MORE than a quarter of a million tickets are passing through the hands of box office staff at the Stadium of Light ahead of the Take That and Kings of Leon concerts.
The events expert at the helm of the stadium’s ticketing operations, Phil Clarkson, and his team have faced a hectic few weeks as the countdown begins to Friday’s Take That’s Progress Live concert.
Phil and his team organise, sell, distribute and exchange hundreds of thousands of pre-purchased orders and vouchers into tickets for excited music lovers.
Phil, who has more than 25 years’ experience of box office management, said: “Managing and producing so many tickets is a major task in itself. Although everybody purchased these products in October, they need to know where they’re sitting even though they don’t actually have an actual ticket in their hand.
“Because we don’t have tickets to give out when they go on sale, personal callers still want something in their hand so the club prints a voucher for them to redeem when the tickets are available.
He added: “The tickets themselves are a hugely complex area too. Once a seating manifest is agreed, you have to have the band and promoter agreement that the ticket layout is correct.
“Once that’s signed off, then the entire stock has to be printed with a number of security features to avoid counterfeits and forgeries.”
Tickets were delivered to the stadium last month after which allocations were transformed from paper into coveted tickets.
“It’s great for the club,”says Phil.
“It’s still a tough economic environment at the moment and football clubs and other venues are sensitive to finances so they are all in there bidding for these types of events. We’ve secured Take That and Kings of Leon this year but this is against major competition from other regional venues.
“Also, I think particularly for Sunderland, it’s putting us further on the map.
“Niall has done an immense amount of work on the football side but for the concert side, it’s brought a whole new dimension to the profile of the club and the city.”