Fans of the Portland Trail Blazers are debating whether the team should draft Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. But they are not waiting to buy tickets.
The Trail Blazers said Wednesday they generated $2.5 million in ticket revenue in the 23 hours that followed their lucky night in the NBA draft lottery &
the largest revenue-producing day in the history of Oregon's only major-league franchise.
The team can use some of the money to upgrade its Web site. Team officials said the site has crashed at least twice under the weight of hundreds of thousands of page views from ecstatic fans.
The Oregonian newspaper, citing league sources, said the franchise has sold almost 2,000 season tickets since Tuesday night.
"It's a rush that we've never seen," said Mike Golub, the Trail Blazers' executive vice president for business operations.
The excitement from Tuesday's night lottery may not match the madness that gripped the city when the Trail Blazers won their only NBA championship, but fans seem to have their worst case of Blazermania in years.
Employees started accepting ticket requests moments after the team learned at about 6 p.m. Tuesday that it beat the odds and got the first pick in next month's draft, allowing general manager Kevin Pritchard to have his choice between Oden and Durant &
two of the most highly anticipated rookies to enter the NBA in years.
Some fans think Durant is the better player, and others think it's Oden, who is in Portland to discuss a shoe contract with Nike. Others rate the players equal, but believe the team should take the 7-foot Oden because it's tougher to land a star center than a star forward.
Those seeking tickets Tuesday and Wednesday apparently will be happy with either player.
"It's unbelievable. I mean, un-be-lievable," Pritchard said. "Our ticket sales, our sponsorships, my phone. My phone broke. I landed in Portland, and I had so many things going on with my cell phone, it broke. This is what we've always been waiting for. We've caught a break and now we have to make the best decision."
Information from: The Oregonian, http:www.oregonlive.com