While overall rodeo ticket sales trend upward, group ticket sales picture murky - Casper, WY Oil City News
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While overall rodeo ticket sales trend upward, group ticket sales picture murky

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Ticket sales to the College National Finals Rodeo are up 4.5% from the same time a year ago.

16,134 tickets had been sold as of Monday, June 10, according to Casper Events Center General Manager Brad Murphy, 586 more than the 15,583 that had been sold at the same point in 2018.

But the value of a group ticket sales position funded by the City of Casper, Natrona County, the Economic Development Joint Powers Board and Visit Casper is uncertain.

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“They did have some success,” Murphy said of the additional group ticket sales efforts. “Probably not to the level we’re hoping.”

Visit Casper contributed $10,000 to fund a group ticket sales position, and asked the three other entities to contribute $10,000 each as well, which they agreed to do, bringing the total contributions to $40,000.

The funding was intended to boost group ticket sales and bring more out of town visitors to the CNFR.

When Visit Casper sought this funding from the City of Casper, they pointed to the number of tickets sold in 2018, which was 24,750.

A memo from Visit Casper CEO Brook Kaufman said that there was a capacity to sell an additional 16,290 tickets, which the group ticket sales efforts could help accomplish.

Murphy said that the 2019 ticket sales numbers he shared did not explicitly show data for group ticket sales, but rather the overall sales through Tuesday.

Kaufman told Oil City on Friday that while she also didn’t have specific numbers on the amount of group ticket sales generated by their efforts, she acknowledged that the efforts hadn’t necessarily been a grand slam.

“The first year was a find your way year,” Kaufman said. “We had to figure out the process.”

Kaufman said that she’s still hopeful that the efforts to sell more group tickets will prove fruitful in the future once the “process behind how they approach group ticket sales” becomes more effectively implemented.

She added that the efforts are important, especially if Casper wants to keep the CNFR in town beyond 2022, the last year in the current contract.