Ticket Sales....

Angry Pope

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For what it is worth....

Ticket game plan in place

Team reps even hitting fair circuit to improve sales


By PHIL BARBER


They are fast becoming fixtures of the Northern California outdoor-fair circuit. Right alongside the driftwood artists and the tie-dye T-shirts and the homemade preserves, there are the Oakland Raiders, hawking tickets to their 2006 games.

"In addition to phone calls in and out, and Internet in and out, we are hitting the pavement with what could best be described as a grass-roots campaign," said senior executive Amy Trask, Al Davis' right-hand woman on all business matters.

Ticket representatives, Raiderettes and sometimes even former players have set up shop at the Asparagus Festival in Stockton, the Apricot Fiesta in Patterson, Carnaval in San Francisco, the San Ramon Art and Wind Festival, the Walnut Creek Art and Wine Festival and myriad of other events. The team stuffed goody bags for Bay to Breakers runners, and will hit county fairs this summer. Trask has done everything but ride a recumbent bicycle flying a giant Raiders flag on Earth Day to fill McAfee Coliseum this fall.

The question: Is it doing any good?

It's another of the Raiders' closely guarded secrets. Trask would say only that season ticket sales "will be in excess of" last year's figure. That number is believed to be about 29,000, a huge contrast with Oakland's three division rivals. The Broncos sold 73,846 season tickets in 2005, the Chargers about 51,000, and the Chiefs hit their self-imposed cap of 72,000.

You can see why the Raiders have sold out only 33 percent of their games since returning from Los Angeles in 1995 and why the team faces such a daunting challenge filling seats this year.

Apparently, the Raiders are doing quite well selling their field-level seats. According to one of the two-dozen people who work in the Raiders' ticket office, the $960 seats between the 40-yard lines and the $610 seats in the Black Hole (south end zone) have sold out, the $860 and $760 seats are nearly gone and the $610 north end zone seats offer limited availability. As for the posh club seats, the Westside Club is sold out, while the Eastside Club has a few spots for sale.

Second- and third-deck seats between the 40s also are hard to come by at this point, but many seats remain in the second-deck end zones and in the towering embankment known as Mount Davis. In the latter, season tickets can be had for $260, one of the lowest prices in the NFL.

Fans looking for tickets to individual games will have to wait to purchase through the team (or on eBay, where even three sets of season tickets were on sale Wednesday). "Our emphasis is on season tickets," Trask said. "At some point we'll put individual tickets on sale. As of now, we have no date in mind."

This is the Raiders' first year selling their own tickets since the relocation in 1995. Over the past 11 years, that job was filled by an intermediary group known as the Oakland Football Marketing Association (OFMA), which was dismantled along with the unpopular personal seat licenses (PSLs) in November.

In assuming command of their own sales, the Raiders must clear a couple of huge obstacles. One is the poor on-field performance of the team since its Super Bowl run in 2002. Oakland has a cumulative record of 13-35 - tied with the 49ers for worst in the league - during the past three years, including a dismal 4-12 mark in 2005. New coach Art Shell is a respected figure in Raider Nation, but he might not generate ticket sales.

The other hurdle is the ill will generated by ticket snafus over the past 11 years. Fans grew to hate the PSLs, which often resulted in wildly different fees paid by people in adjacent seats, and to resent the OFMA, which was viewed as inept.

To their credit, the Raiders seem to be trying sincerely to win back those hearts and minds. In the spring, they contacted every former PSL holder (mostly by phone or e-mail) who had declined to buy new seats, asking them to reconsider. And on May 24 they announced a sweeping prize giveaway for season-ticket owners, a drawing that includes everything from Super Bowl tickets and VIP pregame field passes to a guest appearance on "Raiders Report" and an opportunity to judge Raiderette tryouts.

Every season-ticket holder has been assigned a service representative and is furnished with that person's direct phone extension. During games, each service rep will be assigned two sections of the stadium; they will wander and mingle in attempt to ensure satisfaction.

That's a far cry from the OFMA days, and should gradually boost sales. In the meantime, no one wants to spend even $260 to watch a losing football team for a season. The performance of Aaron Brooks and Randy Moss ultimately might sell more seats than the fawning attention of the Raiders' service staff.
 
More ticket info from the Raiders

Here is the lastest blurb from the Raiders about individual game tickets. :mad:

I see no difference in the way it's being handled now than how it was handled at OFMA. And I bet dollars to donuts they will not sell the tickets I want even though the seats are not sold.

Stubhub.com, here I come. :sigh:

bastards.
 
well, phil with new system it does take time to adjust. btw, i did buy raiders tx for niners raiders preseason tix
 
Same shit, different day!

Okay it's now official. The Raiders taking over the sale of tickets is no better than OFMA. (and I knew it woulnd't be)

Here is the scoop...

I signed up a while ago to be notified in advance of the general public when single game tickets went on sale. That email came today. (The single game tickets will go on sale to the general public on August 2)

I immediately clicked the link which turns out was simply the Ticketmaster site...they did give me a promotional code to enter. So I entered the code and selected $96 tickets for the Cleveland game. Result? "No tickets available". I then tried the $86 seats and then the $136 or something like that. Same result.

Then I put in "best available" and got Section 135, Row 42. That was the best I could get. No second level Club seats available. These first level corner of the end zone seats are the only seats they were willing to sell. (Note: They''re not bad but not what I wanted since I know there are thousands of Club seats unsold)

I called the Raiders ticket office and talked to some lady and asked her why I couldn’t buy Club seats – which BTW are aroujnd $80-$85 (Lat year we paid like $76 for them). Unbelievably her answer was that the Club patrons didn't want the Raiders to sell those seats to "just anybody"... WHAT? I kept asking her about sellouts and finally she said that the West Side Club was completely sold out. Now I know that is complete bullshit. The Raiders (OFMA) have always held back tickets in the second deck (Club Seats)…their old reason was because they were holding those for season ticket sales. News flash people…you’re not going to sell anymore season tickets. So why the crap? Sell the tickets to anybody who has the money to pay for them. Doesn’t that make good business sense?

I said to her ``so there isn't any difference with the way you're selling tickets than the way OFMA operated. That’s pretty disappointing". She really didn’t say anything.

So ladies and gents that's the story. Same story different year. Pisses me off.

So I bought the fucking tickets in section 135 (which is part of the problem – I should have told her to get fucked). The Raiders deserve to have 20,000 empty seats for every game. They have no clue how to market their team.

The most frustrating experience you will ever have is trying to buy a ticket to a Raiders game even when you know full well there are 20,000 unsold tickets. Oh sure I could have called my contact who I deal with for the Luxury Suites but hell I’m just sick of the dance. I’ll go to this one game and call it a day. Next year…? For-fucking–get-it.

Disgusting. :mad:
 
Phil, Phil, Phil, thank you, thank you and thank you. Look forward to seeing you, Able and Rupert. I finally have the football drug flowing through my viens.

RAAAAIIIIIIDDDDEERRRRRSSSSS
 
Raiders trying to grow crowds

Jim Jenkins
Published 12:01 am PDT Sunday, July 30, 2006




If the Raiders, in charge of their ticket sales for the first time since their return from Los Angeles 12 years ago, experience another string of attendance shortfalls in Oakland this season, it won't be because they haven't tried to turn things around.

Standing on the sideline at the team's Napa training camp last week, Amy Trask, the Raiders' chief executive officer, was reluctant to provide specifics but said, "We are definitely ahead of last year's season ticket sales (a total estimated at 29,000 in a 63,000-seat stadium). I could give out our new number, but I'd rather set aside a day to make an announcement on our progress than give out day-to-day updates. I'm happy about what we have been able to do so far, but there is still a lot of work to do."


Suffice to say, a full house at the Coliseum, or something very close to it, would be a welcome sight for the Raiders in their season opener Sept. 11. The occasion is a Monday night game against division rival San Diego and a chance to make a good impression in front of a national-television audience.
In their effort to attract larger crowds, a rarity since their return, the Raiders had representatives out hawking tickets at several sporting and non-sporting functions in and out of the Bay Area during the offseason.

That is in sharp contrast to the box office situation that existed when the Raiders' ticket operation was in the hands of the Oakland Football Marketing Association, an agency monitored by city and county officials. Legal battles ensued over its operation, resulting in a bitter court fight, with the Raiders contending they were lured to leave Los Angeles by what they alleged became empty promises of sellout crowds in Oakland.

Late last fall, after the Raiders were awarded $34.2 million in a 2003 suit, both sides agreed to begin patching up their differences. The truce included junking the OFMA and a personal seat licensing plan, the surcharge prerequisite to buy season tickets.

In the interim, the Raiders have restructured prices and assembled what they believe is a customer-friendly staff to take calls from potential customers, an improvement over the undermanned OFMA and slow response times to questions.

Of course, the biggest selling point of all has to be the quality of the team, which has been bad for too many years and one reason only about a third of the Raiders' games have been sold out since 1995, their first year back in the East Bay after 13 seasons in Los Angeles.

To restore the franchise's successful tradition is the tall order facing Art Shell, who had a winning overall record as the Raiders' last head coach in Los Angeles and now is returning for a second tour of duty in the city where the franchise was born and where Shell launched a Hall of Fame playing career.

As Trask will acknowledge, this is an organization with a lot of catching up to do with the rest of the NFL, on and off the field.


No Al yet

He ran the Raiders' draft in April but has pretty much been an absentee at the minicamps that followed, and so far owner Al Davis has yet to appear during the first week of formal training camp under Shell.

Team aides, however, said Davis, at age 77, is nevertheless maintaining a busy schedule and probably will begin showing up in Napa after the team's festive excursion to Canton, Ohio, this weekend.

There, near the entrance to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Davis will give the introductory speech for the induction of former Raiders coach John Madden. That will be Saturday. The next day, the Raiders will play Philadelphia in the NFL's exhibition opener, with Madden in the announcing booth, rejoining former Monday Night Football partner Al Michaels in the debut of Sunday night games on NBC.

In recent days, Davis has been at a league meeting in Detroit as a key committee member in the selection of a new NFL commissioner to succeed retiring Paul Tagliabue.

Meanwhile, John Herrera, Oakland's travel and camp coordinator, said there will be "a huge" Raiders presence in Canton. "I know our planes will be full of current and former coaches and players and employees," said Herrera, "but that doesn't include the many, many more people from the Raider Nation who plan to be there for the weekend."


Location, location

As the 49ers begin their fourth year of holding training camp at their regular Santa Clara practice complex, be reminded they have never had a Super Bowl season that didn't begin with sun-sizzling camps in Rocklin.

Their run of five league titles started with their first year at Sierra College in 1981.

The arrangement, however, ended following the summer of 1997 when the school asked the 49ers for financial help to upgrade campus facilities, including dormitories where the players were housed.

Team administrators at the time refused, pointing out the trend in the NFL had changed, whereby teams were getting sweetheart deals to locate at camp sites.

That led to the move to the University of the Pacific in Stockton, but the 49ers eventually expressed dissatisfaction there and decided to camp out at home, one of 11 teams now doing so.

Last year, his first as the head coach, Mike Nolan talked about possibly holding camp away from Santa Clara again, but it is an obvious cost issue with owners, and nothing came of it.
 
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