Baltimore Brigade says it has sold 500 season tickets

Baltimore's Arena Football League team has sold 500 season tickets for its inaugural season, but owner Ted Leonsis said it's way too early to be concerned.

"I ask that you have a little patience with us. Let's have some fun together," Leonsis said during a speech Wednesday to the CEO Club of Baltimore. "We've sold like 500 season tickets. I think the arena seats like 10,000 people."

The Baltimore Brigade open its season April 7 against the Washington Valor. Both teams are owned by Leonsis' Washington-based Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and he has said it is exceedingly rare, if not unprecedented, to launch two expansion teams in the same year.

"There are going to be 100 things that bring shame to us where people will say, 'I knew they shouldn't have,' " Leonsis said. "That's how most people are. You want to criticize, as opposed to saying, 'How did we put a man on the moon?' "

Leonsis said he believes the indoor game's pace and high scores will appeal to fans.

Monumental is best known for owning the NBA's Washington Wizards, the NHL's Washington Capitals and Washington's Verizon Center.

The Brigade, which will play at Royal Farms Arena, has been selling about 30 season tickets a week, according to Jeffrey Bowler, vice president for business operations at Monumental.

Bowler said that pace does not concern him, given that the team has only recently begun its marketing.

The team doesn't even have helmets yet, Leonsis said.

"There is still three-quarters of the city that doesn't know this is happening," Bowler said.

jebarker@baltsun.com

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