PBA confirms 35,000 fans to attend opening
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is set to reach greater heights come opening day of its 40th season.
Six days before the October 19 tip-off, PBA Commissioner Chito Salud confirmed 80% ticket sales for opening day, which means around 35,000 fans are sure to attend this Sunday, filling up more than half of the 55,000-capacity Philippine Arena.
"I am happy to report that our opening for the PBA's 40th season this Sunday is being met with enthusiastic response from our fans," Salud said in a statement.
"I have been informed that 80 percent of the venue tickets have been sold, translating to some 35,000 fans already confirmed to attend. This is a huge number by any measure that can only become bigger as we get closer to opening day."
This also means the PBA will break its previous attendance record of 24,883 fans achieved in February 2014 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum during Game 7 of the Philippine Cup semifinals between San Mig Coffee and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
Holding its opening ceremonies and first two games at the newly built Philippine Arena is also a feat in itself as the PBA will be the first to mount a sporting event in the venue.
Though there have been concerns from fans about the venue's location at Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue, Bulacan, ticket sales definitely indicate otherwise.
And while there are no definite details yet, per PBA Media Bureau Chief Willie Marcial, KIA has already expressed it will offer 200 buses to shuttle fans to the venue for free.
Opening day will feature a double-header between expansion teams KIA Sorentos and Blackwater Elite, which will be followed by a clash between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters at 3 PM and 5:15 PM, respectively.
"But more than the numbers, we in the PBA feel privileged to have this opportunity to give our fans a treat - fans whose unwavering support have brought PBA to where it is today. Maraming dapat pasalamatan pag dating sa istoryang PBA at ang nasa katuktukan nito ay ang ating mga fans," Salud added. (We have many to thank when it comes to the story of the PBA but most of all it's the fans we have to thank.) – Rappler.com
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