Robert Edmison has been a ticketholder for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for years. Now, he’s going to help the IndyCar race sell tickets using his company’s ticketing software.

Long Beach-based Tix Inc. will start this week as the ticketing service of the race, replacing Ticketmaster USA.

“I’ve been a fan of theirs for years,” said Edmison, who is promising to beef up the ticketing service, including posting photos showing buyers the exact view from their seats.

The Long Beach race is one of the biggest sporting events to be handled by Tix. The company’s other sporting events include motocross and car races, as well as college basketball and football games.

The Long Beach race expects to sell about 175,000 tickets. It is the third race in the 2011 Izod IndyCars Series. It will be held April 15-17, with general admission tickets going on sale Oct. 12.

Tix was launched in 2001 as an online ticket seller and now counts thousands of smaller events as clients, selling millions of tickets annually. Tix does not compete directly with industry leader Ticketmaster, because it integrates its software on clients’ websites so event producers can offer tickets directly to the public. Tix also does not require venues or promoters to be locked into a contract, and boasts of charging lower ticket fees.

Locally, Tix provides services to the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival, the Long Beach Jazz Festival, zip-lining on Catalina, and several theaters in the greater L.A. area.

Corner Kick

World Cup officials deciding on which country should host the international soccer tournament in 2018 and 2022 visited the United States over Labor Day weekend. Los Angeles had three representatives greet the delegation.

The city was represented in New York by David Simon, president of the L.A. Sports Council; Darryl Dunn, Rose Bowl general manager; and Pat Lynch, Los Angeles Coliseum general manager.

Both the Rose Bowl and Coliseum are potential sites to host games if the United States is awarded one of the tournaments. A total of 12 cities would host games.

The delegation from FIFA, the Zurich, Switzerland-based soccer sanctioning body, is spending only 72 hours in each country bidding to host the tournament. The group met with the U.S. bid committee as well as representative from each of the 18 potential host cities.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg “hosted a reception, and we had a chance to see the people that we’ve established relationships with on the (U.S. bid) committee,” said Simon.

During the visit, each city had an opportunity to display and talk up its venues. The local delegation came armed with pictures of the Coliseum and the Rose Bowl, though Simon said they are already known internationally since they each hosted competitions at the 1984 Olympics and 1994 World Cup, respectively.

The winning World Cup bids for 2018 and 2022 will be announced Dec. 2. Other countries seeking to host the games include South Korea, Russia and several European countries. If selected, the U.S. bid committee will determine the host cities several years prior to the event.

Scoring Drive

Food truck mania has arrived at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Ragin Cajun was a big hit among food trucks at USC football’s first home game at the Coliseum this month. The truck was among five that signed deals to sell food at the renovated venue’s season opener.

Food trucks on Wilshire Boulevard have run into opposition from established brick-and-mortar restaurants, but that’s not the case at the Coliseum, which does all of its food service in-house rather than through a third party as at most stadiums.

“The beauty of our structure is we can basically do whatever we want to do with our food vending. It’s a good, profitable operation,” said Coliseum General Manager Pat Lynch.

During the past off-season, a wrought-iron fence was constructed around the stadium and some concourses were widened. That eliminated congestion points and allowed for an area to be set aside for the trucks.

Ragin Cajun is an offshoot of Ragin Cajun Cafe in Hermosa Beach. The truck was one of seven picked to be on the Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” featuring L.A. trucks on a nationwide trip. Lynch said it was easy to book the trucks, which included one that serves grilled cheese sandwiches and another that serves Vietnamese food.

“They all know each other. They social network big time,” he said. “We put out the offer, and we hope to have more come in the future.”

Staff reporter David Nusbaum can be reached at dnusbaum@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 236.

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