Farm to Fork’s $175-Tower-Bridge-dinner tickets sell out in five minutes

Anyone who procrastinated more than a few minutes to buy tickets for the Sept. 28 gala dinner on the Tower Bridge is out of luck. All tickets for the $175-per-head dinner were gobbled up once they went on sale at 10 a.m. today.

According to the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, a primary organizer of the dinner that caps a two-week Farm-to-Fork celebration in September, 3,000 people logged on to at 10 a.m. to score tickets.

The dinner, which features an all-star cast of local chefs, is geared for 600 guests. Two hundred of those seats were claimed via a pre-sale on Friday for sponsors at a cost of $5,000 for a table of eight.

Proceeds from the Tower Bridge gala are used to fund a variety of activities during the Farm-to-Fork celebration, which runs from Sept. 13-28, including a free festival on Sept. 27 on Capitol Mall. The festival drew 25,000 in its 2013 debut.

Tickets for the inaugural Tower Bridge dinner in 2013 sold out in less than eight hours. Given the demand for seats, organizers mulled increasing the individual ticket price this year, but opted to increase the cost for sponsored tables.

In 2013, sponsored tables of eight cost $3,500 and were purchased by a variety of businesses including Jiffy Lube, McDonald’s and Merrill Lynch.

“We didn’t want to raise the ticket price in part to not get too far ahead of ourselves with the general public,” said Mike Testa, senior vice president of the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It’s not a cheap ticket, but still semi-affordable. There’s still many dinners in this region that cost more than $175. We said, ‘Let’s not get greedy on this thing.’”

The waiting list for the Tower Bridge dinner stands at 400 hopefuls. For more information:

Related stories from Sacramento Bee