Games hire Center Stage ticket sellers

June 30, 1996|By Brian Byrnes | Brian Byrnes,SUN STAFF

Selling tickets is something Mary Conklin really enjoys. As box-office manager of Baltimore's Center Stage theater, Conklin uses her computer and sales skills every day.

Having the opportunity to use these skills and work at the Summer Olympics is something Conklin never expected to do. But thanks to the Prologue computer ticketing system, she and seven other employees of the Center Stage Box Office will be in Atlanta next month helping to sell more than 11 million tickets to both the sports events and the Cultural Olympiad, an international arts festival.

This happened because Center Stage was a pioneer user of ProTix, a branch of Prologue. The mid-Atlantic office of ProTix, based in Arlington, Va., is one of the first organizations in the region providing substantial competition for TicketMaster, which, until recently, had a monopoly on the ticket sales market.

After Prologue won the coveted contract to handle ticket sales for the Olympics, it wanted to get people who were familiar with its software to work in Atlanta. Prologue invited its users throughout the country to apply for full-time temporary positions at the Games.

'Eager to go'

The employees at Center Stage took note and quickly responded. "We filled the application out kind of like a pipe dream," Conklin says with a laugh, "but we were all very eager to go."

Ticket sellers were chosen through a series of telephone interviews, from among hundreds of applicants. Center Stage was one of the few venues from which more than one applicant was selected. Conklin attributes this to Center Stage's highly trained employees, who have been working with the Prologue software for more than two years. "We don't need training. Having people down there who know Prologue will make it so much easier."

Conklin will oversee ticket sales at the 5,000-seat Atlanta Civic Center, where a variety of Cultural Olympiad events will be staged.

Box-office assistant James Brown is already in Atlanta, traveling throughout the city in a mobile ticketing van.

Center Stage's director of ticket sales, Barbara Watson, will be the ticket manager at Morehouse College's 2,500-seat Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel, and office assistant Ted Frankenhauser FTC will work in the new 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium.

"I'm very excited," Conklin said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Pub Date: 6/30/96

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