Since tickets for the Dalai Lama’s visit sold out at a rate never before seen by Miami University, 300 additional tickets will be made available to the public Sept. 29.
According to Claire Wagner, associate director of university communications, no one was surprised the tickets sold out, but they were not anticipating the first sell would only go to the Miami community. Roughly 9,700 tickets have been sold.
“We had hoped from the start to be able to sell tickets to the Miami community and to the public,” Wagner said. “But those that were known to be available in our first sale all went to the Miami people, which is wonderful that that many people are so excited to go, but we had many disappointed people in the public after that.”
The university was able to gain access to more tickets due to the overwhelming interest in the event. The 300 tickets will be available to the public on a first come first serve basis starting at 10 a.m. Sept. 29.
“As with any event the university or any organization might put on, you hold back a few for your committee, you hold back some for guests you hope might come,” Wagner said. “So when we found that we needed to do a recount of what we had, what we had held and what we no longer needed to hold, we said, ‘Let’s make it available to the public and or anyone at Miami can buy them too,’ but it’s at the public price of $25.”
In order to keep track of remaining ticket sales, the university has decided to sell tickets over the phone and online. There will be approximately 250 tickets sold online at www.tickets.muohio.edu and 50 tickets will be sold over the phone (513-529-3200).
“We’re going to do phone sales and put 50 tickets and then put a number on it,” Wagner said. “So we’d have 50 tickets by phone, no walk-ups, and then the rest, the 250, online. It just helps the box office people so they don’t have to go back and forth checking online to see what is there. They know what they have.”
According to Wagner, the university is also offering alternative viewing options for people unable to purchase tickets. These viewing locations will be at the surrounding Miami campuses, including Hall Auditorium on the Oxford campus, Parrish Auditorium on Hamilton campus and Dave Finkelman Auditorium on the Middletown campus, as well as the Voice of America Learning Center in West Chester. Access to these viewing locations is free once free tickets are ordered through the Miami box office. Tickets for the alternative locations will become available Oct. 5.
“We still anticipate with the public sale that there will be people who will not be able to get tickets who want them,” Wagner said. “We can make this available even more easily if you’re regional or live on the other side of the county. You can just go to one of those campuses to experience it as a group.”
Junior Glynn Caudill said this is an event that should not be missed.
“I wanted to go because the Dalai Lama is important in world affairs, and as an ITS student, I think it’s important for myself and the Miami community to attend,” Caudill said. “This event is important. People should try and find tickets anyway they can.”
Senior Bethany Bateman would have liked to have the opportunity to listen to the Dalai Lama, but is unable to do so because she is studying abroad.
“I am in Argentina right now, but I would have loved to have been able to hear and see the Dalai Lama because I think it’s important to know the events of the world and hear from someone who has played such a crucial role in the international community,” Bateman said via Skype.
The event doors will open at noon Oct. 21 and the university strongly encourages participants to arrive as soon as possible because of security clearance. Organizers are also hoping to find a way to create a backpack check for students coming to the event after classes.
“It would be great if some student group who wasn’t going could organize a voluntary backpack check at Withrow or some place on the way,” Wagner said. “We really do want people to come early because they are going to have to go through security clearance.”