Sunday, March 2, 2003

Reds ticket sale brisk


Fans scoop up seats for Indians, Yanks

By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Tickets for the first Cincinnati Reds season in the $280 million Great American Ball Park went on sale to the general public at 9 a.m. today. But Tim Schwartz, 24, of Mount Washington was already waiting at 5 p.m. Thursday.

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Karl Bolinger of Florence, first in line at the ballpark today, discusses seat location with Reds ticket seller Nick Brown.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
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Jonathan Troyer of the Reds Pepsi Rally Pack offers free coffee and hot chocolate to ticket buyer Walter Potrafke of Linwood.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
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Cameron Warman, 8 months old, gets an eyeful of Reds mascot Gapper as he and his family wait in line for tickets.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
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Available seats as of this morning
(Acrobat PDF, 150k)
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He spent the next 41 hours at the Reds Dugout Shop in Westin Hotel, downtown, anxious to nab good tickets for the March 28-29 exhibition games against the Cleveland Indians, the June 3-5 series versus the New York Yankees series and other games.

"The past few years, camping out has become almost as important to me as going to the game," he said. "It's all part of the ritual."

Today's tickets for the new season were available at 53 retail outlets, more than 100 phone lines (381-REDS or toll-free at 877-647-REDS), and 1,000 internet connections (www.cincinnatireds.com). However, die-hard fans weren't taking any chances.

First in line at the new stadium's ticket window was Karl Bolinger, 29, of Florence, who made himself at home in a tent on the sidewalk around 1 a.m. Friday.

"I tried calling and doing the Internet thing for Opening Day," he said, referring to last week's ticket sales, which were available on-line or by phone only. "That didn't work for me, so here I am."

About 300 other people braved the chilly morning to get first dibs on tickets. One was Mark Estes, 34, who got in line with some friends around 5 a.m. Saturday.

"I didn't bring much. No tent. No sleeping bag," he said. "Just a cell phone in case we can't get to the window quick enough."

Today's sale was for single game tickets. Season tickets and partial season tickets have already been sold, and tickets for Opening Day on March 31 sold out last Saturday within an hour.

The hottest seats today were for the series against the Yankees and the exhibitions against the Indians.

Also popular were the Pepsi bobblehead games: May 24 (Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall dual bobblehead) and July 19 (Austin Kearns bobblehead), both free to the first 20,000 fans at the stadium during those games.

A Pepsi Gapper bobblehead, which displays the Reds' new mascot, will go to the first 10,000 kids 14 and under on Aug. 1.

Did you have any trouble getting Reds tickets Saturday? Did the process go smoothly? E-mail dsewell@enquirer.com

mdowns@enquirer.com




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