EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 16, 2013

Ticket giveaway creates stir in Andover

By Dustin Luca

---- — ANDOVER — Bruins fans descended on The Park at Chestnut Street like a flash mob yesterday afternoon after learning free tickets were being given away to a scrimmage last night in Boston.

Within minutes, they were gone.

Over the last couple days, the team’s Twitter handle @NHLBruins, partnered with TD Bank, has been giving away tickets from the back of a Hummer sports utility vehicle branded with team logos.

But fans hoping to score seats had to be quick when coming to downtown Andover yesterday — the team tweeted a photo of Blades, the team’s mascot, with staff in front of the “Welcome to Andover” sign at the town line, then a photo of Blades at The Park just a few minutes later.

By the time all 10 tickets were given away, police were clearing the area because the Hummer was parked on town property, according to a staff member who declined to give his name.

Once the Hummer left, all that remained were a few fans in green TD Bank shirts, with a Twitter hashtag printed on the back: #BruinsAreBack.

Tewksbury resident Mike Newcomb arrived just as the team left. As soon as he learned the tickets were gone, he threw his hands up in the air.

“This is the third one I just missed,” he said.

Newcomb said the team is going to public spots near TD Bank branches. He tried tracking the Hummer down in two other locations — a parking lot in Nashua and Harvard Square in Cambridge.

The stop in Andover was his best chance, he said. But the stars weren’t lined up.

“I was in Burlington when this came out,” he said. “If I was home, I would have made it.”

After the team left the area, Andover Police Sgt. Mark Higginbottom stood in The Park, looking for damage from the vehicle.

The police department had no forewarning that the team was coming, and were only told what was happening after receiving a call about it.

“We got a call that they were on town property,” Higginbottom said. “You can’t park on town property. We just moved them along.”