Patience is ticket for many as sales begin Ravens fans leave tents to gobble up 18,000 tickets

August 11, 1996|By Kevin Langbaum | Kevin Langbaum,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

By the time the Ravens game began in New York at 1 p.m. yesterday, the ticket-buying crowd at Memorial Stadium had virtually disappeared. But for about 3 1/2 hours yesterday morning, business at the ticket office was booming as individual game tickets for the regular season went on sale.

The Ravens sold 18,000 tickets yesterday, according to Roy Sommerhof, Ravens director of ticket operations, including all 6,000 that were available for the Sept. 1 opener against the Oakland Raiders and the Dec. 1 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"I think it went real well," Sommerhof said. "Very few people here got shut out."

At 8: 45 a.m. when the box office opened, the line for tickets extended from near Gate W2 toward the south end of the stadium, almost to 33rd Street.

Jeff, 21, and John, 25, students at Gettysburg College who wouldn't give their last names, were the first in line. They said they had been waiting since Wednesday at 4 p.m.

They each left with 20 tickets.

"I think I'm going home to go to sleep in my own bed," Jeff said.

"For a few days," John added.

Much of the crowd arrived Friday night and set up tents or chairs. Some brought food and drinks, others tossed a football or listened to the Orioles game.

Many of the early customers took advantage of the fact that there was no limit to the number of tickets fans could purchase.

Tim Edwards, 31, of Towson bought 317 tickets and said he has a large family and a lot of friends who will use them. "I'm not going to scalp one ticket," he said.

His strategy was not popular with the rest of the people in line, who booed Edwards when he left the ticket window after an hour.

"It's crazy to have people buying 317 tickets. There should be a cap," said Ed Delaha, 36, of Towson, who got in line at 4: 30 a.m. "I'm not mad at that guy. I'm mad at the policy."

Sommerhof said there are no plans to change the policy, partly because it allows for group sales.

"One guy bought 100 tickets for Loyola College," he said. "There will probably be a Loyola night at the stadium. That's a good thing."

About 30,000 tickets are still available for the six other home dates and can be purchased at Memorial Stadium or through Ticketmaster.

Pub Date: 8/11/96

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