Rupp Arena, the Lexington Opera House and Lexington Center are getting new websites. But what might be more noteworthy is that to promote the new sites, parent company Lexington Center Corp. is holding a contest and giving away a year of tickets to every public event it hosts at the three venues including University of Kentucky mens basketball games.
The redesigned sites, all of which are keeping their same addresses, launched this week. On Friday, the contest started that will offer the winner a free pair of what the organization calls quality tickets lower-arena seats in the case of Rupp Arena to all public events held at each of the venues for a full year starting in April.
The redesigns of Rupparena.com, Lexingtonoperahouse.com and Lexingtoncenter.com were done over the past year by Carbonhouse, a North Carolina company specializing in venue websites. Among the companys clients is AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami.
New features on the Lexington Center sites include interactive calendars and social media options that allow users to post that theyre attending events on their various social networks. Each of the sites will also include mobile versions and offer YouTube integration for event pages.
If you like the old site, youre going to love the new site, said Lexington Center spokeswoman Sheila Kenny. We are going into a totally new dimension with these.
Carbonhouse did a wonderful job of giving each of the designs a distinct personality, but there is some consistency so it wont be like going to an entirely different kind of site.
Lexington Center President Bill Owen said the changes grew out of a realization that the venues should abandon in-house website development in favor of professional design that helps us respond to patrons, clients, customers and promoters in the most professional way we can.
The Rupp Arena site will soon add a feature that shows views from each of the arenas seating sections, Kenny said.
To promote the new sites, Lexington Center is running a Find Your Seat promotion through March 22 for people ages 18 and older.
The promotions prize is two tickets to each publicly ticketed event at the venues from April 1, 2013, to April 1, 2014. In the case of events that have multiple shows, such as a circus, its a pair of tickets to only one performance, Kenny said. The seat locations will also not be the same for each event.
The number of overall events will keep the winner busy. On average, Rupp Arena hosts 40 events annually with Lexington Center holding roughly 50 events and the Opera House having 40 to 50, Kenny said.
There are two ways to enter. Those visiting Lexington Center can take photos of themselves in one of the three seat platforms around the location and post them on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #FindYourSeat. The photos will be posted automatically on the venue websites.
You can also visit any of the redesigned websites and search for the seat icon hidden among the pages. Click on the icon to reach an entry form to fill out.
The winner will be announced April 2.
Scott Sloan: (859) 231-1447. Twitter: @HeraldLeaderBiz