As for World Series tickets…I tried until about 3:00 PM Tuesday (about the time tickets for games 3, 4, and 5 “sold out” – pun intended). All I can say is, “Bend over and take it like a fan!” Aside from the trouble on Monday which brought down the website from which they were selling tickets, (which turned out to be virtually the only way in which ‘you’ could even try to purchase tickets and which the Rockies claim was brought to its knees by malicious hackers of some sort – i.e. too many hits at one time bringing to server to a halt) the selling turned out to be on the slow side on Tuesday after they got things rolling again. I started at the stroke of noon for my bid to get in (along with about twelve other friends on their respective computers) and immediately a screen came up stating that the server was backed up, or whatever, and that I should not refresh this screen for fear of being put at the “back of the line.” There was a little count-down timer at the bottom of the page that would supposed get to zero and then refresh the page by itself. This usually worked for about 10 to 12 minutes before the server would be reset…kick me off…and force me to start over – AT THE BACK OF THE LINE! I understand that this was more or less a “lottery filter” and luck had everything to do with it…and, you have got to be kidding! Had I been standing in a REAL line instead of a virtual one, you can bet that I wouldn’t have been “kicked out” and sent to the back of the ever expanding line! (Unless I did something really stupid…like pee on the guy in front of me or something. I didn’t even get that satisfaction. How do you virtual pee anyway?)
The worst part is that they took away the true fan base (locally) by opening it up to anyone in the world with a credit card in hand…and then rewarding them by letting them turn around and sell it for an immediate and tidy profit…or a HUGE profit if they are will to wait longer than a few seconds. Ticket prices at the third party vendor sites (as well as Ebay) as of this morning ranged from about $500 to $20,000 each depending on the day and the seat. Even at the low end…that is $500 for what was sold as a $65 ticket by MLB/Rockies (in the ‘Rockpile’ – a long, long way out beyond center field) for a seat that during the regular season goes for less than $10! Even worse, for the last 6 years or so, most of the MLB teams have been contracting with an exclusive reseller (ticket vendor) to market thousands of these tickets at whatever price they want. The caveat is that the vendor buys these tickets at face value, before ‘we’ are allowed to buy them, then resells them at an obvious higher price, with 25% of the profit from the resale going back to the team. On top of that, only one ticket vendor is awarded this privilege…so there is minimal competition, which keeps (drives) the price high. This year the concession rights went to StubHub, which as you can see, if you go to their web site, are keeping right in line with the current collusion with MLB and price gouging. As with most of Major League Baseball lately, it has little to do with loyalty or what’s fair and everything to do with economics and what is easiest. Man have things changed since I was a kid.
One way around all of this of course, in order to get guaranteed playoff and World Series tickets, is to buy season tickets (as was pointed out last week by more than one ‘spokesmen’). Just because somebody is not a season ticket holder does not mean they are not an avid fan. What a joke. They need to look a little closer at who their real fans are! Just how many of those current season ticket holders are real fans…and not some corporation or member of the nouveau wine and cheese crowd? At every game that we went to through August, we were surrounded most by a group of people who spent the far majority of their time gossiping, talking business, or touting the accomplishments of their kids (whom oddly enough were not in attendance). Many of us over the however many years have adopted the (team of your choice) and have had to live through mostly average to bad times (there are some exceptions). Those of us here in Colorado have suffered for most of the last fifteen years, but were always hopeful and sometimes pleasantly surprised (playoffs vs Atlanta back in 1995). Even as late August there looked to be no chance. But, baseball being baseball, and the whole “…game (season) ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings.” thing, has given us truly a once in a lifetime chance at history. But alas, history can be cruel (and, yes, even repeat itself)…and above all, remember…DO NOT BEND OVER TO PICK UP THE SOAP IF ANYONE ASSOCIATED WITH MLB DROPS IT!