SEATTLE - Seattle Sonics fans got their chance to sign up for possible tickets Thursday morning for games that could be played at the Key Arena for the upcoming NBA season.
Registration started at 10 a.m. on sonicsarena.com and it is free, but traffic was so heavy that the website crashed.
The registration is not to sell tickets but to sign up to be on a “Priority Ticket Waitlist.”
However, tickets are not guaranteed because Seattle still does not have a team.
Chris Hansen wants to buy a team and he asked fans to show the NBA the passion that exists in Seattle to bring back the Sonics.
NBA owners are expected to decide on the possible relocation of the Sacramento Kings in April.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Dubois spoke with Sonics fan Brandon Jacobsen, who was ready to sign up.
“I think this is definitely another sign that the Sonics deserve to be in this city,” said Jacobsen.
Those who tried, when the waitlist went live, were in for a surprise.
Sonics fan Matt Grubenhoff told KIRO 7 reporter Chris Legeros that it took a long time for him to get through to sign up for the list.
“It took a while, but I got through, finally,” said Grubenhoff.
“As soon as 10 o’clock rolled around, it all crashed,” said Chris Shreve.
Sonics Arena’s Twitter account said the team’s investors apologized and explained it was “beefed up considerably, but it was still overwhelmed.”
“I probably refreshed the page about 100 times this morning,” Shreve said.
Fans waiting for a return of a team said the crashes may have been a good thing.
“It just goes to show, you know, the passion of the Sonics fans that we just bombarded their site right away at 10 a.m.,” Grubenhoff said.
Many admitted that they weren’t just trying to reserve a place in line to buy tickets, but to tell the NBA and the rest of the country how much Seattle wants the Sonics back.
“We have the support, we have the money, we’re going to have the stadium,” said fan Michael Lang. “Everything’s here and the time is now. So give it up, give it to us already.”
Officials told KIRO 7 the investors would not be releasing the number of fans who actually reserved a spot for Thursday’s waitlist.
On Wednesday evening, the first look inside the new Sonics Arena was released and the inside was filled with green and gold.