The New Orleans Saints accidentally sent a season-ticket offer meant for fans on the team's waiting list to a much larger group of people on Monday, prompting a correction and an apology from the team less than four hours later.
The offer, apparently intended only for members of the waiting list eligible to buy tickets, instead went to a much broader batch of names in the organization's database.
Current season-ticket holders, those who live in other states and other countries, people who had never signed up for the waiting list and some who had no history of buying Saints tickets in the past all received the offer.
Potential ticket buyers were contacted both by email and by robocall.
According to team officials, season tickets were only sold to those who had placed their names on the waiting list.
"It was human error that we have fixed," senior vice president of communications Greg Bensel said in a text message to The Advocate. "We have apologized to those who received in error, and no tickets were sold to those not on our waiting list of 100,000."
No additional details were revealed by the team. According to posts from Saints fans on social media and message boards, a lot of people who were on the wait list were able to buy season tickets.
A ticketing problem also plagued the Pelicans organization in April.
Due to an issue in the team's ticketing system, a leaked presale password allowed fans to buy tickets ahead of time, and roughly 2,500 tickets per guaranteed playoff game were canceled as a result.
The Pelicans apologized for the error at the time.
Marc Stephens, a die-hard Saints fan who lives in Dallas and Austin but makes the trip over to the Superdome once or twice a year, had already made plans to see a three-game run this fall: the Nov. 18 home game against Philadelphia, the Thanksgiving game against Atlanta and then the Thursday game against the Cowboys back in Texas.
Twice before, he'd contemplated putting his name on the wait list without actually going through with it.
So when the email popped into Stephens' inbox on Monday, he checked the seats on the club loge level where he usually buys his tickets and saw that they were available, quickly talked to his wife about making the commitment and called the ticket line, where his phone stayed for "hours" while he worked.
When Stephens finally got through, he talked to an "awesome" ticket agent who typed in both of the email addresses Stephens gave him and realized Stephens wasn't a part of the wait list.
The ticket agent apologized and explained the mistake.
"At that point, I just said, 'No problem, I'm still going to see you next year anyway, thank you so much,'" Stephens said. "'I feel bad for you guys.'"
Stephens said the ticket agent told him there would be about 30,000 people in front of him if he joined the wait list now.
"I'm not aggravated," Stephens said. "It's not going to change anything for me. I'm still going to as many games as I want to go to."
Brendan Kaner, another Dallas resident who isn't on the wait list, goes to two or three games per year, was also surprised to see the email in his inbox, thinking at first it was a hoax.
Kaner, who runs a Saints account on Instagram, wasn't ready to buy season tickets yet, but the reaction he's seen so far from other fans has been muted.
"I don't think it's that big of a deal," Kaner said. "If someone was on the wait list, I think it's a pretty big deal to some people. ... I'm not sure what the wait is for someone on that list."