Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tickets Now, Kiel Reach a Deal

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tickets Now, Kiel Reach a Deal

Article excerpt

The great concert-ticket war of St. Louis has been averted.

Tickets Now and Kiel Center have signed a peace agreement calling for the St. Louis ticket agency to continue as the official ticket provider for the downtown arena for a minimum of three years, Kiel officials said Thursday.

Kiel Center Partners, the group of 20 St. Louis corporations owning and operating the sports arena, and Contemporary Productions Inc., the region's biggest producer of concerts and other events, had threatened last year to form their own ticket agency after they were outbid in their effort to buy Tickets Now.

Entrepreneur Stephen M. Coleman, a former portfolio manager at Prudential Securities Inc., bought Tickets Now in September from the city of St. Louis with the financial backing of the St. Louis city teachers pension fund.

Coleman's group paid $840,000 for the agency. Kiel and Contemporary had offered $310,000.

In the deal reached this week, Tickets Now and its more than 50 outlets around the region will continue to handle ticketing for the 180 events at Kiel each year - including St. Louis Blues hockey, St. Louis University basketball, concerts and other shows.

"I guess we managed to become friends after all," Coleman said.

Dialtix, which is owned by Contemporary Productions, will continue to handle telephone ticket orders for Kiel.

William P. Haviluk Jr., Kiel's new president and chief executive, said the arena's management came to the conclusion that it did not make sense to start its own ticket agency.

"I don't think our priority today is to have our own ticket system," said Haviluk, a former president of the Six Flags Over Mid-America amusement park who joined Kiel two weeks ago.

Former Kiel President Jud W. Perkins, who resigned in February to take a job with the National Basketball Association, had pushed the effort for Kiel to form its own ticket agency. …

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