Fans scoop up NLCS tickets

Giants fans hoping to watch the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park will have to search hard for tickets.
Tickets for the next round — should the Giants beat the Atlanta Braves in the NL Division Series — sold at a rate of 1,000 per minute. Roughly 20 minutes after going on sale, the 20,000 tickets available for the NLCS were sold out. Just like the NLDS that starts Thursday, the Giants had 5,000 tickets available for all potential NLCS home games.

They sold out 10 minutes faster — even with 5,000 more tickets — than those available for the three NLDS home games.

Season-ticket holders had to commit to buying NLCS tickets by Sept. 10, Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter said. Tickets available to the general public in the 42,000-seat AT&T Park ranged in price from $40 for standing-room-only to $220 for premium field club seats.

Fan Jessie Shen, 24, sat at her desk in San Francisco’s Financial District with a credit card propped up on her computer waiting to buy the coveted tickets.

After being allowed to purchase them twice, but reaching an error when entering the quantity, Shen was unsuccessful in getting
tickets.

“I’m a little frustrated,” she said. “I was in the waiting room for an hour, but by 30 minutes, it said tickets were limited.”

Tickets were sold online and by phone.

Shen said she will likely be watching the game near the ballpark, even if she cannot be inside rooting for her team.

“I like to be around the atmosphere,” she said. “Though I may not be there, the team is still there and that’s all that matters to me.”

If the Giants make it past the Braves and beat either Philadelphia or Cincinnati in the NLCS, Shen said she will try for tickets to the World Series, calling it a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Slaughter, though, could not say when potential World Series tickets would go on sale.

“We’re taking it one series at a time,” Slaughter said.

If the Giants are beaten by the Braves, purchases will be refunded for NLCS tickets.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

Merchandise sales balloon during team’s playoff run

In 2003, the Giants won 100 games, captured the National League West Division title by a staggering 15½ games and boasted the best player in baseball — Barry Bonds.

This year’s team eked out 92 wins, didn’t secure a spot until the last day of the regular season and is unlikely to have a player finish in the top 10 in voting for the NL Most Valuable Player.

However, one area where this year’s team towers over the 2003 squad is in merchandising prowess. Sales revenue from Sunday’s division-clinchingwin was up 325 percent compared to the day in 2003 when the team secured a spot in the postseason, according to Dave Martinez, the Giants’ vice president of retail operations.

Martinez said Sunday’s win accounted for merchandising department’s most successful postseason-clinching day since he began in 1998.

“[Sunday] was like nothing we’ve seen before,” Martinez said. “Our fans are just really embracing this team.”

— Will Reisman

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