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02/25/08 6:15 PM ET

Cubs, CBOE to auction prime tickets

New third-base-line tickets will be available to highest bidder

The Cubs unveiled plans for a first-time auction of season tickets to home games in conjunction with a new partnership between the team and the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

The partnership also includes naming rights to the new seats at Wrigley Field as well as presenting sponsorship of front-row tickets at the ballpark.

"We are very excited to make our new premium seats available in an auction format and as season tickets," Cubs chairman Crane Kenney said. "The partnership with the Chicago Board Options Exchange was a natural. The auction unites the world's largest options exchange with Cubs baseball in a historic partnership between two Chicago institutions."

The season-ticket auction will kick off March 3 with the ringing of the opening bell at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) by Ernie Banks. The approximately 70 new seats located adjacent to the Cubs' dugout on the third-base line will be known as the "CBOE Seats" and will be available at auction as season tickets in groups of two or four.

The season tickets will include all games for the 2008 regular season as well as any applicable postseason ticket privileges. The auction will run from March 3-13 on cubs.com. Winners will have the rights to the seats for the 2008 regular season and playoffs. A new auction will be held prior to each season.

"CBOE is delighted to partner with the Cubs in presenting this unique opportunity to fans of Chicago baseball," said William J. Brodsky, CBOE chairman and CEO. "As home to the world's largest options exchange, CBOE is a natural partner for this unique online seat auction.

"We are proud that the new premium seats will be known as the 'CBOE seats,' and we are thrilled that Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub, will ring the opening bell at CBOE to herald in this unique and exciting Chicago partnership," Brodsky said.

The Cubs and CBOE also will partner on a second auction including front row seating behind home plate. Starting March 14 and running throughout the regular season, the Cubs and CBOE will give fans the chance to sit in premier Wrigley Field seating on a single-game basis with the "CBOE Front Row Auction." Fans will bid through cubs.com on front-row seats located behind home plate and near the visitor's bullpen.

Complete rules and timeline for the auction of the "CBOE Seats" and the "CBOE Seats -- Front Row Auction" will be posted cubs.com before March 3.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.