Saturday, January 19, 2002

Seniority key to season tickets at ballpark

By John Erardi and John Byczkowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Season-ticket holders at Cinergy Field will get first dibs on season tickets at Great American Ball Park.

        “It will be on a seniority basis,” said John Allen, the Reds chief operations officer. “We have long-time, loyal season-ticket holders.”

        He knows the main question the Reds must address: how to equate seats at Cinergy to seats at Great American, such as “I'm five rows behind the dugout on the first-base side; what are you going to do for me?”

        Mr. Allen said the Reds communicated with season-ticket holders near home plate as Diamond, Scout and Club seats went on sale.

        “We said, "OK, here's the next level of seats going on sale. If you're interested, use your seniority and step up.'” Mr. Allen said. “We've given them ample opportunity to jump on these (the premium seats) prior to our going to the public.”

        In late March or early April, the Reds will mail a brochure walking season-ticket holders through the process on non-premium seats and asking them which locations they prefer. It's based on a system developed by the Denver Broncos.

        “I've never seen another Major League Baseball team do it,” Mr. Allen said. “The Broncos did a great job: Step 1, 2, 3.”

        Referring to the Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium, Mr. Allen said, “We know they had some problems down the street. Not to be critical of them (the Bengals), but we know they went through some heartaches and headaches with the way they had to (make their conversion) for whatever reason. We will try to avoid that. We will avoid that.”

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