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Sabres Alert

Draft party planned for fans shut out

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Many hockey fans, on both sides of the border, had their browsers open with their fingers ready to pounce on tickets to the opening round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft to be held inside First Niagara Center on June 24.

Nearly all of them were shut out.

All 1,000 tickets disappeared within the first minute of going on sale to the general public. The other 4,000 tickets for opening night that the team was given were distributed via lottery to the Sabres’ 16,000 season-ticket holders.

Some of the tickets, either $20 or $30 depending on location, are now on StubHub.com for $200 to $450 apiece.

Alas, for fans who couldn’t get tickets, meaning pretty much everyone, the Sabres are in the midst of planning a viewing party and fan festival in Canalside to coincide with the draft show. It will likely include alumni appearances, giveaways and games for children. An announcement is expected as the date nears.

Tickets to the second day of selections are still available and are free via tickets.com.

The Sabres have the 8th pick overall. Toronto holds the coveted top pick, and is likely to snag American Auston Matthews.

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