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View Full Version : Non-fans get the premium seats, and this guy is frustrated by it



savafan
04-18-2006, 11:49 AM
http://www.tmnews.com/articles/2006/04/17/sections/sports/sports43.txt

By Sean Duncan, sean@tmnews.com
Monday, April 17, 2006 11:59 AM CDT

It never ceases to amaze me how people with absolutely no interest in the game of baseball end up with some of the best seats in the park.

In the past, like many of you, I have voiced my displeasure of watching a game on television and being annoyed when I see the inevitable fan talking on their cell phone and waving to a camera.

They are completely oblivious to the action on the field, they just have to be seen in their high-priced seats wearing a team hat they more than likely purchased moments earlier and won't be able to find two weeks later.

It is safe to say the majority of these misfits are not only not fans of the teams they are watching, but of the game of baseball itself. It's just the “cool” thing to do.

These premium seats have not been held by true fans for many years, like most things in this country they have been consumed by corporate America as entertainment tools.

The avid follower of the game looks down on these inappreciative fortunate few and last week in Chicago, at historic Wrigley Field, my wife, Laura, the arch enemy of baseball, was right in the thick of it.

My wife's job as music director at WTTS takes her to the Windy City quite often for concerts. On this occasion she was in town to catch David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) and before the show was invited to a Cubs-Cincinnati Reds game.

Her seat? The 13th row right behind home plate.

One of baseball's biggest non-fans walked into arguably the greatest park in the country and sat down - completely uninterested in the action on the field before, during or after the game - in the 13th row behind home plate.

Green with envy, I asked my lovely better half a few questions about her experience, or lack thereof, at Wrigley:

Q: Do you know the Cubs' record?

A: No. Why would I know the Cubs record?

Right now you can see where this is going.

Q: On the way in did you buy a program?

A: No. Why would I buy a program?

Because without a program, especially for you honey, they're just a bunch of guys running around in shirts with numbers on their backs.

Q: During the game, did you keep track of the score?

A: No. I couldn't see the old scoreboard in centerfield and the new ones on the sides were too sideways to read.

Geez...

Q: Were there any home runs hit in the game by either team?

A: I don't know. I know the Cubs tried to get a home run a couple of times, but it went across the white line.

Way to go, baby.

Q: Did you see Derrek Lee?

A: Who is Derrek Lee?

Oh, boy.

Q: Did you know what the final score was?

A: I knew what the final score was, I didn't know who was winning.

Thanks for driving my point home.

Q: What was your most memorable moment?

A: The unique way a vendor yelled, "Hotdog!" You could even hear him when he was out in the bleacher seats.

Ah, the bleacher seats. That's where the true Chicago fans are.

She did score a few points on other questions.

Q: Did you get a Chicago Dog?

A: Yes.

Great job, darling. Two points.

Q: How about an Old Style?

A: Yes.

Roll, baby, roll. Two more points.

Q: Did you stand to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch?

A: Yes.

There might be hope for her yet.

Q: Did you add Harry Caray's famous ending, "Let's get some runs"?

A: Whatever.

She says that a lot.

macro
04-18-2006, 12:21 PM
I don't necessarily agree with the points the guy makes, but on the other hand, there are some cities (such as Cincinnati and Pittsburgh) where you can still go to a poorly-attended game on a weeknight and get some really good seats from a scalper, provided that is legal in the city in question. Just maybe not Wrigley or Fenway or a few other places.

registerthis
04-18-2006, 12:53 PM
The funding for these big, new epxensive ballparks has to come from somewhere.. The owners bank on a certain percentage of revenue coming from corporate season tickets and luxury suites...like it or not, to get businesses to pony up the kind of cash the team is counting on, the best seats frequently have to be made available.

You don't have to like it, but that's the business of baseball. And like macro said, frequently great seats are available from scalpers, provided you're willing to pay.

KronoRed
04-18-2006, 02:02 PM
I thought people in those expensive seats were just there to get on their cells and wave at the camera?

RedsManRick
04-18-2006, 02:15 PM
I like the general point, but I had 7th row seats in the section directly to the left of the one behind home plate for last Thursday's Reds/Cubs game in Wrigley. The ticket cost me $34. Now that's not cheap to be sure. If I was going to go to 40 games this year, I wouldn't sit there every day. But it's not like the seat was inaccessible, unavailble, or astronomically priced.

The problem with those great seats is that they have to be allocated somehow. How do you do that? Do they go to only season ticket holders with the longest tenure? That says something about your attendence but little about your knowledge or level of fandom. It would be still be held by corporations and would sit empty more than other seats. Do you take a test to measure your level of fandom? Good luck with that...

There's really no way to allocated them in a way which benefits both the fan and the organization. My solution? Make ~50% of the prime tickets an average price (20 bucks) and make the sections general admission -- if only for some subset of games. You want a good seat together with friends and family? Get there early. You want a guaranteed prime seat, arrive 5 minutes before first pitch and leave in the 7th inning, you pay for it.

westofyou
04-18-2006, 02:29 PM
I always wondered how a sportswriter from Bedford, Indiana could get read around the country myself.

Now I know.

macro
04-18-2006, 04:55 PM
I like the general point, but I had 7th row seats in the section directly to the left of the one behind home plate for last Thursday's Reds/Cubs game in Wrigley. The ticket cost me $34.

Rick, if you don't mind my asking, how did you come up with such a good seat to the game at what must have been little over face value?

wheels
04-18-2006, 09:57 PM
Man...Lemme tell ya a thing or two about those primo seats.

I got to sit down there because I won a raffle (actually, my friend is the music editor of the paper that was holding the thing, and I whined and cried when I didn't win....Nobody claimed 'em so I got 'em anyway!) a couple of years back.

Anyway, I KINDA felt like the only real fan down there, but there were some women that really seemed interested in the players, though. Lots of 'em, in fact.

I'm convinced that those seats were created for those "ladies in waiting", and nobody can tell me they aren't.

Baseball players always get the best chicks.

RedsManRick
04-18-2006, 10:01 PM
Rick, if you don't mind my asking, how did you come up with such a good seat to the game at what must have been little over face value?

Cubs tickets simply aren't in that much demand in April against the Reds. I bought in online through mlb.com on the Monday before the game.

macro
04-18-2006, 10:27 PM
Cubs tickets simply aren't in that much demand in April against the Reds. I bought in online through mlb.com on the Monday before the game.

That shocks me! I just assumed the whole place was sold out for 81 games to season ticket holders. I assume that they're not so easy to come by when the threat of cold weather has passed?

reds44
04-18-2006, 10:47 PM
Actually for Wed's games I had 1st row tickets waay down the RF line (you could see my in my orange FeLo jersey all-star game when Pagan made the catch to end it), and i had like 9th row seats behind the Reds dugout for Thursdays games. Stub hub for Wed., my dad got free ones for Thursday.

I can tell you basically everyhting that happend fromt he beginning of BP, till the end of the game.

However for the most pasrt, this article is accurate.

butlerbulldogs
04-19-2006, 09:17 AM
it's sad to say, corporate or not, to most people baseball is on the same level as the NHL...I never have a problem to fill my fantasy football league, but come baseball season it is like pulling teeth...."i don't like baseball," "it's too boring," "season is too long," etc...

savafan
04-19-2006, 11:56 AM
it's sad to say, corporate or not, to most people baseball is on the same level as the NHL...I never have a problem to fill my fantasy football league, but come baseball season it is like pulling teeth...."i don't like baseball," "it's too boring," "season is too long," etc...

poppycock!

RedsManRick
04-19-2006, 01:29 PM
That shocks me! I just assumed the whole place was sold out for 81 games to season ticket holders. I assume that they're not so easy to come by when the threat of cold weather has passed?

They do become higher demand when the weather gets warmer. It was also a day game which makes it easier to get a ticket. Plus I only needed a single ticket. Getting a few tickets together is probably much harder.

KronoRed
04-19-2006, 02:49 PM
poppycock!
I like this insult, has class..like Brandon Phillips

princeton
04-19-2006, 03:12 PM
capitalism bites, dudn't it?

Chip R
04-19-2006, 03:13 PM
I think there should be baseball IQ tests to sit in those seats. Of course if that happened there would be no one but visiting fans sitting there at Wrigley.

37red
04-19-2006, 03:44 PM
I watch the Reds games and wonder how there are soooo many good but empty seats while I can't buy any decent ones on line. It's a long long drive to just hope that I can get a few together for my kids and I. Are all of those empty seats available on the street? Is there a web site that have these empty seats for the buying? I admit I'm jealous of the turkeys that get the "really good" seats near the field for no other reason than a night out on the town. I don't give a hoot if they're upstairs in the closed in fancy glass boxes where no one watches the game anyway, I'd be happy to get a few "fairly decent" seats guaranteed before I drive 5 hours one way. I know big dollar corps are always going to own most of the prime seats but wouldn't it be nice if they sold fifty "great seats" by luck of the draw for drueling fans like us even just once a week!

RedsManRick
04-19-2006, 04:26 PM
I watch the Reds games and wonder how there are soooo many good but empty seats while I can't buy any decent ones on line. It's a long long drive to just hope that I can get a few together for my kids and I. Are all of those empty seats available on the street? Is there a web site that have these empty seats for the buying? I admit I'm jealous of the turkeys that get the "really good" seats near the field for no other reason than a night out on the town. I don't give a hoot if they're upstairs in the closed in fancy glass boxes where no one watches the game anyway, I'd be happy to get a few "fairly decent" seats guaranteed before I drive 5 hours one way. I know big dollar corps are always going to own most of the prime seats but wouldn't it be nice if they sold fifty "great seats" by luck of the draw for drueling fans like us even just once a week!

Give stubhub a try. A lot of people will put games from their season ticket packages up there. A lot of those good empty seats belong to season ticket holders who couldn't make it out to the game that day.

37red
04-19-2006, 06:16 PM
I will......... thanks!

919191
04-19-2006, 06:30 PM
37, alot of times the Reds release pretty good seats for sale day of game in the afternoon. They are the comp tickets the players and umpires have access to, and if they aren't used, they are put up for sale. Another thing you can do, if you have tickets but don't like their location, go to the ticket window inside the ballpark. If you go left as soon as you go in the main gate, their are 1 or 2 windows inside. If you are already in, they will let you pay the difference for an upgrade. You do have to upgrade to the same number of tickets, though. You can't use for as a credit for 3 better tickets. I don't know if you can get premium this way, but you can get some pretty good seats sometimes.

919191
04-19-2006, 06:31 PM
Oh, and I bought tickets for a few games last year on eBay that were not too many rows up from the on deck circle areain the 118- 119 area and the 127-128 area for below face.

Rojo
04-20-2006, 03:05 PM
So tax-payers build the stadium and corporations get the seats. Cool!

butlerbulldogs
04-21-2006, 09:04 AM
i usually just walk up and sit in those seats