Hot Ticket Sales Lead to Many Questions, Answers


With two more concerts going on sale soon and expected to sell out quickly—Ed Sheeran tomorrow and Kenny Chesney next Friday—the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center is offering information for fans who want to get seats.

There have been several shows that have sold out quickly since the PREMIER Center opened last fall, including Jason Aldean, Eric Church, and Luke Bryan. Cher also sold out, but was later cancelled.

“We’ve been getting a lot of questions from the public and media asking ‘why can’t I get tickets to a concert,’” says Terry Torkildson, General Manager of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.

“There are many interested buyers but obviously only so many seats to sell. That’s why these really popular concerts sell out right away.

Torkildson explains that if 10,000 tickets go on sale, and each person is allowed to buy up to four tickets—a limit that varies for each concert—it only takes 2,500 individual buyers to sell out a show.

“We’ve seen as many as 125,000 hits on Ticketmaster to buy tickets to a show,” Torkildson says. “That means only two percent of prospective buyers are successful.”

Torkildson says that presales, which are offered to a variety of groups depending on the concert, don’t take up as many ticket sales as people think.

“We work with promoters and artists to make sure the majority of tickets are still available for the public after the presale,” Torkildson says. “People who participate in presales such as members of an artist’s fan club, or the PREMIER Center’s email newsletter subscribers and Facebook followers, or some of the building’s sponsors, also have a hard time getting tickets during the presale and have to try to get tickets during the general onsale.”

The final decision on whether or not to have a presale, who can participate in it, and how many tickets will be made available, is ultimately up to the promoter and artist.

Torkildson also says no sponsor is guaranteed tickets to a show.

Another question that Torkildson is asked is why tickets are listed for sale on secondary, or resale, ticket web sites—such as Stub Hub and many others—before they go on sale to the general public.

“If tickets are listed before they go onsale purely on speculation,” Torkildson says. “They don’t exist at the time they’re posted. They’re just guessing how many they will obtain when people actually buy them legitimately and then turn around and sell them on one of these websites for a profit

“Just because Stub Hub lists 100 tickets for Luke Bryan doesn’t mean they have them available for sale before the public can buy them.”

So what can people do to increase their chances of buying tickets to Ed Sheeran, Kenny Chesney, and other upcoming concerts?

“Sign up for fan clubs and our “Front Row” e-newsletter to take advantage of presales,” he says. “Again, you’re not guaranteed to get tickets that way, but it gives you a presale opportunity for participating shows and if it doesn’t work you can still try to buy them during the regular onsale.”

“Come to the KELOLAND box office to try to purchase them in person, and while you’re in line be on your smart phone trying to buy them through Ticketmaster. That gives you two chances, and hopefully you’ll be successful one way or the other.”

Torkildson also says you can’t be picky as to where you sit.

“Take the best seat available that Ticketmaster offers you. If you decline those tickets, then they open up for someone else to buy, and you’re placed back into Ticketmaster’s que, and you might not get another chance.

“And if you’re at the box office, we don’t let you pick your seats. There are a lot of people standing in line behind you and we want to try to help all of them get tickets. Trying to pick your seats slows down the process too much.”

There are many other tips that are available on Ticketmaster’s website, as well as on, under the “Events & Tickets” tab.