GRIZZLIES DRIVE FOR FIVE; RAPTORS SALE CALLED A "STRUGGLE"
Grizzlies Owner Arthur Griffiths and Exec VP Stu Jackson
launched "The Drive For Five" -- "a ticket campaign they hope
will rescue the Grizzlies from their current shaky foundation."
In an unprecedented ticket offer, any season ticket holder not
satisfied with the product after the new team's first exhibition
game at GM Palace can get a full refund. Griffiths said they are
"so confident in the end product, that once they [fans] see it,
the last thing in the world they will be doing is turning the
tickets back." On display yesterday was the future home of the
team, where ticket buyers can actually see where they will be
sitting --"one big edge" the Grizzlies have over the Raptors. A
radio, TV and billboard ad blitz is planned, but has been delayed
due to a newspaper strike (Randy Starkman, TORONTO STAR, 11/10).
Griffiths said ticket sales so far have been "a little
frustrating." Both expansion teams need to have 12,500 season
tickets sold by the league-imposed Dec. 31 deadline (CP/OTTAWA
RAPTORS: In Toronto, Stephen Brunt focuses his column on
the Raptors' season-ticket sales effort. Brunt writes, "What was
purported to be a cakewalk has turned out to be a struggle. ...
Coming up with enough dough to pay for the team and pay for a
building is going to be a stretch." He says the early ticket
returns can "hardly be considered encouraging," and their recent
decision to make license fees behind the basket optional could
cost them about $11M. "That, from an organization that needs
every nickel it can get its hands on, would seem to be a
significant deviation from business as usual" (Toronto GLOBE &
MAIL, 11/10). Baton Broadcasting and CTV will carry most of the
Raptors games next season. Baton will carry up to 41 games and
the CTV deal will cover about 15 games, which includes the
Raptors and the Grizzlies (Rob Grant, TORONTO STAR, 11/10).