Bryce Harper Signing Spurred 100,000 New Phillies Ticket Sales

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2019

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper in action during the first game of a baseball doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Philadelphia Phillies tickets have been a hot commodity since reports of Bryce Harper signing a record-breaking contract with the team broke on Thursday afternoon, per MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.

Philadelphia senior vice president of ticket operations John Weber revealed to Zolecki that the team has sold approximately 100,000 tickets in less than 24 hours following the news.

Zolecki added the Phillies had already sold roughly 200,000 more tickets than they had at this point one year ago prior to the Harper reports.

Harper had been linked to Philadelphia all offseason after Phillies owner John Middleton told USA Today's Bob Nightengale back in November that the club was willing to spend "stupid money" this offseason.

At this point, though, it's too early to tell if the prized free agent's 13-year, $330 million contract qualifies as "stupid money."

Regardless, there's no question that the signing, which is not yet official, has created plenty of buzz within the fanbase. After all, Harper's contract is not only the largest contract of the offseason, but it's the richest deal in MLB history. In fact, it's the most valuable contract in the history of North American sports.

Harper is coming off a season in which he hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs, 34 doubles and 100 RBI in 2018, winning the Home Run Derby in front of the Nationals Park crowd as well.

His career accolades include six All-Star selections, the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year award, the 2015 NL MVP award and a 2015 NL Silver Slugger.

Philadelphia fans have gotten an up-close look at Harper for years now after the former No. 1 overall pick spent the first seven seasons of his career inside of the NL East with the Washington Nationals. The 26-year-old has hit .268/.365/.564 with 14 home runs, five doubles, three triples and 32 RBI in 50 games at Citizens Bank Park. 

He has a career .930 OPS in his new home ballpark.

While the Harper signing represents the Phillies' biggest splash of the offseason, he is hardly the only big name the team has added this winter.

Prior to reaching an agreement with Harper, Philadelphia had already added former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen, two-time All-Star shortstop Jean Segura, former All-Star reliever David Robertson and All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto.

The Phillies found themselves in contention for much of last season before fading down the stretch. Now, they appear to be in strong position to put an end to their seven-year playoff drought.

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