Jacksonville, Fla- In an effort to keep entertainment and its cultural offeringS affordable, the historic nonprofit Florida Theatre has left Ticketmaster. The Theatre has transitioned to TicketForce, an Arizona-based ticketing company.
The theatre has been quietly migrating away from its old ticketing contract since it expired in August 2016. The final Ticketmaster show was George Thorogood on May 21.
“The process would have been completed sooner,” said Florida Theatre President Numa Saisselin, “but George Thorogood was rescheduled last fall because of Hurricane Matthew.”
According to the concert industry magazine Pollstar, the Florida Theatre is ranked as one of the Top 100 most attended theatre venues in the country. Saisselin said, “Our annual attendance has increased significantly over the last four years. It was important to us that we offer our customers the kind of experience we would hope to be offered ourselves. In a word, ‘welcoming.’ That means paying reasonable online fees, having an option to pay no fees and being able to interact with a live person right here at the theatre.”
Customers in the habit of buying their tickets in person or over the phone from the Florida Theatre box office may continue to do so with no additional fees. Customers can purchase tickets directly from the Florida Theatre at 128 E. Forsyth Street or by calling the box office at 904-355-ARTS. For an additional fee, customers have the option of purchasing tickets from the theatre’s official web site floridtheatre.com.
Customers who purchase tickets online, from any site other than, floridatheatre.com are buying from a ticket scalper and paying an extra fee that does not benefit the theatre or the performer and are risking buying fraudulent tickets.
“Joining the TicketForce system gives us complete control of our own ticketing database, which helps us to market shows more effectively, “ said Saisselin. “ It also allows us to retain control of the ticket fees that customers pay. We have been able to reduce the average customer fee by at least $4.00 per ticket.”
The Florida Theatre Performing Arts Center, Inc. is the nonprofit corporation that has managed and programmed the historic Florida Theatre in downtown Jacksonville since 1988, in a public/private partnership with the City of Jacksonville, which owns the building. The nonprofit corporation earns 65% of its annual revenue from ticket sales, 20% from other business activities and 15% from fundraising. More than 1,600 Friends of the Florida Theatre make an annual tax deductible contribution to the nonprofit theatre.
Saisselin continued, “With the move to TicketForce, the Theatre will be earning new revenue of about $250k per year. When the theatre is profitable, the revenue stays within the company to be reinvested in the building and programming. We are not owned or operated by an out-oftown conglomerate. Our profits are not sent somewhere else. When the Florida Theatre is successful, the people of Jacksonville benefit.”
The Florida Theatre’s 2017 season is sponsored by Community First Credit Union. For a complete list of upcoming season events, visit floridatheatre.com.
Florida Theatre: From ballet and opera to contemporary pop, jazz, rock, country and blues the nonprofit Florida Theatre offers 200 cultural and entertainment events annually for every taste and age. More than just an entertainment center, The Florida Theatre is also home to graduations, awards ceremonies, lectures, business meetings and charity events that support the community’s schools, churches, hospitals and civic groups. As an anchor to downtown development along the beautiful St. Johns River, The Florida Theatre draws 250,000 people to Jacksonville’s center each year. The magnificently restored Florida Theatre is recognized as one of the finest concert venues in the Southeast. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Florida Theatre holds special memories for four generations. From the Vaudeville acts and silent films of its earliest days to today’s blend of performances of all kinds, The Florida Theatre has served as Jacksonville’s premier entertainment center since 1927.