The agonizing wait is finally over for Ravens season-ticket buyers who will soon receive their seat assignments at the new stadium.
The team is girded for the response.
Letters of notification will begin to be mailed tomorrow, and ceuld reach their recipients as early as Saturday. Some 51,000 seats have been assigned to 20,000 customers who bought "permanent seat licenses," the document required of most season-ticket buyers.
Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said the team is pleased with the volume of sales and hopes it has instilled enough confidence in the seat-assignment process to head off complaints. On July 30, the team will conduct an open house where ticket holders can come and see their seats for the first time.
Fans unhappy with their locations will have few options. Written requests for reconsideration will be accepted if the fan thinks the team made an error or if the fan has encountered a serious medical problem.
Also, a waiting list will be established to claim seats whose owners default on their seat license or season-ticket purchase obligations. Other than that, the fan can try to sell the seat license.
Byrne said the team closely followed the process established by the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., when that team distributed seat licenses. Their experience, Byrne said, was that most fans were satisfied with their seats.
But there is no way to make everyone happy. The most requested seats were on the aisles, near the 50-yard line, on the home side. The team assigned seats according to "zones" the fans selected, then worked through layers of priorities. First priority went to fans who put down money for tickets in the city's 1993 NFL expansion drive, then 1996 season-ticket buyers, then seat license buyers before Dec. 1 and then those after Dec. 1.
Within those parameters, fans were randomly assigned computer-generated numbers. Then Ravens employees worked by hand to accommodate preferences, such as people who wanted to sit next to friends, those who had special needs and other requests.
Pub Date: 3/26/98