Fans clog phones again--to get season tickets for next year

August 20, 1991|By Mark Hyman

For the second time this month, Baltimore Orioles fans dialed furiously and clogged phone lines yesterday as they tried to come up with baseball tickets.

But this time, they were buying for next season.

On the first day of sales for the 1992 season, the Orioles' first year in the new downtown ballpark, team officials said they were swamped with calls and took orders for about 150 season tickets.

"We've brought in 10 extra people, and the phones haven't stopped," said Orioles vice president for sales Lou Michaelson.

All of yesterday's ticket orders came from new customers. Their names were placed on lists for upper-box or reserved seats at the new ballpark, which will seat roughly 47,000. To hold their places on the priority list, they have to submit deposits ranging from $25 for a 13-game ticket plan to $300 for a seat in the posh club level, where ticket holders have access to a climate-controlled concourse.

Customers who order their tickets now probably won't receive their seat assignments until the Orioles have taken care of their roughly 15,000 current season-ticket customers, Michaelson said. Later this week, the Orioles will be sending letters to these regular customers asking them how many tickets they want and in which locations at the new ballpark.

The ticket crunch isn't the first for the Orioles. Earlier this month, customers camped overnight at the Memorial Stadium box office and jammed the phones for a few thousand tickets to the final Memorial Stadium home game on Oct. 6.

For the 1991 season, the Orioles sold a record 17,500 season and season-equivalent tickets, Michaelson said. Of that number, about 11,000 season tickets were full 81-game plans. The rest were partial ticket plans -- 13 and 29 games -- that add up to 81 games.

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