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Rockies shut down computers, plan to be up Tuesday

DENVER -- Colorado Rockies officials said Monday their
computer system for online-only World Series ticket sales was the
target of an "external malicious attack," but they have a backup
plan that will allow online ticket sales to resume at noon Tuesday.

Club spokesman Jay Alves couldn't immediately provide details of the attack,
but said the Rockies ticket Web site would back up. He said nearly
18,000 tickets were available for Games 3 and 4, which will be in
Denver on Saturday and Sunday.

"We absolutely have backup plans in place," Alves said without
elaborating, referring questions about the attack to Irvine,
Calif.-based Paciolan Inc., which runs the computers for the
Rockies' World Series ticket sales.

Company representatives did not immediately return phone
messages.

"Throughout the day we've evaluated all of our options, and we
continue to believe that the only sales approach is the most fair
and equitable method to distribute the tickets," Rockies' team
president Keli McGregor said in a statement.

The team temporarily suspended
transactions earlier on Monday.

"Right now we're shutting the system down,"
Alves announced outside Coors Field, drawing boos from fans. "We
expect to be online at some point."

After getting server-busy or error messages for over two hours
on home, work and public library computers, about 100 fans gathered
outside the stadium. They chanted "We want tickets!" when Alves
came out to speak to reporters.

"We're as frustrated and disappointed as they are," Alves said
of the fans.

Initial speculation centered on a barrage of hits for shutting down the system. There were 8.5 million hits, or
attempts to connect with the computers, in the first 90 minutes
after sales started.

"It was a very, very large response at this point, that's all I
can tell you," Alves said about six hours after the site was shut
down.

Excited fans lines up at the ticket
office only to leave disappointed after security guards insisted no
tickets would be sold at the ballpark.

The team said fewer than 500 tickets were sold Monday before the
sale was shut down. Alves said those tickets will be honored.

The Series opens in Boston with games on Wednesday and Thursday.
Games 3 and 4 will be on Saturday and Sunday in Denver. If there is
a Game 5, it will be played Monday in Denver.

The Red Sox held a random online drawing for the right to buy
tickets to Fenway Park games, said Ron Bumgarner, vice president of
ticketing. The Oct. 15 drawing attracted more than 350,000 fans;
the winners bought tickets at a private sale.

The team also had a telephone sale for fans without computer
access, Bumgarner said.

"It's our goal to try to make it as smooth and fair and
efficient as possible," he said.

A limited number of tickets will also go on sale at Fenway Park
on game day, with fans allowed to line up five hours before game
time.

Fenway Park tickets range from $50 to $225. Coors Field tickets
are $65 to $250.

The Rockies said fewer than 20,000 tickets -- less than half of
Coors Field's 50,449 seats -- would be available for general sale in
each World Series game in Denver. The remaining seats are allotted
to season-ticket holders, the two teams and Major League Baseball.

Season ticket holders were allowed to buy tickets over the
weekend, but the team didn't say how many had been sold. One of
them showed up at the stadium Monday because he said the system
allowed him to buy only two tickets per game instead of the maximum
of four.

Officials with Major League Baseball did not immediately return
calls.

Irvine, Calif.-based Paciolan Inc., said the crash affected the
company's entire North American system.

Monday afternoon, Paciolan CEO Dave Butler said he did not yet know whether demand
for Rockies tickets caused the crash.

"This is not the Rockies' fault in any way whatsoever," Butler
said. "We are working hard to address it."

About 20 people had lined up in near-freezing temperatures
outside the Denver Public Library before it opened in hopes of
using public-access computers to score tickets.

Clayton McLeod, a 26-year-old heavy-machine operator, took the
day off to try to get seats.

He went to the city's main library to use its computers because
he was worried the cable connection in his downtown high-rise might
be too slow.

All he had to show for his effort was a parking ticket.

McLeod said he went to about 30 home games this year and spent
about $3,000 on postseason tickets.

He said he regrets not buying season tickets -- and getting a
guaranteed chance to buy postseason tickets at face value.

One ticket broker was selling lower-deck tickets for between
$1,400 and $5,500. One online seller offered tickets in the
normally cheap Rockpile section for more than $17,000, although
better seats were available for less.

TicketsNow, which sells tickets mostly from season ticket
holders online, said traffic on its site quadrupled Monday morning
and the average price of a Rockies ticket rose by about $200 to
$995 by late afternoon. The average price of a ticket at Fenway
Park sold on the site Monday was $1096, senior vice president Mark
Hodes said.

The Rockies originally planned to sell tickets at Coors Field
and the team's Dugout Stores in the Denver area as well as online.
They announced Wednesday all sales would be online, saying that
would be more fair.

Fan Mark Pierce, 49, said selling tickets online to everyone
rather than setting some aside for Colorado fans was wrong. He said
this summer he got to see the Rockies beat the New York Yankees for
$4 in the Rockpile.

"It's rude to the Rockies fans, to the people who were the fans
all this time when they were losers," Pierce said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.