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OKC Hornets season-ticket holders stuck in lottery pool with everyone else

By Mike Baldwin Modified: August 19, 2008 at 1:03 pm •  Published: August 17, 2008
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Others will have to wait until Sept. 9, 10, 11 or 12 to select their seats in the 19,599-seat Ford Center.

When team representatives contact all season-ticket applicants, they will discover many purchased Hornets tickets. But it's impossible to track down all of them, much less verify vital information of sections they sat in or the number of tickets purchased.

"If we can't do it 100 percent I just don't know how you justify it,” said Brian Byrnes, the team's vice president of marketing. "To leave anybody out would really be a disservice.”

Chris Corey, 41, grew up in Boston. He moved to Oklahoma City 17 years ago. He owned club level Hornet season tickets. Despite a slight price increase (his $1,550 ticket will now cost $2,100) he plans to purchase similar seats. When he chooses isn't as big a concern.

"We had a sweetheart deal,” Corey said. "I know I can't get the tickets down low anyway. When I was a kid you couldn't get good Celtics tickets without big bucks. You need the corporate backing but it (stinks) the average fan doesn't get the really good seats.”

It's uncertain how many season tickets will be sold. Since premier season tickets will double in price, some Hornet season-ticket holders might want to change sections.

"Not having any previous lists to work with meant we had to start from scratch,” Mahoney said. "Because of the terrific response, we were able to develop a system that is fair to all fans who want to buy season tickets. That means having a random selection.”

Gerardi, 37, grew up in Yukon. He graduated from Oklahoma State with an engineering degree. He moved to California and owned Laker season tickets for 10 years. He moved back to Oklahoma in 2002 and owns a manufacturing company.

At Hornet games, Gerardi paid $5,250 for each season ticket to sit in the first row behind the scorer's table. Those tickets now cost $10,250. But his biggest concern is which day he's allowed to walk into the Ford Center to select his seats.

"You don't want to be critical,” Gerardi said. "Living in Oklahoma I know how fortunate we are to have an NBA team. I don't take that for granted. But when does that computer pull up my name? Is it after 10,000 season tickets have been sold?”