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Tickets moving fast for Columbia’s new minor league baseball team

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The Columbia Fireflies, the city’s new minor league baseball team, say they will be swinging for a sellout at the home opener April 14.

Spirit Communications Park has a spectator capacity of up to 10,000 people, but a fixed-seat capacity of about 5,000 people, team officials said. The new park, under construction near Bull Street, is 90 percent sold-out for the Fireflies’ 7:05 p.m. home opener against the Greenville Drive.

“Thus far, ticket sales have been great,” said Brad Shank, Columbia Fireflies vice president. “When we first went on sale at 9 a.m. last Friday, the volume of calls in both online and over the phone was overwhelming – we had so many people calling in.”

As of Thursday, only a couple hundred tickets for seats within the stadium seating bowl remained available for opening day, Shank said. About 1,000 tickets remained available for two stair-step grassy areas known as the “Bojangles’ Berm” in the outfield, where spectators pay $5 to sit on the grass and watch the game from centerfield.

Technically, a sell-out at the stadium is 7,501 seats, Shank said, which includes a large picnic area where spectators’ paid seats are at the wrought-iron tables, or at half-moon tables on the circular concourse or the upper level, or in suites or a brickened bar out in centerfield.

Some seats currently being held in season ticket packages may become available prior to the opening game, Shank said, but basically 1,000 seats in the stadium are available. Shank said he expects those to be gone in the coming week.

“If all the seats in the different group areas and berms are sold-out, then we’ll have concourse passes, because with a 30-foot wide concourse all the way around the park, people can still come in and have a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the game,” Shank said.

The Columbia Fireflies, South Atlantic League affiliates of the New York Mets, play their first game of the season April 7 in Charleston. The Greenville Drive, a Boston Red Sox affiliated team, was formerly known as the Capital City Bombers and left Columbia in 2004.

Game tickets for the Fireflies, which also come in full-season, half-season, quarter-season and 12-game plans, can be purchased at www.firefliestickets.com.

Roddie Burris: 803-771-8398

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