SBD/March 21, 2011/Franchises

Twins' First Day Of Single-Game Ticket Sales Plagued By Server Problems

Despite issues, tickets were selling at a pace about 20,000 ahead of last year
Hundreds of Twins fans were "left empty-handed and infuriated Saturday after a server problem snarled online ticket purchases for what team officials insisted were a 'relatively small' number on the first day of single-game ticket sales," according to Abby Simons of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Fans "deluged the site for tickets in unprecedented numbers, then stormed Twitter and Facebook to vent about waiting for hours to purchase tickets, only to be greeted by a 'white screen of death' when they reached the front of the virtual line." Server glitches and "repairs on the ticket-ordering website appeared to kick customers out of their place in line starting at noon." Team officials initially said that "those greeted by a white screen had not lost their place." But at 4:00pm CT, Twins Exec Dir of Public Affairs Kevin Smith indicated that that was "no longer the case and that fans running into the glitch would have to start over again." Smith estimated that "only a few hundred users encountered the problem, one he said that originated with the Twins' online ticketing partner, Tickets.com." Smith said that despite the problem, tickets "were still selling at a pace about 20,000 ahead of last year," demand "not seen since the 1987 World Series." More than 100,000 tickets were sold during last week's presale to season-ticket holders. Smith said, "This is not a sky-is-falling scenario" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/20). Smith said ticket sales yesterday went "smooth as silk." He noted that it remains unclear "whether the demand contributed to the computer problems" on Saturday. But Smith said that yesterday, "waits were short or nonexistent" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/21).

NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP: In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman notes the Twins are "not only the hottest ticket in this area but also in all of major league baseball." They drew more than 3 million fans last year in the first season at Target Field, and Twins President Dave St. Peter said that the club "could exceed that total after selling just shy of 250,000 of the 500,000 tickets available for the entire season since Friday." St. Peter said that "there are still plenty of tickets available for a lot of games, particularly in April, May and September, and that the team is not sold out for the season." He added that "for the most part, Opening Day on April 8 against Oakland is sold out, but like last year, as game days approach some additional tickets will be released." St. Peter: "We will have a release in the next couple of weeks about the plan for standing room in 2011. Those seats have not been put out in the system yet" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/21).
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