Strong Redblacks ticket sales a great sign

By: Santino Filoso

If you plan on watching history first hand and you don’t already have your tickets to see the Redblacks live at Lansdowne (TD Place at Lansdowne Park, that is), better stop dragging your feet. With the Sens limping to the finish of a pretty dismal NHL season, Ottawa’s sports fans are quickly turning their attention to the CFL and making the Redblacks the hottest ticket in town.

Don’t take my word for it, though. In a recent TSN 1200 interview , Redblacks owner Jeff Hunt said that the team was pushing the 13,000-mark for season ticket sales, with nearly four months to go before the home opener. And that was before the launch of the home opener ticket pack last weekend (which will count toward the total as ‘season ticket equivalents’). With a previously-stated goal of 15,000 season tickets sold, Hunt and the Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group have to be really pleased with the results to date. Ottawa CFL fans have responded and are ready to embrace their team.

According to the Redblacks website, eight sections on the South Side (“North Side Sucks!”) are completely sold out – R, RR, S, SS, T, TT, QQ & UU. Three other sections (P, Q & U) are also currently half-filled.

On the North Side (“South Side Sucks!”), section E is sold out and the lower three-quarters of EE, F, D and DD are occupied. Additionally, club seats 105-107 have been sold.

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Want a little more detail? Fine. Here you go:

North Side

Section D Rows 1-19 Sold Out
Section D Rows 20-31 Singles Only
Section DD Rows 1-19 Sold Out
Only seats left in DD are the top five rows

Section E Rows 1-31 Sold out
Section EE Rows 1-8 Sold out
Section EE Rows 9-19 Singles only
Only seats in EE are in the top five rows

Section F Rows 1-19 Sold Out
Section F Rows 20-31 Singles Only
Section FF Rows 1-19 Sold Out
Only seats left in FF are the top five rows

[Only available pairs of seats on the north side are outside the 25s, top five rows and the field level seats]

South Side – Lower Deck

Section P Top 7 rows sold out
Section Q Top 11 rows sold out
Section R Sold out
Section S Sold Out
Section T Sold out
Section U Top 11 rows sold out

South Side – Club Seats

Middle 3 sections sold out.
[Available club seats are outside the 35’s]

South Side – Upper Deck

QQ, RR, SS, TT, UU sold out
Front 2 rows of PP, VV and MM sold out
[All available upper deck seats are outside the 20’s]

*Compiled via Renegade Nation

HOME-OPENER TICKET PACK

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Starting from $69.00 (or $23/game) + taxes/fees, Redblacks fans have the opportunity to get a ticket to the home opener plus any two other home games. The packages went on sale March 22nd at 10:00am, with fans buying online, by phone and in person. Before close of business on the 22nd, the team announced that the $168.00 ticket packs had sold out. The most expensive packages remaining are $123.00 (or $41/game) + taxes/fees.

Let’s take a look at the package, which I purchased myself on the 22nd:

THE GOOD

– For the cost of a single Sens ticket, a beer and parking, fans get to not only be a part of a historic opening Friday night, but also get to go to any two other home games.

– It ensures more butts in the stands even if the team’s inaugural season gets ugly.

– Keeps tickets in the hands of R-Nation. Few opposing team fans will be willing to pay for a package to three games, especially if they’re from out of town. This will really help preserve home field advantage and give the team a boost in critical moments. We’ve all felt how frustrating it can be when Leafs/Habs fans invade the CTC, but thankfully this is a problem the Redblacks will be able to avoid in year one.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD

– I found it silly and a bit annoying that it was not possible to actually pick the section and seats you wanted. Instead, people were forced to pick a ticket range and then randomly assigned their seats. While this might be okay for some people, others (such as myself) wanted to sit on a specific side – South Side (“North Side Sucks!”). When I was buying my tickets, I had to refresh the page a few times in order to be randomly assigned my seats on the South Side instead of the North.

– Another issue I ran into was that there was that there was a limit of six packages per person. This presented a problem because I had put together a group of eight family members and close friends. I ended up having to buy six and then another two separately and as such my group was scattered all over the stadium. Thankfully, shortly after I purchased my tickets I was able to get a hold of a Redblacks ticket rep and they quickly moved everyone together. In the end, I was very impressed with how quickly they responded and that they were able to accommodate my group’s needs. The Redblacks earned a lot of respect and goodwill from the people in my group.

With nearly 13,000 season tickets sold, in addition to the home opener packages that just went on sale, TD Place at Lansdowne Park promises to be filled with rowdy fans ready to unleash eight years of pent up energy. Considering kick off is still a few months away, R-Nation is doing a hell of a job shutting up the naysayers who predicted football in Ottawa wouldn’t work. If you don’t want to be on the outside looking in, you’d better get yours soon.

Where will you be sitting this season? At home or in the stands with the rest of R-Nation? Get over to the Redblacks website, take the virtual 3D tour and buy your tickets now!

@RedBlackGade

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