The front of the line at James Brown Arena may be more clearly marked after a Sugarland fan said he was “bullied and publicly berated” by staff the morning concert tickets went on sale.
“I have never (before) seen, nor experienced what happened to me on Friday, March 11,” said Jeff Morgan, who described himself as an avid concertgoer “very familiar” with the process of obtaining tickets, both online and at the box office.
Morgan said after getting in line before 6 a.m. to obtain good seats, he was approached by an angry mob that informed him they’d slept in their cars, that they were first in line, and that the line actually began somewhere else. Ordered by staff to go to the back of the other line or be arrested, Morgan said he submitted to police, who informed him he was on private property and had to comply, but did not arrest him.
After contacting a upper-level manager with Global Spectrum, the private firm contracted to manage city-owned James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium, as well as members of Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority, Morgan said he wanted only for the policy regarding line formation be stated and marked, that General Manager Monty Jones be reprimanded, and that Morgan receive four tickets to the sold-out Sugarland show.
Authority Chairman Cedric Johnson said during today’s coliseum board meeting that the line’s starting point will be marked, but that concerns about Jones were “a personnel issue, and that’s where it’s going to be.”
After Morgan left the meeting, however, Johnson said Morgan’s complaint was the only one he’d heard about Global Spectrum. Others on the board agreed. “If you’ve got a problem, at least it’s because you have too many people coming,” treasurer David Hogg said.
Despite numerous sold-out shows the facilities’ financial picture wasn’t all rosy, according to information presented by authority accountant Brenda Carroll. A year-to-date loss of just $162,000 appears less significant due to a recent infusion of hotel-motel tax revenues that, while a “windfall” now, won’t always be available, Carroll said.