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Monday, October 3, 2005
Cruise line steps up for relief effort

Associated Press

MIAMI -- Carnival Cruise Lines will purchase all unsold tickets for the Hurricane Katrina benefit game between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat, ensuring that the Oct. 10 NBA exhibition will raise at least $1 million for relief efforts.

The general public can continue to buy seats for the game through Tuesday. After that, all remaining seats will be purchased by Carnival, which plans to distribute those tickets to school groups, charities and other organizations.

"It's crucial in this time of need that everyone play their part and do whatever they can to help the victims of such a devastating event," said Heat owner Micky Arison, who's also the CEO of Carnival Corp.

The Spurs and Heat added the game to their exhibition schedules last month, a few days after Katrina ravaged the Gulf coast and caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damage. It'll be the first preseason game for both teams.

As the host team, the Heat will donate all its proceeds from ticket sales, concessions, parking and retail sales to the American Red Cross. Another contribution will be made to a still-undetermined charity on behalf of the Heat, the Spurs, the NBA and the league players' association.

Tickets are being sold at regular season prices, in an effort to maximize the contribution.