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NEW ARENAS BRING NEW HEADACHES FOR TEAMS TRANSFERRING TIX
Published April 28, 1998
Opening new arenas "makes sports franchises giddy," but Alan Snel of the Fort Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL wrote that moving season-ticket holders into the new arenas "gives them headaches." In FL, the Heat and NHL Panthers face this "transition challenge" over the next 20 months. Last week, the Panthers sent seat assignments to 13,000 ticket holders, which were based on surveys returned by fans "who indicated what seats and price ranges they preferred." The Heat will invite fans to the arena to pick their seats "based on priority numbers they received when they opened their original accounts." At the NBA's recent marketing meeting in Charlotte, Heat Exec VP/Marketing & Sales Michael McCullough "heard tales from the other teams about how fans picked seats from seating diagrams only to find the seats didn't exist when the arenas opened because of tweaks in construction plans." The Panthers have hired VA-based Distributed System Architects, which will be paid out of the team's $50,000 relocation budget. The Heat is negotiating with CO-based ticket/relocation consultant Matthew Bortz, and has assigned the team's Customer Relations Manager Rod Segal "to focus on the fan move" (SUN-SENTINEL, 4/27).