Employees Vie For Rockies Tickets


Tuesday, October 23rd 2007, 8:39 am
By: News On 6


DENVER (AP) _ With World Series tickets on the line, office productivity in Colorado may have taken a dip when Colorado Rockies tickets went on sale Monday exclusively on the Internet.

To some business leaders, it didn't matter.

Seko Worldwide co-owner Tom Cagney told all employees at his freight-shipping company to try to get tickets for Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) at Coors Field. There are 28 employees in the Denver office.

``It's the biggest event to hit Colorado and I think my employees here all are anxious to have the opportunity to go. This is a great way to support that,'' Cagney said.

``I'm not worried about the productivity problem that creates. It's very short term. In terms of morale of the company, it fits in with how they think the company treats them.''

The Rockies eventually suspended sales Monday after computer systems became overwhelmed, but some fans couldn't buy tickets from work anyway.

Employees at HealthONE could get to the ticketing site, but their computers have cookies disabled, so Web users couldn't refresh their pages as they waited for the site to allow them to buy tickets.

``It's just because of the settings we have on our computers because we deal with such high-security patient information,'' said spokeswoman Leslie Horna.

Others had to deal with firewalls that blocked certain sites, or policies that limited what sites they could visit, even if those policies aren't strictly enforced.

``We encourage employees while they're at work to do work-related activities. But there are breaks where they can use computers for minimal personal use,'' Denver Public Schools spokesman Alex Sanchez said.

Janet Fogarty is a group chair of Vistage, a worldwide chief executive officer membership organization. She said CEOs of companies at a retreat in Telluride over the weekend were strategizing how to handle the ticket sales Monday.

But they weren't strategizing how to keep productivity up.

``It was all strategizing on how best to utilize employees to buy tickets,'' she said.

The five employees in the Denver office of public relations firm Arment Diedrich Inc. got 20 minutes apiece to try to buy tickets, vice president Jason Damata said.

``There was a slight internal war, because we had to take turns,'' he said. No one got tickets, despite teaming up to try to get through to the ticketing site.

``We lost collectively a good three hours of productivity, but that was our lunch,'' Damata said. Still, his office decided to embrace the sale.

``In a weird way, it became a team-building activity,'' Damata said.

Fogarty said trying to keep employees from doing something that's important to them probably wouldn't work anyway.

``If this were chronic and ongoing, that would be a big difference,'' Fogarty said. ``This is something where everybody benefits from the spirit building, and it's going to go away. In the long run it's a small thing.''

That is, until the Rockies sell the rest of the World Series tickets they couldn't sell Monday.