The Baltimore Orioles began offering 2011 playoff tickets today to all fans who purchase season tickets for the 2012 season.
"This is a great opportunity for fans to lock in playoff seats before there is a rush," said Orioles ticket sales director Neil Nicosia. "And, trust me, there would be a rush. Coming from 27 games out in early August to the playoffs? The Orioles would be the talk of the sports world."
Although the Orioles are 25 games below .500 in baseball's best division and have the second-worst record in baseball, team owner Peter Angelos made the push to offer playoff tickets.
"Despite the years and years of futility we have had, Peter wants to still present a positive, upbeat mindset to our fans. There is no surrender," said Nicosia. "Also, he said that if even one idiot buys playoff tickets, that's found money."
So far the Orioles have yet to sell any playoff tickets, but there has been an uptick in calls to the ticket office.
"One guy called yesterday for Ravens tickets," said Nicosia. "It was the wrong number, of course, but it was the first time our phone rang in two or three weeks. I was starting to wonder if our line had been disconnected or something. It really startled me when it rang. I ran out of the building at first thinking it was a fire alarm."
The Orioles are considering dropping their 2012 season ticket prices down to free, including complimentary food and drink, in order to generate sales.
"Our issue isn't so much a price problem, though," said Nicosia. "While people love free stuff, getting free stuff in exchange for having to watch the Orioles is understandably not a deal many people want to make."