If you had trouble buying the tickets you wanted Monday to the Kevin Durant-Blake Griffin charity basketball game, you weren’t the only one. Ticketmaster issues — surprise! — made ticket sales for the Sunday’s U.S. Fleet Tracking Basketball Invitational a crazy endeavor early Monday afternoon.
“It was out of hand,” said former Thunder player Desmond Mason, who is helping to organize the game. “I had some high-profile friends calling me saying they couldn’t get them.”
Dozens of people were lined up at the Cox Convention Center box office by 11 a.m., but workers there later created a lottery system that gave no preference to those who arrived early. Some people lined up at Homeland stores in the Oklahoma City area to get tickets there. Others spent time in Ticketmaster’s online waiting room.
Many people were told that only the $39 tickets were available after a few short minutes, but that was not the case. Single tickets in all but the courtside price level were still available late Monday, which stood in direct contrast to what many customers were told by the Ticketmaster website and Homeland employees as early as 12:05 p.m. Pairs of tickets remained available in the $89 price level late Monday.
Mason and fellow event organizer Brad Lund of Sold Out Strategies, the Oklahoma City company in charge of the event’s logistics, attributed the issues to the high demand and possibly to Ticketmaster problems beyond their control.
Lund said the 100-odd $199 courtside seats sold out within five minutes, but he wasn’t sure why Ticketmaster and Homeland outlets told customers there weren’t other seats left in the lower bowl of the Cox Convention Center.
There were still about 4,000 tickets on sale late Monday, Lund said. You can buy them here. Lund said only about 400 of the 13,000+ tickets on sale for the event were withheld for sponsors and VIPs, an unusually low number for events like these.
Ticketmaster could not be reached for comment.
Charitable contribution to be determined
The game, don’t forget, has been billed as a contest to benefit charities. But the amount to be donated and the recipients have not been determined, Lund and Mason said. Durant and Griffin will choose the nonprofit organizations that will benefit.
Organizers first have to pay for the event’s costs, including rent at the Cox Convention Center. But a portion of the profits will then be paid out to the charities, along with proceeds from jerseys to be auctioned at the event.
Lund and Mason said the percentage of profits disbursed to the charities will depend on how much money the event makes, so if the rest of the tickets get sold, that will be a boon to those organizations. The total donation is likely to be “well into six figures,” Lund said.
Mason said Durant and Griffin may announce before or during the game which charities will get the donation, but that nothing has been set in stone.
“They have a lot of options,” Mason said. “Kevin’s mom is hands-on with that part of what he does. … I do know that they both have people that are guiding them in the right direction about what to do with the finances.”