City workers moving in additional bleachers accommodating seating

 

Following an uptick of early-bird special and online ticket sales, Brownwood Sports Coordinator Roland Soto expects a ruckus Brownwood Coliseum when the Harlem Globetrotters come to town Thursday.

Soto reported ticket sales for Thursday’s Harlem Globetrotters game already surpassing the Globetrotters previous visit in 2013 and believes a surge of late of day-of purchases will make one of the largest crowds the Brownwood Coliseum has held in recent memory.

“I’ve been checking in with them each week and I’ve been told our online sales, combined with what we’ve sold here at the chamber, are a few hundred ahead of what we sold the last time the week before the event,” Soto said. “It was funny. They have all sorts of history on their ticket sales and they said with Brownwood you typically see a last-minute push. We will sell a lot the week of. It’s a really interesting process. They really know what they’re doing and have that side dialed in.”

Soto estimated ticket sales at 1,000 so far and forecasted an additional 500 tickets sold and city workers carted in additional bleachers Tuesday morning in anticipation of a large crowd. While optimistic of a sellout Soto said he feels satisfied with the success so far and attributed it to strategic marketing.

“We tried to offer them some assistance with their marketing, where to target and I think it’s really paid off,” Soto said. “There was way more advertising that was done this time than last time and that comes with my position and the money dedicated to marketing events like that. It’s really paid off and we’re already receiving a return on that.”

Soto said the city benefits in a variety of ways whether additional sales and hotel tax revenue from out-of-town attendees or area families taking in a local restaurant before or after the game. He said the event would not have been possible without city councilmen and members of the parks and recreation board and successful sales could lead to additional entertainment endeavors in the future.

“We want to make sure the event is set up for success. We don’t want someone to do an event that doesn’t get off the ground,” Soto said. “We try to put a lot of the initial planning and support into it to make sure they’re in a good spot. One of the things that is important to me is someone doesn’t host an event and lose money. That’s very demoralizing for an event and an event won’t come back.”

While generating revenue may lead to greater entertainment endeavors down the road, Soto feels that is only an ancillary benefit. His main focus has been bringing family friendly entertainment to Brown County.

“I’m geeking out a little bit. I’m a big Globetrotters fan, a big basketball fan. An event like this really transcends basketball is,” Soto said. “This is a great family event and, for me, these are the types of events I love to hang our hat on — family friendly, fun events people of all ages can enjoy … I’m really excited about it. A lot of planning and work has gone into it.”

To purchase tickets, visit www.harlemglobetrotters.com and tickets will be available at the gate.