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Sacramento Kings fans can expect to pay 10 percent more this season for tickets, and more for snacks as well -- that is, if they're even able to score a ticket.
In exchange for digging deeper into their pocketbooks, spectators should find a better selection of fresh food, improved customer service and -- with any luck at all -- a team that can do even better than it has in two straight seasons that saw them just miss huge upsets in the first round of the playoffs.
With their first preseason match against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, the Kings have sold nearly 15,000 seats in the 17,300-seat Arco Arena to season ticket holders, up from 12,000 last year.
Their season ticket renewal rate is among the highest in the National Basketball Association, according to Kings executives. Only 500 seats, the league minimum, will be sold for single-game tickets. Most of those are expected to disappear when they go on sale Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Kings have found increased attention from sponsors, although team executives won't disclose dollar figures.
Obviously, a winning team the past two seasons with stars like Chris Webber, Jason Williams and Vlade Divac have dramatically increased interest in the Kings. But the new owners and a restructured management team feel the many changes they're making -- from improved customer service to fresher, tastier food -- will continue to bolster enthusiasm.
Ticket sales: At the rate season tickets are selling, the Kings expect the numbers to approach the level they hit when the team came to town 15 years ago, said Darrell Jenkins, vice president of ticket sales and services.
Gone are 9,000 to 10,000 seats in the lower level of Arco Arena. Only a limited number of season ticket seats remain in The upper level. Suites and boxes make up another 1,000 to 1,500 seats. The Kings have "carved out" a small number of seats for returning …