Team Caught In Ticket Snafu

California’s Orange County Crush pro basketball team found itself searching for new digs after its first home game was plagued by low attendance and a Ticketmaster error.

The minor league American Basketball Association team was slated to play its first season at UC Irvine’s Bren Center, but canceled all upcoming events after Ticketmaster erroneously added a $50 service charge to tickets for the opening game – 10 times the original price of some tickets, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Team officials said the game – which featured Dennis Rodman in his Crush debut – was expected to be a 4,000-seat sellout, but only 400 fans showed up. Rodman left the team after the game.

“To our knowledge, no one paid for a ticket through Ticketmaster once they saw the $50 service charge,” team GM Kevin Copeland told the Times. He said everyone who attended the game bought tickets at the venue or was comped.

An industry source told Pollstar the erroneous charge may not have been the only reason for low attendance, as box office sales were also low – without a service charge – and tickets did not go on sale until two days before the game. The source said the Ticketmaster error did not affect all price categories.

“It’s an untested team in an untested market, and an untested league,” the source added.

Representatives for Ticketmaster and Bren Center would not comment on the situation.

The Crush’s permanent home at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa is currently under construction. Several games have been postponed as the team searches for a new arena.

A message on the Crush’s Web site January 2nd said the team was in negotiations with “several possible temporary home venues” and hoped to have one before its January 9th game against Long Beach.