Ravens vow to correct seating flaws Processing problem split up some groups

July 12, 1996|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

Having heard the hue and cry from disgruntled fans, the Ravens yesterday resolved to correct a flaw in the assignment of season tickets for Memorial Stadium.

Kevin Byrne, vice president in charge of public relations, said the team had identified a processing problem that inadvertently split up small groups of season-ticket holders, and would relocate those people in their preferred groups.

He said some 500 accounts, and 2,000 people, were affected by the computer error. Since a June 12 deadline for first priority seats, the Ravens have handled 18,000 accounts for 54,000 season-ticket holders.

"It's an unprecedented situation," Byrne said. "To process 54,000 tickets in such a short time is difficult. If we messed up 500 of 18,000 . . . it shouldn't have happened, but I can understand it."

Byrne said season-ticket holders who had been separated from a group should fax a letter to the team at (410) 547-8120. He said those fans would be relocated with their groups, and would receive confirmation of new seats by the end of next week.

Meanwhile, Roy Sommerhof, director of ticket operations, already was responding to the dizzying wave of complaints. He began calling ticket holders Wednesday.

Thomas Marr, son of former Baltimore radio personality Tom Marr, and Michael McGinnity were among those he called.

"We were shocked he actually took time to call us and apologize," Marr said. "For us to get a phone call and apology from the director of ticket operations is phenomenal in this day and age."

As for those fans dissatisfied with seat location, Sommerhof encouraged them to attend a July 27 practice at Memorial Stadium, where they could judge sight lines.

John Moag, chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, said the ticket flap was inevitable.

"It's a fairly predictable chaos," Moag said. "It's impossible to make everybody happy. I think it's impossible to make half the people happy. There just aren't enough good seats at Memorial Stadium."

The club, meanwhile, announced dates for single-game sales. The team said 6,000 individual game tickets for both home preseason games will go on sale Saturday, July 20. Tickets can be purchased at the stadium beginning at 9 a.m., at all Ticketmaster outlets and by phone. Ticketmaster phones are (800) 551-SEAT, (410) 481-SEAT in Baltimore and (202) 432-SEAT in Washington.

The Ravens mark their 1996 home debut in an Aug. 3 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, and play the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 17. There are no limits on the number of tickets a customer can purchase for either game.

TTC Single game tickets for each of the eight regular-season games go on sale Saturday, Aug. 10, at the stadium and through Ticketmaster. There will be 6,000 tickets available for each of those games as well. An unlimited number of tickets can be purchased for up to four games.

Pub Date: 7/12/96

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