Not a Perfect Start for the Louisville Bats

Last night’s Louisville Bats  opener seemed perfect in every way.

There was great weather, a huge crowd and plenty of first-day optimism. It was all good, that is, unless you were among the hundreds of fans hanging in the lobby waiting for your tickets at will call. The Bats made a smart move in the offseason – dumping Ticketmaster for a new ticketing system.

But they didn’t expect a big glitch on opening night that caused huge lines for will call and at the paying ticket windows. I spoke to Nick Evans of the Bats, who said the walk-up ticket purchasers last night numbered 5,000 — and that’s just the ones that waited and got tickets. The opening night attendance of 12,680 was just a few hundred short of a sell-out, which probably would have happened if the ticket operation had run smoothly.

At least there’s another game tonight, and all weekend, and the team seems to be responding to the ordeal in the right way. I will check it out for you tonight.There’s a Fish Fry special on the Overlook Deck.

In the game, the Mud Hens scored 7 runs in the 8th inning and won 11-6.

Here’s the message the Bats sent to fans:

Bats Fans –  First, thank you for the incredible turnout tonight for Opening Night 2011.  Second, the mass turnout clearly showed us that we have some areas that we need to improve IMMEDIATELY.  For those of you that had tickets at Will Call, please accept our sincere apology as the amount of time that you waited in line to receive your tickets this evening was completely unacceptable.  We take great pride in our product and the customer service that we provide, which obviously did not meet our standards this evening.

Recognizing this, we are doing everything we can to compensate those affected when we “dropped the ball” this evening.  We have e-mailed all of our paid will call customers for whom we had a valid e-mail address and offered free reserved seat ticket vouchers to a future 2011 Bats regular season home game. .  .

As for those of you that were in a ticket line waiting to purchase this evening, PLEASE consider buying your tickets in advance for future games.  We had every ticket sales window open this evening and fully staffed with sellers to try to get you through lines as quickly as possible.  But there is only so much we can do when 5,000-plus terrific fans show up in a 90-minute window to purchase tickets!

Help us by logging on to www.batsbaseball.com/singlegametickets or calling our ticket office directly at 1-855-228-8497 to get your tickets in advance.  We have reduced our on-line fees this season and you can speak to an actual person if you would like to order over the phone and have your tickets mailed to you. As always, we value your feedback and we will do everything we can to continually provide you a quality product going forward.

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