Orioles' ticket drive starts off in high gear

December 08, 1992|By Mark Hyman | Mark Hyman,Staff Writer

It wasn't a sellout, or anything close.

But the Orioles did brisk business during their much-ballyhooed kickoff to 1993 ticket sales last weekend.

Team officials estimated that fans picked up just short of 100,000 tickets from Friday evening until the close of ticket windows late Sunday afternoon. The total exceeds the roughly 85,000 to 95,000 tickets that the team was selling per week when interest in Camden Yards was at a frenzied pitch last summer.

Despite heavy demand, seat inventories haven't exactly dried up. About 1.4 million tickets for next season still are on sale, said Orioles director of sales Vince Dunbar.

"Obviously, we're very pleased with the number we sold. It's a lot to sell in one weekend. But it also points out there are a lot of tickets left to choose from," Dunbar said.

Last weekend's figures reflect not only sales at the ballpark, beginning with Friday night's Moonlight Madness party, but also tickets picked up at area outlets and ordered by telephone.

Except for Opening Day -- those tickets will be awarded by

lottery -- none of next year's home games is a sellout yet. One apparently is getting close, though. Demand was heavy for tickets to the final game of next season, Oct. 3 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The team now will focus on deadlines for its season-ticket customers. The deadline for renewing season tickets is Friday. Fans who respond by then might receive their tickets in the mail before the holidays, Dunbar said.

First-time buyers also should know their fate soon. Those customers, who have been put on the waiting list, will be notified whether their orders will be filled by early February. The Orioles capped season-ticket sales last month at 27,500.

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