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20% of Stadium of Fire tickets unsold

Officials hope ticket sales pick up for Provo show

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PROVO — Tickets for this year's Stadium of Fire are not a hot commodity — so far.

Less than a week before the flagship event of America's Freedom Festival at Provo, there are still an estimated 8,100 unsold tickets — that's 20 percent of the 40,000 available.

But representatives at Brigham Young University's ticket office said ticket sales for the event started to pick up this week. The Sawyer Brown concert and fireworks show will be at BYU's LaVell Edwards Stadium.

For the past few years, there have been a number of seats that have gone unfilled, according to the ticket office.

Ren Allred, executive director of America's Freedom Festival at Provo, said it is usually the last two weeks leading up to the show that they sell the most tickets. He said they've been averaging about 1,000 tickets a day since the beginning of the week.

Allred said the challenge is to plan something that everyone can enjoy and keep it cost-effective. They have to want to come back the next year, he said.

This is an event most people plan around, they take their families and usually wait until the last week to get the tickets, he said.

With the slowing economy and the 2002 Winter Olympics in six months, Allred said planners expected a little slouch in sales.

"It's just fickle," said Linda Walton, festival spokeswoman. "The tickets sell when they want to sell."

Walton said the week after a promotional magazine came out, 10,000 tickets sold. She said she never really knows how many will sell or when. But she agreed with Allred that the last two weeks are when tickets sell the fastest.

Many who go to the Stadium of Fire wait until the last minute to make Independence Day plans with their families.

The last-minute sales always strain the nerves a little, she said.

Besides money from sponsors, the Stadium of Fire is the biggest money draw of America's Freedom Festival at Provo.

It's the only pay-to-enter event, and, as a result, brings in a lot of revenue for the festival. When tickets don't sell, people get anxious.

Provo resident Nate Steed said he's not planning to go to the Stadium of Fire this year. "I decided it would just be more fun to do my own thing with my family," he said.

Tickets for the event can be purchased through Smith'sTix or at the BYU Marriott Center Ticket Office. The price of a ticket ranges from $12 to $25.

E-MAIL: rrogers@desnews.com