Ban Hammer Up?
After attempting to buy tickets online, it is apparent that the Thunder officials have banned patrons from Texas who order tickets online via Ticketmaster.com for games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Finals, and will have their orders canceled without notice and given refunds. Here’s what the Ticketmaster.com website reads when you’re trying to buy tickets to the game:
*** VERY IMPORTANT !! *** Sales to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Western Conference Finals Home Games at Chesapeake Energy Arena, will be restricted to residents of Oklahoma, Kansas & Arkansas. Residency will be based on credit card billing address. Orders by residents outside of this area will be canceled without notice and refunds given.
Spurs fans are some of the most dedicated in the NBA, by getting their favorite players faces shaved into their head, as well as the team’s logo, and have shown that they will be willing to go into the other teams’ arena and cheer their team. So it would make sense that the Thunder would prevent the Spurs; biggest asset from coming along with them, despite the distance there have been Spurs fans willing to make the trip, but unable to get the tickets due to the Thunder’s restriction. While this is a common occurrence in college sports for teams like TU, and Texas A&M, and other teams who travel well, this practice is not against NBA rules to restrict ticket buying.
The reasoning for ticket limitation is that the Chesapeake Arena can only hold a little over 18,000 people. 14,000 seats are already reserved for season ticket holders. So, with just 4,000 general admission tickets available, they want to make sure Thunder fans get the first pick. Which makes a lot of sense as this is the Thunder’s second consecutive trip to the Western Conference Finals, and they want all Thunder fans to be able to share this rich part of their franchise’s history in the making.
While my first reaction, along with other Spurs fans, to this was thinking that the practice was an act of cowardice from the Thunder, but I understand the reasoning behind the move, and there are other alternatives to buying tickets for the game. Spurs fans from Texas and the other 46 states who are barred from buying on Ticketmaster.com can go to Stubhub.com to find tickets for games three and four. This is not the first time the Thunder have done this, the Thunder have also had the same limitation throughout the entire players, it is just now affecting Spurs fans in Texas as well as the other 46 barred states.
When asked about the ticket restrictions, the Spurs have said that they will not restrict ticket purchasing.
– Richard Perez