Excitement on agenda for Grizzlies home opener against Pistons - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Excitement on agenda for Grizzlies home opener against Pistons

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Tim Andrassy / FOX13 News Tim Andrassy / FOX13 News
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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

After the Memphis Grizzlies' 2012-13 historic season, the expectations for this season are high. The organization said its ready.

The Grizzlies are expecting a sellout crowd for Friday night's regular season home opener at FedEXForum. Memphis (0-1) faces the Detroit Pistons (1-0).

"The taste people have in their mouth is for the playoff games, where the FedExForum is the place to play," said Dennis O'Connor, Vice President, Ticket Sales and Service for the Grizzlies.

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The Grizzlies are prepared for a repeat performance of making the 2014 playoffs and hoping to reach the Western Conference Finals. Just looking at ticket sales, this team is more popular than ever.

There's a 25-percent increase in season ticket purchases and a 90-percent renewal rate; the team's highest ever.

"It stems from the playoffs," O'Connor said. "People want to be a part of the experience and the best way to do that is with season tickets."

Businesses around the FedExForum are also happy to see the season tip off. The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium on Second and Peabody has already seen the excitement for the season turn into a boost for the bottom line.

"Even in the preseason we've had people call and ask if the games were on," said Nate Prisock, manager. "We've been able to stream a couple of them."

Home games mean big crowds before and after games. This time of year the Flying Saucer and its wait staff look forward to.

"It just increases foot traffic," Prisock said. "It gets people out and about and spending money. All the businesses get behind the Grizzlies and want them to do well, and in turn, we all do well."

The FedEdForum is hoping to capitalize on some of that pre- and post- game money spending. Local vendors including Yolo, Chiwawa's hot dogs and quesadillas, and an expanded Rendezvous will now be serving familiar comforts at the concessions.

Chef Kelly English will be taking over the Lexus Lounge and offering gourmet selections at two concession stands in a few weeks.

The Grizzlies are also securing entertainment during the game, aside from basketball, to be sure you don't want to miss a minute.

The opening game is no exception.

"Pre-game intros with future coming in and doing a performance, and then a halftime extravaganza," O'Connor said. "It's going to be a good night."

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