PROVO People lined up outside BYU's Marriott Center Friday night with hopes of getting a ticket to this year's Stadium of Fire at Lavell Edwards Stadium, that features teen stat Hannah Montana, but only the first 250 were lucky enough to reach the box office before tickets were sold out in a record-breaking ticket sales operation for Utah, officials said. Most of the 58,000 tickets were grabbed online.
"We've always sold out at these shows," according to the show's executive producer, Brad Pel. "I think the Beach Boys sold out in two weeks." But that 1992 fete was royally trumped last night by a 15-year-old pop star big enough to sustain two-household names: Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana.
Brigham Young University ticket sales sold its first ticket at 5 p.m. By 5:10, its registers' tills were full and the ticket machines empty, Pelo said.
Those lucky enough to draw a first-in-line number that guaranteed them a chance at a ticket window exited the Marriott Center's doors with white envelopes brimming with as many of the tickets as they could afford. Each reacted to the purchase differently. Some just grinned, others skipped to their cars in the overflowing parking lot. And a few broke out into song
"I've got a golden ticket," one woman belted out in vibrato, as she skipped up the building's concrete ramp.
Others stashed their envelops like classified documents, stuffing them deep into pockets, and even cowboy boots, before walking out into a crowd of coveting eyes.
Can they be blamed?
Folks were throwing down between $875 and $3,125 on the average envelope a figure ticket sales personnel didn't expect.
They originally thought buyers would purchase six to nine tickets at a time according to average purchase data from the past three years, but when the clock struck 5, their calculations crashed hard.
"Suddenly, everyone was buying 25 tickets at a time," Pelo said. "There's no way we could have predicted that."
Cyrus' recent concert at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City sold out quickly, too, Pelo continued. "But it was only something like a 13,000-seat concert." By contrast, the stadium blasted through 58,500 ticket sales. That's 97.5 sales per second Friday evening.
But the Stadium of Fire blasted through 5,850 ticket sales a minute and in a better mind-gripping figure, that's 97.5 sales a second.
If you didn't get your tickets, eBay may be your only shot.
Minutes after they went on sale, ticket offers popped up at the auction site for about four to six times what they were originally bought for seconds earlier.
If you weren't one of the first 250 people in line, like Sheyla Buckley, you simply missed out.
Buckley's 10-year-old daughter, who will be dancing at the 4th of July show, eagerly waited for her mother to return with a handful of tickets singing Hannah Montana songs with her friend to pass the time.
"I'm going to have a lot of friends," said Mary Ann Watanabe, flashing her 25 tickets.
But at the back of the line there was a more somber mood. Frustrated folks several hundred back, who heard different rumors of the sell-out, grew uneasy with their chances and fired questions as ushers. Too hopeful to leave, many waited in the line at least an hour and half after tickets were gone.
Grandma Lynda Slater, 60, was one of those hopefuls. Instead of giving her 14 grandchildren different birthday gifts throughout the year, she made up "Admit One" coupons for each of her kids and grandkids for the Stadium of Fire. "This was going to be their birthday presents," she said standing in the very last of the line. "They're all really excited to go and I think I'll just cry if I can't get tickets. I don't' know how I'm going to break it to them."
Five of her grandchildren were there, playing on a nearby patch of grass and the youngest ones didn't understand.
"We've already got our tickets," said 5-year-old Hunter Powell, who apparently thought tht wishing was getting.
"This is going to be the best ever, said Powell cousin, 6-year-old Samantha Slater, also unaware that the birthday giftrs were in jeopardy.
Slater sneaked over with a handful of candy bars, perhaps as the beginning of a peace treaty to the little ones.
"The thing is," she said. "I'm probably not going to be here in another two years and this has always been my dream.
Slater has a rare life-threatening muscular disease called Dermatomyositis which costs $36,000 a month for 3-day long treatments at the University of Utah, paid for by her health insurance.
"And once my $2-million-dollar insurance money runs out in a year and a half," she said while still in line. "I'll pretty much just kinda die."
That was at 5:30. In a late-night follow-up call, Slater told the Deseret News she was elated to able to spend the her 4th of July with her family. "I'm the proud owner of 23 tickets," she said emotionally. Her son-in-law, who luckily landed in the line's first 250 bought the tickets."I can't tell you how excited I am for this," she said.
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E-mail: [email protected]