Elton John concert in jeopardy over ticket grab
Posted By Denis St. Pierre
The raging controversy over city council's self-awarded "perk" of scores of Elton John concert tickets is now jeopardizing the concert's fate, according to city officials.
The Star has learned that city officials fear the public uproar over the ticket fiasco is causing so much concern for the event promoter, the March 2 Elton John concert could be cancelled.
Furthermore, city management also fears the controversy will damage Sudbury's chances at securing major acts in the future, The Star has learned.
Thousands of Elton John fans came away empty-handed earlier this month when tickets available to the public sold out within 45 minutes. The city's website received one million hits during that brief period from would-be ticket buyers.
One week later, The Star reported city council had jumped the queue and given itself first crack at more than 100 tickets, which prompted a deluge of public protest and anger. While councillors took an average of eight tickets, the actual numbers ranged from as few as two tickets to a whopping 22 purchased by one councillor, sources have told The Star.
The public furore has continued virtually unabated over the last week as several city councillors refuse to disclose how many concert tickets they obtained, while the municipal administration steadfastly refuses to divulge precisely how many tickets were available to the public.
All city council members were contacted Friday with regard to the latest startling revelation uncovered by The Star - that the controversy may be jeopardizing the Elton John concert as well as other major events in the future.
In an e-mail message sent to the mayor and councillors, the politicians were asked if they shared the concern that the ticket controversy is jeopardizing the Elton John concert and future events.
They also were asked if the disconcerting news might compel them to disclose how many concert tickets they purchased and what they have done with those tickets.
As of press time Friday night, none of the councillors responded to The Star's invitation for comment. There was one response sent from the city, indicating Ward 8 Coun. Ted Callaghan is away and not available for comment.
To date, the following council members have disclosed how many tickets they purchased: Mayor John Rodriguez (10), Ward 4 Coun. Evelyn Dutrisac (13), Ward 7 Coun. Russ Thompson (eight), Ward 8 Coun. Ted Callaghan (eight), Ward 3 Coun. Claude Berthiaume (seven), Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann (three), Ward 6 Coun. Andr‚ Rivest (two).