Myself and a buddy went down to the game yesterday and we originally had seats out in Section 406. We really did not care that they weren't great seats, we just wanted to go to the game and enjoy the day.
After we got downtown, parking was a snap. Right across the street from the stadium so we couldn't complain. As we began to walk towards the stadium we of course starting seeing the scalpers yelling and ranting about "Upgrades! Who needs em!" We went right on past and went to the stadium. As we started to get in the security line, my buddy asks me if I want to go check on upgrading our seats. I decided we might as well go see what they have, how much, etc since it was only 12:45.
We head back towards the scalpers and run into a guy and ask him what he has as far as upgrading tickets. He shows us a seat map and points towards a section that is directly behind homeplate. Right as he does this, I start looking around to find another scalper thinking he is about to tell me some insane dollar amount. The guys tells us $100 per ticket. My head whips around and I ask to see where they were again. Again, he points to Section 24 directly behind homeplate. I then asked the guy if he had any others and he called one of his buddies over and walked away. This new scalper comes over and points to Section 128 Row M. Pretty good seats, but then drops a $200/ticket on us. I actually laughed out loud and we walked away. My buddy and I talked for a minute and decide we can't pass up $100/ticket to sit directly behind homeplate for Opening Day. We found the original scalper and he still had the tickets and we told him we'd be right back because we had to hit an ATM. He said no problem.
After finding an ATM, we head back and find the scalper. He still had the tickets and I asked to see them again. He showed them to us and everything seemed good enough. Face value on these tickets was $70. We hand over our money and the guy hands us the tickets and says have a good time. We start heading towards the stadium in shock we just got these seats at this price.
For some unknown reason I turned around after walking away from this scalper and I see him whispering something to his buddy and his buddy grins and looks directly at me. He sees I'm looking at him and his grin stops and he turns away. At first I didn't think anything of it, but as we starting crossing the freeway I start examining the tickets a little closer. They were not from Tickets.com, but rather reds.com. I then start seeing all these little things on the ticket that just don't seem right. There was a deep scratch at the top, the background of the ticket was not centered, the printing came off with just a simple scratch of my nail, there was some funky numbers and letters next to the team names. I go into complete freak out mode, thinking we had just been sold fakes. Everything fit the mold, Only $100 for $70 face value Opening Day tickets, all these weird things on the ticket, a different scalper asking for $200/ticket for much worse seats, the weird whisper/grin incident.
Needless to say, I was really really thinking we had been duped. I asked to see someone in lines tickets and they were from reds.com and they didn't have the off center background or the funky number/letter sequence on the ticket. Then of course we had to stand in line in the security and that took an extra 15 minutes and further made my nervousness expand. After getting past secruity we start heading towards the gate. My buddy has now become quite worried himself and we're giving each other nervous laughs. My heart was pounding quite fast at this point.
We get to the gate and the guy working had a hand scanner and I stick my ticket out. He points the scanner towards my ticket and the thing makes some odd noise and he flips it over incredibly fast and looks down at the screen. Right at that second, I had conceeded that we had been duped and we were going to miss Opening Day or have to end up paying $200+ to sit right where are original seats were. (I forgot to mention we gave the scalper our 406 seats as part of the deal) the gentlemen working the scanner looks up at me, again I figure he's about to tell me this is an invalid ticket, but instead breaks out in a wonderfully needed smile and says "Thanks, enjoy the game".
So, for $100 and about 30 minutes of nervous hell, we ended up sitting in the wheelchair row in Section 24 directly behind the scout level seats. No one in front of us, no one behind us. Easily the best seats I've ever had for a Reds game and it was fricken Opening Day to boot. But holy crap did it take me the next hour after getting in to finally calm down enough to enjoy the seats.
Oh yeah, it was cold as all get out even down at field level with the wind at our backs. I'm actually still shocked about getting those seats for $100. My buddy sold his LF bleacher seats for $80/ticket.
P.S. The views we had for Dunn and Hattebergs HRs couldn't have been any better.