Season Ticket Holders Get Their Chance to Select Seats
Two weeks ago, Seattle Storm season ticket holders invaded KeyArena for the Storm's annual Select-a-Seat event, giving them the opportunity to move or upgrade their seats based on their priority number determined by longevity. While I've been part of plenty of Select-A-Seat events in the past, going back to the days I attended them on the Sonics side as my family held season tickets, I got a unique perspective this time around. I was asked to serve as a relocator, helping out our sales team in guiding season ticket holders through the arena and helping them make their decisions.
While I was more than a little apprehensive about the rare task of putting on the sales hat, I enjoyed the experience of meeting many season ticket holders and not-so-subtly plugging the Web site (hey, we can always use the hits). Of course, I did not eschew my Web site responsibilities entirely, taking the chance to speak to season ticket holders both old and new about the experience.
The one thing that becomes clear during the process of selecting seats is the kind of family atmosphere that develops within sections throughout the arena amongst season ticket holders who have been sitting there for years. It's a key consideration for many season ticket holders, who want to make sure they continue to sit near friends. Others might want to broaden their groups.
"It's fun being able to pick your own seat, maybe move around, meet new people in your section," said Diane Pavelin, a season ticket holder since 2004. "Or, if you want to move to another section, meet people there."
Even long-time season ticket holders occasionally want to change things up.
"We've moved around a little bit for reasons of seat prices and viewing," explained Joan Harrison, an inaugural season ticket holder who was one of the first in the building Tuesday morning because of her priority number.
Then there's Melissa Anderson, priority number 27, who hasn't missed a Select-a-Seat event in the Storm's history, noting she loves the unknown aspect of it. While she can't improve upon her own seats, she did add two more, bringing her total to eight.
"I have the best seats in the house already," said Anderson, "but I want to add to the family and help friends and family enjoy the experience."
By early Wednesday afternoon, the priority numbers jumped, indicating the beginning of first-year season ticket holders. This group got a special treat - the chance to meet Storm guard Sheryl Swoopes, who dropped by the Select-a-Seat event to chat and help make her own pitch in a few instances, ensuring a supportive home crowd behind the Storm.
Naturally, new season ticket holders aren't necessarily new to the Storm. Beth Kirlin and Cathy Lapham have had attended and had season tickets since the Storm's inception as part of a group, but decided this year to strike out on their own.
"We talked when we walked in that it's nice," said Kirlin. "There's a sense of pride to have your name on a season ticket. Even though we've come to all the games since it started, this is the first time we've had our own tickets under our name."
That also means a first experience with Select-a-Seat, though Kirlin did participate over the phone in the past to determine tickets for the group.
"I tried to talk on the phone, tried to describe possible seat choices," she said. "It's nice to come to the arena. We miss being here, so it's nice to come back. To be able to sit in your seats and look at them is great to see what your view is going to be." "It definitely helps to be able to sit in them and get a feel for where you'll be," added Lapham, with Kirlin concluding, "You can't look at a seating chart and do that."
For Mike Trifolio, getting season tickets means taking a step in his fandom of the Storm and improved benefits.
"I just wanted to get better seats, get a better deal on them, and thought I'd support the team a little more," he said. "I really think more people should buy season tickets, and that's what I've done. I've been a big fan for years and have attended sporadic games. I probably averaged about seven or eight games a year, but I want to attend some more now."
After looking around, Trifolio settled on seats behind the visiting bench.
"I like the whole idea of actually being here to get the perspective," he said. "It's so hard to choose off a computer screen or something like that. This way, you're actually here. It's nice."
While Select-a-Seat may have come and gone, it's not too late to join the Storm's season ticket holder family for the 2009 season. Season tickets start at just $180 and get you all the great WNBA action in KeyArena next summer. Save as much as 30% off single-game ticket prices, earn special opportunities to meet Storm players and coaches, receive playoff ticket priority and more! Call 206-217-WNBA or click here for more details.
Select-a-Seat Photo Gallery
Get the Flash Player to see this movie.