Hi, guys: Thanks for coming by. I'm back from vacation with some news about Panther tickets...
The Panthers don't play a real game until Sept.13 this year -- a few days later than usual -- but there's a much closer date that will mean a lot to Panther fans.
On Saturday Aug.1 at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster outlets, about 7,000 single-game tickets for each of the Panthers’ 2009 home games go on sale. (Lots of folks try to get online at www.Ticketmaster.com and simultaneously call into Ticketmaster when buying, which isn't a bad idea at all).
Panther ticket guru Phil Youtsey told me today that he expects the hottest sellers to be the regular-season games vs. Philadelphia (the season opener on Sept.13), Washington (Oct.11), Atlanta (Nov.15) and Buffalo (Oct.25).
“The Buffalo one surprises me,” Youtsey said, “but that’s what I’ve been hearing. There are a lot of transplants out there who want that game. Plus, it's a 4 p.m. start in October, which a lot of people like.”
Last year four games were sold out or practically sold out on the first day of single-game ticket sales. The tickets that go last, of course, are the meaningless preseason games that all NFL teams insist on charging full price for (that's a crock, and another story entirely).
Anyway, back to Aug.1st -- customers will be limited to buying a maximum of four tickets per game.
The Panthers didn’t raise single-game prices this year, so most of the available tickets will be upper-deck seats at Bank of America Stadium for $51 apiece. (There will also be a few lower-level tickets available at $90 apiece, but not many). The other 60,000-plus seats in the stadium are already reserved for season-ticket holders.
Youtsey said the Panthers are “very fortunate” to have such a passionate fan base. Season-ticket renewals in 2009 have hovered around 98 percent, which is consistent with what they’ve been for the past six years. Of course, the PSL concept helps that renewal number a bunch, too, because if you don't renew, you forfeit your PSLs.
There will be 14 billboards touting the big ticket sale that will go up next week around the Charlotte area. The billboards play off the NFL slogan of “Own the Moment.” The team decided against featuring one particular player on the billboards, going instead with a team logo and a pair of Panther eyes.
If they had featured one guy on those billboards, though, I bet it wouldn't have been Julius Peppers.