Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A take on VANOC's fuzzy ticket tallies

At that May 20, post-board meeting news conference, VANOC deputy CEO Dave Cobb was asked point-blank and crystal-clear by CTV Olympics reporter Mike Killeen: "what kind of revenue do you generate from 150,000 tickets?"

Cobb answered: "It'll be probably in the $40 to $50 million range. When you quickly calculate what an average price that will be, you will see it has many higher priced tickets in there. That's because we do have a significant number of opening and closing ceremonies tickets and gold medal hockey tickets. So it's a wide range. If they all go it'll be in the $50 million range."

Mike used the $50 million figure that night. I used the $40 million to $50 million quote in a story the next day. Nobody at VANOC cared to call and correct or clarify. Now, almost a month later, Cobb is backtracking.

“I may have misspoke there, the number I referred to of $50 million was what the remaining inventory in total would be,” Cobb said June 16. “I'm correcting myself now, that number related to both phase two and phase three, the majority of it was in phase two.”

By the way, there are 60,000 tickets left for Canadians to buy in the second phase. Cobb said 140,000 of the 200,000 put on sale June 6 were snapped up. Lots remain for hockey and curling preliminaries and B.C. Place victory ceremonies. The third phase is coming in the fall.

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