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Harper news boosts Phillies' ticket sales

@ToddZolecki
March 2, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Bryce Harper Effect is in effect. The Phillies sold roughly 100,000 tickets in the hours after news broke Thursday afternoon that they had agreed to a 13-year, $330 million contract with Harper. They sold roughly another 80,000 tickets Friday. Harper passed his physical Friday evening and

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Bryce Harper Effect is in effect.

The Phillies sold roughly 100,000 tickets in the hours after news broke Thursday afternoon that they had agreed to a 13-year, $330 million contract with Harper. They sold roughly another 80,000 tickets Friday. Harper passed his physical Friday evening and the team announced the deal Saturday. He will be introduced at a news conference at 2 p.m. ET, which will be broadcast live on MLB Network and MLB.com.

“We’ve obviously been very busy,” Phillies senior vice president of ticket operations and projects John Weber said.

One-hundred thousand tickets sold Thursday is huge. In fact, it probably is a franchise single-day ticket record.

To put 180,000 tickets sold over two days into perspective, the Phillies had sold roughly 200,000 more tickets this offseason than at this same point last offseason -- based on previous additions J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura and David Robertson -- before the Harper news spread like wildfire.

Some of those fans purchased at least partial season-ticket plans. The Phillies sold about 9,500 season tickets last season.

They sat at about 11,250 on Friday morning, with a few hundred being sold Thursday.

It is a far cry from the heyday, when Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay racked up five consecutive National League East titles, two NL pennants and one World Series championship. The Phils had a 257-game sellout streak at Citizens Bank Park. They capped their season tickets at 28,000.

“We’re starting with a low season-ticket base, so it’s a great day, but we have partial season plans to sell, we have plenty of seats, except for Opening Day,” Weber said. “People compare this to Cliff Lee, but with Cliff Lee, our season base was already way up there. We’ve got a long, long way to go, but it’s just great that the excitement is there. The hard work that our baseball operations group has done is amazing.”

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .