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Blue Jays ticket sales spike after team acquires ace David Price

07/31/2015 11:12 EDT | Updated 07/31/2016 05:59 EDT
Toronto baseball fans are eager to see their new ace in action, with the Blue Jays reporting a spike in ticket sales for this weekend's home games ahead of the first start by newly acquired pitcher David Price.

Price arrived in Toronto from Detroit later than scheduled on Friday thanks to car trouble. But he was in full uniform on the bench for his new team's extra-innings walk-off win over the Kansas City Royals.

The Jays acquired Price from the Detroit Tigers on Thursday in a trade for pitcher Daniel Norris and two other prospects. Early speculation had Price making his first start for the team on either Sunday or Monday, and fans didn't waste time ensuring they have a seat.

There's been a "noticeable spike" in ticket sales, Jason Diplock, vice president for ticket sales and service, told CBC News. Sales for Sunday's and Monday's game are double what they normally would be, he said.

"We feel it and see it on the phones. We're seeing it on the box offices. We're seeing it online."

Excitement for the team's chances at winning the American League wildcard have grown thanks to a handful of big moves by team general manager Alex Anthopoulos ahead of Friday's trade deadline.

In addition to Price, Anthopoulos acquired shortstop Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies, reliever Mark Lowe from the Seattle Mariners and outfielder Ben Revere from the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jerseys bearing Price's name sold out quickly, so fan April Whitzman had one custom made and posted a picture to Twitter. Price, a prolific tweeter, re-tweeted her photo with a smile emoji.

Meanwhile, fans outside the Rogers Centre on Friday said they were buying tickets due to Price's arrival in town.

"If it wasn't for Price, we wouldn't be coming on Monday," said Nathan Donaldson.

Paul Zaborowski said he will "absolutely" get tickets to half-a-dozen games.

"Now that they got all of these new players and especially if Price decides to stay," Zaborowski said.

But fan Sandro Del Greco said he will hold off on a Price jersey until he sees whether the 29-year-old free agent will test the market at the end of the season

"It would be nice to sign him long-term," Del Greco said. "But I just don't think they're going to spend the money on him."

After Friday night's game, Price held a press conference with the media that had been postponed due to his car trouble.

"I'm happy to be here," he said.

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