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 Post subject: New Falcons ticket buyers ready to sell
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:09 pm 
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By Jeff Schultz | Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 08:14 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jeff Schultz

On July 6, the same day federal investigators were back in Surry County, Va., digging up Michael Vick’s little yard of horrors, ESPN erroneously reported the Falcons’ quarterback would not be indicted.

On July 7, Orlando Daniels of Acworth, facing a deadline and buoyed by the report, submitted his deposit for two club-level season tickets at $1,390.

Ten days later, Vick was indicted.

Ever feel like you just paid a premium for drilling rights, only to hit sand? Evidence is all over the Internet. Since Vick’s tenure with the team unofficially ended with news of a plea agreement, fans have flooded eBay, Craigslist and StubHub with their season tickets. The Web suddenly looks like a surf shop in Des Moines.

“Dude, there are people selling season tickets on the lower level, 50-yard line for below face value,” said Daniels, who had been on a waiting list for tickets for three years. “That’s unheard of in any market.”

Another fan, Josh Lewis of Greensboro, N.C., also came off the waiting list and immediately purchased two pairs of upper-level tickets for $1,400 in April. He planned to make the six-hour drive for home games, reasoning, “I’m getting married in September, and I figured a couple of wedding presents would cover it. About a week later is when all the dogfighting stuff started to come back. It kinda made me sick.”

Daniels is more than sick. He’s jumping head-first into the conspiracy pool. He believes it’s too big of a coincidence that the ESPN report coincided with his deadline to purchase tickets, and charged that the Falcons and owner Arthur Blank leaked the “news” to spur ticket sales. Nothing like a ticking Hail Mary to start the year.

“At the end of the day my gut instinct tells me that Blank, with millions of dollars at risk, had something to do with the [ESPN] story … or the [timing of the] indictment,” Daniels said. “I’m as upset as anybody about Mike. But I believe a bigger fraud has happened … people bought into a press story and made a financial commitment based on false or misleading information.”

In better times, conspiracy theories would be laughed off in Flowery Branch. Um, these ain’t better times.

Falcons executive vice president Kim Shreckengost said the charge is “absolutely not true.” She added: “We don’t control the media, and we certainly don’t control the government. We learned about the indictment at the same time everyone else did, and had no inside information about whether or not he would be indicted along the way. More importantly, we would never treat our fans that way.”

Now, I’m sure there are worse jobs today than trying to market the Falcons. But I can’t imagine too many exist outside of Washington or Baghdad. No Vick. An aging running back (Warrick Dunn) coming off back surgery. Little in the way of star quality. Or playoff hopes.

With Vick, the Falcons were a tough ticket. Now they’re a tough sell, at least emotionally. Yes, the games already are sold out. But empty seats seem inevitable.

“It’s going to be like it used to be, an empty dome with more visiting fans than Falcons fans,” said David Easley, a 10-year season-ticket holder. “It almost makes me want to go because I hate when that happens. But not for this much money.”

It’s a little late. Easley owns his four tickets at $890 a pop. His ad includes the words, “Make me an offer.”

He decided 10 years ago to purchase Falcons instead of Georgia tickets because of the proximity of the stadium and the available seats. “Now I regret it,” he said. “I bought Thrashers tickets last year for the first time, and it seems like they take better care of you with benefits. I’d rather keep my Thrasher tickets and go back to Georgia games.”

He said he “feels sorry for Blank,” but only to a point. “He can sell the team tomorrow, and he’ll have a good return on his investment. He’s not losing money.”

The Falcons say they haven’t been overrun with fans demanding refunds. But logic dictates most people know better. As Daniels said, “I didn’t want to waste my energy calling. I know it’s buyer beware.”

Another buyer, Ryan McDowell, was told this year he could purchase up to six tickets. He went for the max at $520 each.

“I had a friend who sold tickets to the Steelers game last year and made money,” McDowell said. “I thought I could make a profit and still keep two. That idea’s pretty much gone.”

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:13 pm 
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Just proves what i have said all along. You had Vick fans, and you had Falcon fans. Now it is coming to volition. Goodbye huggers!!! One player doesn't make a team.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:20 pm 
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And 25,000 season tickets does not make a fanbase. Hello(again) blackouts.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:28 pm 
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backnblack wrote:
And 25,000 season tickets does not make a fanbase. Hello(again) blackouts.


Not this year as the games are all sold out. Can you say Los Angeles Falcons???

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:22 pm 
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Man, you wouldn't believe how scared I was that was going to happen to the Braves AND the Falcons back in the early 80s! :lol: Yeah, I know we will have to wait for next year for the blackouts. Fortunately for me even when I didn't have season tickets I'm far enough out of ATL that I have always gotten the broadcasts. Speaking of bad investments, have you checked the Ebay lisitings for Vick jerseys lately? I think it may be the only place left on the planet a new one can actually be purchased.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:13 am 
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BirdBrain wrote:
Just proves what i have said all along. You had Vick fans, and you had Falcon fans. Now it is coming to volition. Goodbye huggers!!! One player doesn't make a team.


I couldn't agree more! It's really ashamed so many jump ship when our team really needs support.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:20 am 
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Teams that win get support....after they start winning. :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:31 am 
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BirdBrain wrote:
backnblack wrote:
And 25,000 season tickets does not make a fanbase. Hello(again) blackouts.


Can you say Los Angeles Falcons???


That would really suck!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:38 am 
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backnblack wrote:
Fortunately for me even when I didn't have season tickets I'm far enough out of ATL that I have always gotten the broadcasts. Speaking of bad investments, have you checked the Ebay lisitings for Vick jerseys lately? I think it may be the only place left on the planet a new one can actually be purchased.


Ah yes,...channel 24 I believe? And yep,...even though people are sending Vick jerseys to dog pounds, they forgot the possible worth of that jersey in time.


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