New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has announced that it is entering into a one-year agreement with Ticketmaster to sell tickets to events held there. In so doing, the convention center will not only collect a portion of each ticket's service fee, but also increase its ability to host events outside of traditional meetings and conventions.
Because of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has had trouble filling its meeting and convention calendar in the past several years. By opening its meeting halls for other, alternate uses, the city hopes to generate much needed event revenue to fill the gap left by absent meetings.
"Part of our effort to generate some activity in the building is to get some nontraditional events," General Manager Bob Johnson told the Times-Picayune. "We didn't have a way to distribute tickets and as we continue to look at those nontraditional events, we need a ticketing service."
The Ticketmaster deal, which has a three-year renewal option, will enable New Orleans' convention center to collect 30 percent of the service fee that Ticketmaster charges consumers on their ticket purchases. While that 30 percent is nominal, according to Johnson, being able to host events that require ticket sales will be a significant boon for the convention center's bottom line.