While the quid pro quo rules apply when the donor expects to receive a benefit, they also apply when the donor actually does receive a benefit, regardless of expectation.
And, while you may not want people to assume that they will be getting tickets next year, the IRS may well take the position that by giving the tickets this year you have created just that expectation, and that may impact the deductibility of next year's gifts as well-even if you do not actually give away tickets next year!
My US$0.02 worth; the usual disclaimers apply.
Alan S. Hejnal
Data Quality Manager
Smithsonian Institution - Office of Advancement
600 Maryland Ave SW Ste 600E
PO Box 37012, MRC 527
Washington, DC 20013-7012
Voice: 202-633-8754 | Email: HejnalA@si.edu