Alaina G. Levine, public relations consultant for UApresents.
So far, the acts the student government has brought to campus this year haven't sold enough tickets for ASUA to break even. Only 65 tickets were sold out of the 1,400 needed in order for the ASUA Speakers Board to break even when they helped bring two cast members from "Napoleon Dynamite" to the Student Union Memorial Center South Ballroom last month, which was originally slated for Centennial Hall.
The show was moved because it would have cost $2,500 to reserve Centennial Hall in addition to fees for ushers and audio technicians, said Speakers Board director Carrie Pixler, a political science junior.
The Sept. 21 Jason Mraz concert cost ASUA nearly $18,000 after they hoped to break even. Though 1,656 tickets for the show were sold, organizers were 700 tickets short of selling out, according to a performance sales report.
The projection shortfall was exactly $17,847, or 41 percent of the committee's $43,000 budget, according to the report.
"Looking back on Mraz, if I could do it all over again, I would have lowered the ticket price in the balcony," Patterson said.
Patterson said the goal of ASUA isn't to make a profit from the show, but rather to try and break even in hopes of entertaining and bringing in as many students as possible. He couldn't say how much money The Format would make because of financial logistics with Centennial Hall.
"Our goal isn't to make money, and we actually anticipate losing money on the show," he said. "But more importantly, this show is for the students."
The Format was asked to come to campus this year because of their strong following throughout Arizona and because of the support they received as part of a local radio station's KFMA Day back in May, Patterson said.
Though efforts were made to bring The Format last year, Patterson said scheduling conflicts hindered those possibilities, and students were forced to "Wait, Wait, Wait" for "The First Single" to be performed.
So far, Patterson said students have gobbled up tickets in anticipation of their local emo rock heroes, who have not headlined a tour in Tucson in more than two years.
"There's a lot of interest down here in Tucson," Patterson said.
Naomi Brandis, a political science senior, said she started listening to The Format last year after a friend recommended the music to her, and said she is excited ASUA brought the band to campus.
"Their music is very popular around campus so it's great ASUA can appeal to student's wants as far as entertainment value goes and bring The Format to the U of A," Brandis said.
The Format will be touring in support of an as-yet-untitled new album they started recording last month and will play material off their most recent recording "Interventions and Lullabies."
Tickets will be available until performance time at the UofA Bookstore, Centennial Hall box office, online at www.uapresents.org or by calling 621-3341.
The bands Tickertape Parade and The Dares will kick off the 7 p.m. show.