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Civic Center first to offer speedy ticketFast option


If you’ve ever stood in line to purchase tickets in person, worn out the speed-dial button on your cell phone calling the box office or queued up at the will-call window after having reserved your tickets online, you know how frustrating it can be to secure seats for a major concert or play. But an up-to-the-minute technology might relieve those headaches for performances at one Des Moines venue.

The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines announced last week it is the first local business to welcome Ticketmaster’s ticketFast technology, which allows patrons to purchase and print tickets from their home computers. Civic Center officials say the decision to incorporate the technology is based on its experimental success during the venue’s production of “Triple Espresso” at the Temple for Performing Arts.

“Its biggest feature is saving time,” said Marvin Mason, box office manager at the Civic Center. “Now there’s no more waiting.”

Officials say the buying procedure is the same as for any other online or phone purchase, except that ticktFast is selected as the delivery option. The tickets, each of which has a unique bar code, will be e-mailed to customers in a PDF file. Once a ticket is printed, it is treated as a regular ticket. However, the entire page must be presented upon admission so the bar code can be scanned by ushers with hand-held scanners. The computerized admission system will only admit one copy of the ticket.

To date, Mason said, 31 customers have used the new service to purchase tickets to the Civic Center’s Broadway production of “42nd Street.” The technology will be in effect for several upcoming shows, including a concert by pop-rock singer Cheryl Crow, who performs at the Civic Center July 16. Tickets for that show will be available to the public May 30.

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