By Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Live event fans in North Carolina will soon have 58 new Ticketmaster locations to purchase tickets to their favorite live music and sporting events at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, the Winston-Salem Entertainment-Sports Complex and other venues.

Ticketmaster and Lowes Foods have teamed up to open 58 Ticketmaster retail ticket center locations in Lowes Foods supermarkets throughout the state. To kick things off, 15 Triad area Lowes Foods Ticketmaster locations are scheduled to open and begin selling tickets on Dec. 15 with the remaining locations to follow early 2008. Contractual terms were not disclosed. This is not Ticketmaster’s first food store arrangement. It previously had ticket centers in Kroger food stores.

“Tickets sold at retail ticket centers do not incur an order processing fee, which covers the cost to fulfill a ticket request purchased online or by phone,” Ticketmaster spokesperson Bonnie Poindexter told TicketNews. “Many consumers prefer to purchase tickets in person and Ticketmaster provides a broad network of retail locations to serve those fans. It’s all about providing fans with choices.”

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Ticketmaster rival Live Nation understands the importance of convenience and serving the fan. Just last week it took a page out of Ticketmaster’s playbook by announcing it was going to sell general admission lawn tickets at 263 Costco price club stores nationwide.

“Through our agreement with Lowes Foods, fans of sports, music and other live entertainment will be better served by a greater number of retail locations for purchasing tickets,” Sandy Gaare, Sr. VP of Ticket Centers for Ticketmaster, said in a statement. “Ticket Centers in Lowes Foods stores throughout the Triad and the state of North Carolina will offer consumers convenient access to purchase tickets to the events they want to attend.”