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GRIZZLIES USE SOME MAGIC TO HELP DRIVE FOR FIVE
Published December 1, 1994
The Grizzlies brought Magic Johnson to Vancouver yesterday in an effort to boost the franchises season-ticket sales. "For three whirlwind hours, he pressed the flesh as part of the Grizzlies full-court press" to secure the franchise (Mike Beamish, VANCOUVER SUN, 12/1). Johnson sent a message to the city, saying "the team is like a new baby being born. Take it. Embrace it. Love it. Nurture it." Johnson urged the Vancouver press to "stress how important it is to get those 3,500 tickets": "Write nice things. We don't want this to fail" (Elliot Pap, VANCOUVER SUN, 12/1). HOW MANY MORE? It was a big day for the Grizzlies, who also announced their "magic number" to secure the team had been reduced to 3,580. The NBA is requiring the Grizzlies and Raptors to have sold 12,500 season-tickets by December 31 in order to preserve their franchises. Grizzlies VP/GM Stu Jackson said two companies, Wall Financial (100) and BC's Pontiac/Buick (300) had made significant purchases of season tickets "to make sure the Grizzlies are a reality on January 1." After Johnson's appearance, Uniglobe Travel announced they had purchased a block of 100 season-tickets for a total of 400 corporate sales in one day. Grizzlies Owner Arthur Griffiths was optimistic on reaching the NBA minimum: "I think we will get there. ... With the number of initiatives going, we'll get the job done" (Elliot Pap, VANCOUVER SUN, 12/1). One initiative the team is offering is a giveaway of five Pontiac cars in a contest open to all season ticket holders who pay their full 50% deposit before December 31. With just a month to go, the team needs to average just over 112 sales a day, including Sunday's and holidays, to reach 12,500 (Grizzlies).