Need to clarify SPAC ticket price issues
In response to the letter by Bruce Dieffenbach in the Aug. 3 Gazette entitled: “SPAC pricing unfair for ballet, orchestra”: Thank you for sharing your concerns.
Firstly, SPAC is not a New York state facility. While we are fortunate to be set in the Spa State Park, we are a separate not-for-profit entity that relies on charitable donations and earned income (such as ticket revenue), which support our classical season and our education program (currently serving 50,000 students in the Capital Region).
While the demand-based ticketing system is new for SPAC, similar arts organizations across the country have had it in place for several years.
Historically, we have resisted raising prices, despite the fact that ticket sales account for less than 40% of the cost to present the ballet and orchestra.
Like stamps and gasoline, which have gone up approximately 250% over the past 30 years, SPAC’s costs have similarly increased.
In light of the recent surge in costs, it became necessary to look at ways to increase ticket revenue.
That said, access to world-class art remains at the core of our mission. We offer many affordable options, including the lawn pass, which costs less than $10 per performance and allows several upgrades to premium seats.
Kids ages 12 and under are free on the lawn for most of our performances; our Classical Kids program offers more than 12,000 students free lawn passes; and we partner with local organizations to provide free tickets, transportation and meals to families in underserved communities.
For those who make charitable donations and become members, there is a 15% discount on all tickets. Thank you.
The writer is president and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Lawns torn up to install Verizon lines
On July 26, I attended the Niskayuna Town Board meeting to voice my concern over how the Verizon fiber optic installation was tearing up private lawns in Avon Crest.
There had been no apparent resident input to this project and no announcement from the town as to where and when it would take place.
With no prompting from me, the three other residents who spoke on this subject agreed with my concern.
The supervisor responded by expressing pride in the project she initiated to upgrade the town’s communication infrastructure and by stating that the town had followed regulations regarding right of way over private property.
In other words, everything was legal, if lacking common sense and common courtesy.
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