Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Life in the Ticket Office

People who dream of working in sports one day very rarely dream of working in the ticket office, and I have heard it described as one of the less glorious aspects of a front office. But oh, these people are wrong. Our GM Steve Cohen might be the face of the Cyclones, but the ticket office is the voice on the phone. Chances are, we are your first contact with the Cyclones. Though there are times we inadvertently interrupt your lunch hour, we’re also faithfully holding your seats for you.

And now, besides Christmas, it’s the most wonderful time of the year: season ticket renewal time. This period signals the end of a quiet postseason and kicks off a rush of booking our seats and filling up our stadium in our ticketing system. (By the way, if you have season tickets to renew in what were formerly box seats and are now designated as field box seats, this Friday, Jan. 11th is the deadline to lock in the 2007 price. Procrastinators, this is your final warning. Seriously.) If you’re someone who enjoys baseball and a block party atmosphere, or have clients who do, there’s really no reason not to get season tickets. (I’m just saying.) Relatively speaking, they cost a drop in a bucket, you reserve awesome seats from year to year in a stadium which is usually filled over capacity, and of course, there’s a plethora of other benefits, like our batting practice held exclusively for season ticket holders at KeySpan Park. I’ll never forget the face of one man in his early thirties who arrived at last year’s BP session, rolled up the sleeves of his buttoned shirt, stepped up to home plate in his stockbroker work shoes and swung for the fences. By the time he left, he had the joy of an eight-year-old boy in his eyes. This is what the Cyclones experience is all about.

As we start calling season ticket holders to remind them of the renewal deadline, many times, it’s like calling old friends we haven’t seen in a few months. When I first moved to New York from my native California last year, several season ticket holders warmly welcomed me to the city over the phone and filled me in on baseball history in Brooklyn. A lot of people describe how excited they are to come back, and how much the Cyclones mean to them, their families, their friends, etc. I rarely witness more unabashed emotion (at least among New Yorkers) than I do when our season ticket holders express their devastation when the Brooklyn Dodgers left for LA in 1957, or the elation they felt when they heard baseball was coming back to their borough. The teary-eyed guests on Dr. Phil (not that I watch that show or anything) don’t hold a candle to our truest Brooklyn fans.

Finally, there’s nothing quite like picking up my phone and scrolling down a list of familiar names. There’s the kids’ favorite, Mable Marziliano, aka “Monkey Lady” who, along with the stuffed monkey she brings along for good luck, gets the party started in Section 5 of the stadium. There’s the diehard fan, Lisa Gavaletz, who, bless her diehard heart, cheered on the Cyclones front office uncomplainingly through the night and to the end of the next (rainy!) day, when we played 24 hours of baseball for charity (run a search, and you’ll see the article on…and we’ll be doing it again this year. Sigh.). Then there are the hearts of gold among our season ticket holders, such as Sol Moglen, who is the driving force behind the fundraising for the memorial wall on the side of our stadium, honoring those civil servants who died during 9/11; or Elizabeth Sunshine, who gives all her seats away to families with children who have disabilities. There are too many favorites to list here, but on a final note, I will say this: to those who ply the ticket office with chocolates and baked goods, it might not give you an unfair advantage for seating upgrades over people on the waiting list, but it will give you a special place in my heart.

-- Joyce Huang
Account Executive

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