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RAPTORS HOLD OPEN HOUSE AT SKYDOME FOR SKEPTICAL FANS
Published December 7, 1994
Close to 4,300 fans passed through the SkyDome yesterday to view the facility's configuration for the Raptors. "Roughly 400 even bought tickets as the Raptors entered their stretch drive of their season-ticket campaign," needing approximately 4,100 to reach the NBA-mandated goal of 12,500. During the day, Raptors President John Bitove was candid in his remarks on the franchise and the inaugural ticket drive. Bitove: "Mistakes were made. If we've been surprised about anything, it is that we've had trouble selling our lower-end seats." That trouble has led the Raptors to eliminate mandatory licensing fees on many seats, to launch $1M multi-media ad campaign featuring GM Isiah Thomas that required "special board of directors approval," and to assume a "contrite, almost apologetic, tone that contrasted with the club's earlier confidence with meeting that quota" (Chris Young, TORONTO STAR, 12/7). "Reaching the NBA quota is going to be like pulling teeth," writes Jim Proudfoot in this morning's TORONTO STAR. The "response to basketball (in Toronto) has been spectacularly lukewarm. There's an eager market for NBA sweatshirts and NBA shoes, but for NBA tickets? Nope" (TORONTO STAR, 12/7).