For one Stillman Valley man, buying Toby Keith Ted Nugent tickets on the Internet was the easiest way to surprise his family with a night of county rock fun.
"It's just a lot more convenient with the cold weather and they just send them to your house, it's a lot more convenient," said Tom Kimball of Stillman Valley. “And by buying them online, Kimball is helping the Metro Center track ticket sales for the event, a system that went online this last year.
Corey Pearson, General Manager of the Metro Center, said, "The two types that are easiest to track are Internet and phone sales and we are able to capture a lot of data when we have Internet and phone sales."
For the Toby Keith Concert alone, the day of the concert there were around 4,200 online and telephone sales from 15 states.
"What we can do is see pockets because its sorted by zip code, so we can go in and map where they're coming from so we can see where they're going to spend our marketing dollars there," said Pearson.
While the Internet and telephone help track ticket sales, tickets bought the day of the concert need to be taken into consideration.
"I came here, downstairs to buy my tickets because they wanted $10 more to buy them on the Internet," said Jennifer Cox of Rockford.
The system does not track walk-up sales on the day of the event, but the majority of these purchases are probably local. Metro Centre employees are seeing an upswing in sales recently, and believe more people from outside regions are coming in for shows.
"I think there's better quality shows coming, we're hitting some of the niches again and I think people are feeling a little better about the economy,” said Pearson.
As more people attend events, promoters will continue to see Rockford as a viable place to send their shows. The Metro Centre will continue to develop ways to market to other regions as they determine which areas are developing an audience.