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Red Sox ticket sales strong

03.21.10 at 4:10 pm ET

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox have sold more than 2.6 million tickets for the 2010 season, with sales roughly matching those of a year ago at this time, according to Red Sox chief operating officer Sam Kennedy.

The clarification was offered after the Boston Herald reported on Sunday that there were more than 6,000 tickets that remained available for the Sox’ April 4 Opening Day contest against the Yankees, and that prices had fallen 30 percent for such tickets compared to the 2009 home opener against Tampa Bay. Those figures may be accurate, but they portray the secondary ticket market of brokers and agencies, rather than the primary sale of tickets by the Red Sox to fans and other purchasers.

“To say that there are 6,300 tickets still available for sale, there may be. There may be more than that on the secondary market. The Red Sox do not control sale of the secondary market. We control the primary market,” Kennedy said. “We have been surprised and humbled is probably the right word to use by demand for tickets on the primary market.

“As of this morning, we’€™ve sold just over 2.6 million tickets on the primary market for Red Sox games for 2010. In 2009, we sold virtually the identical amount. We’€™re tracking just about where we were last year at this time.”

Though they do not control it, the Sox do monitor the secondary market. Yet while the sluggish economy has likely impacted the secondary market, the Sox note that their own sales of tickets have not been impacted.

“If you have a $165 face value Green Monster seat, and it may have sold in years past for $1,000 or even more, you’€™re seeing a decline in the secondary market right now, which is understandably newsworthy,” Kennedy said. “Fortunately for the Red Sox, we’€™re not seeing a decline in primary sales.”

The Sox have set attendance records in each of the last nine seasons, and have sold out each of their last 550 games, dating to May 15, 2003, the longest such streak in MLB history.

A few tickets have been held back from Opening Day sales — the Sox always keep a small allotment of tickets for day-of-game, walk-up sales, as well as tickets for both players and community outreach projects — and so the game is not yet technically a sellout. Even so, Kennedy had no doubt that the streak would reach 551 games on the Sunday night opener, and that it would almost certainly continue beyond that as well.

“Opening Day absolutely will be sold out,” Kennedy said. “We anticipate that while we’€™re probably working harder than ever and marketing more aggressively, we do anticipate that the fans will continue this sellout streak.”

Read More: Fenway Park, Opening Day, Sam Kennedy, sellout
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