The Game of Seating

In less than a month, we will have hundreds of tickets to The Venice Symphony either out in the mail or waiting here in the office (Sept. 12), for pick-up. While it would be nice, those tickets don’t magically appear out of nowhere. Patron manager Alison Posner-Solares (with help from Operations Manager Troy Messner), has been working several hours a day seating those of you who purchased season subscriptions and packages. “One thing that many of our patrons probably don’t realize is how complicated the seating process is,” said Alison. It’s serious business to The Symphony to make sure you get the absolute best seats available, but it plays out a bit like our favorite board games.

  1. Chess – Like Chess, seating is a game of strategy. If everyone came back season after season requesting the exact same seats, Alison would have a lot more time on her hands. Instead, seating is often a game of moving one patron here, resulting in moving someone else there. Special requests for accessible seating, additional tickets, an afternoon instead of an evening concert, etc., mean maneuvers that are worthy of Bobby Fischer.
  2. Trouble – When you try and make everyone happy, and boy, do we try, you sometimes get in Trouble. “I’d love to be able to please everyone. Or, at least come close!,” said Alison.  We think you’ll agree that she does.
  3. Sorry  – We wish there were enough aisle seats in the VPAC for everyone who wants one, and about five more front rows in the center balcony, but that would make for a pretty strange concert hall.  Since we don’t, it means a few phone calls that begin with “I’m sorry.” The good news is that every season, some of those seats become available, so keep asking.
  4. Connect Four – Sometimes, all the pieces line up just right. Moving one couple to their new preferred seats opens up the two extra seats we need to place four friends together. Bingo! (Hey, that’s another game). We call that a win/win.
  5. Beat the Clock – Tickets go on sale online to the public on September 1. We will have all of our season ticket and package holders in place by August 31. So, if you haven’t ordered your season subscription yet, you can Beat the Clock and call Alison by August 30!
  6. Mystery Date – Sitting next to someone new? Maybe it’s a sign that you’ll make beautiful music together.


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