Motivational seminar generates complaints of overcrowding

February 8, 2010 4:04:35 PM PST
Thousands of people descended on the Toyota Center Monday morning for a motivational seminar featuring Colin Powell and Sarah Palin. The promoters were promising a once in a lifetime event but some ticket holders didn't get to experience it. It was billed as a motivational seminar with a star-studded lineup. But for dozens of people, the only motivation they got was to get out of line.

"Well, you're supposed to be here to get motivated," said ticket holder Debbie Fortner. "I'm motivated to go have Mexican food."

The problems, participants say, started with the traffic. As thousands crammed the streets into the Toyota Center, it wasn't long before the lines outside the venue grew, causing the fire marshal to temporarily shut the doors.

"I showed them my prepaid ticket," recalled Kathy Boyd. "They said it didn't matter. You can't get in."

Live lectures took place at both the Toyota Center and Grace Community Church. Two other locations, Reliant Park and Verizon Theater broadcast the seminars on TV. However, participants reported similar problems there.

Participated Faron Daigle said, "We tried to get in at the Grace Church over on 45 south and traffic was backed up a good mile there."

The CEO of Get Motivated Seminars denies tickets were oversold. He says, in fact, that 3,000 tickets never got used.

"The reality is, bottom-line there were seats available for everyone," said CEO Peter Lowe.

Lowe is, however, offering anyone who feels they didn't get the seminar they wanted a refund. Unfortunately for some folks, they didn't wait around to get the news.

"Forget it, let's go eat," said Fortner. "Thank you. We give up, we're gone."

Organizers tell us that if you are interested in getting a refund, contact the company where you bought the tickets, and they will be the ones to help you out.