There was little doubt that LeBron James would do wonders for Miami Heat's box office. In fact, since the superstar announced on July 8 that he would play for the Heat, tickets for all of the upcoming season's home games sold out in record time. But who knew the arrival of James also would signal the departure of the team's entire season-ticket sales staff?
"Now that the supply for [season tickets] has been exhausted, we no longer require a season-ticket sales team,'' the Heat said in a brief statement Friday afternoon. A team spokesperson, Lorrie-Ann Diaz, declined to comment or answer questions about the firings, which cost roughly 30 people their jobs, one staffer told The Miami Herald - 30 people who worked tirelessly during the hours before and after James was signed. "Our sales reps were manning the phones around the clock," Diaz wrote in an e-mail interview with the paper. "We couldn't get them to go home! There was very little inventory remaining once LeBron officially made his decision. And we sold out of that, as well, in record time."
In its six-sentence statement, the Heat did not issue details of the staff dismissals: "While the decision to release part of our sales force was a difficult one, we greatly appreciate their contributions to the company. We have also hired a placement service to assist those individuals [to] find new employment."