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Refunds or food for bad seats

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Olympic ice hockey fans may see a $1 million refund due to a mistake by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

Mitt Romney, SLOC president, said Friday SLOC will offer full refunds or $10 food and beverage coupons for tickets to events at the Seven Peaks Arena in Provo. On a recent site tour, Romney discovered there were two 24-inch-wide columns obstructing the view of 1,230 seats on the west side of the rink. SLOC has sold tickets for 23,842 tickets for 24 games at Seven Peaks. If all of those spectators return tickets, it could cost SLOC $1.3 million.

For those who want to hang onto their tickets, upon entering Seven Peaks on the day of their event, they will receive a $10 coupon to purchase food or beverages. If no one returns their tickets, it will cost SLOC $238,420 in food coupons.

Romney is hoping for a happy medium of returns and coupons, which he puts at $600,000. Although SLOC stands to lose a lot of money, there wasn't any other way Romney said. "There is no option. When you make mistakes, you've got to correct them."

Romney, a self-described hockey fan, said the two hockey goals were not obstructed, but for almost all of the B seats, it will be impossible to see the play in the center of the arena clearly at some point.

B-seat tickets are roughly half the price of A-seat tickets. They range from $45 to $125 depending on the game. A-seat tickets range from $95 to $200. B-seat ticket holders have the option of sending their tickets to the SLOC Ticketing Customer Service Center at 299 S. Main, postmarked no later than Jan. 31. They also may present their tickets to the SLOC Ticketing Customer Service Center at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center at 138 W. Broadway, no later than Jan. 31. Refunds will be given either by Visa or by check, depending on the original method of payment.

Spectators can still purchase B-seat tickets and receive the $10 coupon at the door. A-tickets are also available for all the events but fairly limited, with some events having fewer than 100 tickets left.

E-mail: sgiles@desnews.com