Staff at Charlottetown’s Eastlink Centre are bracing for a busy day on Friday when tickets to Shania Twain go on sale to the public.
There were a limited number of tickets sold to sponsors on Thursday but sales to the public begin Friday at 10 a.m.
Dave McGrath, general manager of the Eastlink Centre, says they’ve taken steps to try and make sure the computer system doesn’t crash with the demand.
A major software and hardware upgrade has been made to the ticketing system this week, giving the Eastlink Centre more capacity to handle traffic and greater speed.
“The new software program is to make sure that the speed is there,’’ McGrath said.
Shania Twain will perform at the Charlottetown Event Grounds on Saturday, Aug. 30. The grounds are operated by the Eastlink Centre. Ticket sales will be capped at 28,000 based on the provincial fire marshal’s inspection of the site.
The new ticketing system that will be used Friday and going forward was given a test-run in Boston.
“It went very, very well. We’re working with the company and there has been some successes with it so we’re hoping for the same thing (Friday).’’
McGrath is asking those trying to buy tickets on Friday to be as patient as possible.
“The tough part is that initial spike at the start of the sale where could potentially have 20,000 . . . to 60,000 people trying to get on the system. We’re just asking people to be patient so they can work their way through.’’
The company that’s helping the Eastlink Centre upgrade for the Shania sale has had representatives in Charlottetown all week working on and monitoring the system.
McGrath also suggested people looking for tickets online set up an account in advance. Having mailing and billing information already in the system will speed things up on Friday.
McGrath said staff will be manning the phones on Friday and three ticket windows will be open for walkup sales.
“It will be interesting to see exactly what the walkup will be. Traditionally, walkup isn’t what it used to be in the old days. Now, with computers and technology, we figure the computer probably will be our No. 1 (area) where people are shopping. No. 2 will be phones and walkup will be three.’’
These are busy times for the arena. It’s just coming off the Jack Frost Festival, has been going back and forth between Island Storm playoff basketball games and the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders. It has the Shania sale and the P.E.I. Home Show getting underway Friday.
“We’re in the thick of it. It’s part of our business plan. We’ve been looking at different businesses and how to increase (traffic in the arena and trade centre). Now, with the event grounds, it’s certainly what it’s all about.’’