SBD/March 28, 2014/Franchises

MLSE Execs Finalizing Playoff Ticket Plan With Raptors Closing In On A Spot

The Raptors sit in third place in the Eastern Conference with 11 games left and could clinch a playoff spot as soon as Friday, so team execs "have taken steps" to ensure that postseason tickets "will be made available to the public in an orderly fashion," according to Robert MacLeod of the GLOBE & MAIL. MLSE Chief Commercial Officer Dave Hopkinson insists that there "will be no repeat of the outcry that ensued last year," when thousands of Maple Leafs fans "were left frustrated in their efforts to try to order what was a limited number of the Leafs’ playoff tickets online." A computer glitch "prevented many from reaching the appropriate web site" needed to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster, "and by the time the mistake was identified all the available tickets had already been gobbled up." Hopkinson said that MLSE "has already had several 'extensive' meetings with Ticketmaster." He added, "We have a very, very, very, robust technology solution in place to ensure that a repeat of last year will not take place." MacLeod notes MLSE execs "can hardly contain themselves in anticipation of at least one of the tenants" at Air Canada Centre "preparing for some meaningful, not to mention cash-inducing, playoff action." Hopkinson: "Every business metric is up with the basketball team, every single thing we measure. ... My feeling is that this marketplace hasn’t quite woken up to the Raptors quite yet." The team "has averaged a healthy 18,087 for home games this season but has sold out only on seven occasions" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/28).
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