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RAPTORS SWIFT START TO SEASON TICKET DRIVE
Published October 24, 1994
Raptors officials announced Saturday that the season-ticket drive opened with "nearly 1,200" orders. The club says those orders "should conservatively amount to 2,700 to 3,000 seats." Raptors spokesperson Tom Mayenknecht said the details about the initial group of orders, such as number and price of sales and seat licensing fees, won't be available until next week. The first requests come from a list of 3,800 who bought packages for Toronto's world basketball championships last summer. 15,800 orders from a telephone hotline will be processed Friday. A complete tally will not be finished until the end of the month (Jim Byers, TORONTO STAR, 10/22). In a separate piece, Byers examines the trend toward seat-licensing and reports the Maple Leafs are considering a program similar to the Raptors'. Maple Leaf Gardens Marketing Dir Bill Cluff "said he sees licensing as something to help with one-time expenses, such as a new arena, and not as a scheme to meet day-to-day costs." The Raptors' Mayenknecht says licensing top seats allows the team to "hold our average ticket price to $38.56, which is 20th or 21st in the NBA." 50% of the seats will cost $25 or less and "that wouldn't be possible without the revenue from the licences." The program also gives fans "a tangible asset that can be sold at a later date, potentially for a profit." Panthers' Sales Dir Carl Youtsey, whose team pioneered the concept, calls seat-licensing "the wave of the future": "It's a way of paying for sports that's self-sustaining" (TORONTO STAR, 10/22). IHL INCLUSION: Sources in Toronto say a Raptors' application for an IHL franchise "could come as soon as today." It is unclear whether the frachise would play the '95-'96 season or wait until the Raptors' new arena is built (Damien Cox, TORONTO STAR, 10/24).