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Originally published Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 12:00 AM


Hawks tickets gone in a flash

What's the sound of 14,000 Seahawks tickets selling out within minutes of going on sale? Nothing you'd want the kids to hear. Frustrated fans clicked and...

Seattle Times staff reporter

What's the sound of 14,000 Seahawks tickets selling out within minutes of going on sale?

Nothing you'd want the kids to hear.

Frustrated fans clicked and dialed minutes after tickets went on sale Monday morning, only to find that tickets released for sale at 10 a.m. had already been snapped up.

Even with a limit of six tickets per person, tickets for all 10 home games (including two exhibition games) sold out in 15 minutes, according to a team spokeswoman.

"I logged on at 10:03 and everything was sold out," said Renee Cable, 25, a calibration technician from Burien. "A bunch of us at the office were looking at obstructed view and family view, and even those were gone."

The blowout inevitably gave rise to conspiracy theories that the game was rigged by drones in headsets sitting elbow to elbow in telephone boiler rooms, waiting for the signal to dial in or log on to scoop up the bounty and resell it through secondary brokers.

Sure, the ticket re-sellers were there. But it's not clear whether they did much better than the masses.

Scott Barrows, co-owner of Epic Seats, a secondary ticket seller in Seattle, said he scored all of six standing-room-only tickets for the Philadelphia Eagles matchup.

Barrows lists more Seahawks tickets than that on his company's Web site, but they are being sold on consignment by season-ticket holders. Epic and other brokers list not only their own consignments, but also those of other re-sellers.

The bounty the ticket holders are asking makes the original prices of $47 to $99 seem quaint. As of Monday afternoon, a 40-yard-line view of the New England Patriots would cost $1,065 for a single ticket on the Epic Seats site. Even the standing-room seats against the Eagles were listed for at least $120.

Seahawks spokeswoman Suzanne Lavender said the team has sold 61,000 season tickets. Qwest Field's capacity is 67,000. The league requires 10 percent of the remaining tickets to be set aside for the visiting team, players, coaches and staff. Some tickets will be sold to groups, and others will go to Seahawks players and staff. On Monday, that left just more than 14,000 total tickets available for public sale.

Lavender said there is no person or entity that controls a large block of season tickets.

Tickets from brokers were still plentiful Monday, and it was even possible to buy season tickets, assuming you could part with $700 for the cheap seats. Season tickets sold by the team went for $37 to $340 per game, but you could wait years to buy them, working through the 14,000 currently on the waiting list, Lavender said.

"It sucks that fans can't get tickets," said Cable, who said she would not pay three times the asking price to a scalper, even a legitimate one online. "I think it's sad that families can't afford to go, and that the only people getting tickets are people who want to make money off them."

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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