It was a very chilly and windy 20 degrees here in Maine this morning when I began the annual quest for Red Sox tickets. With the NFL, NBA, and NHL seasons now in full swing, baseball spring training and the date for pitchers and catchers to report seems like a long way away. I am hoping that – on this morning – most of Red Sox nation is too wrapped up in other sports to remember to try to get their Sox tickets. Ever since breaking the curse in 2004 and winning it all again in 2007, Red Sox games have become a very tough ticket to get – at least at face value. The first day that tickets go on sale has become a pretty big deal to me. I love going to Fenway Park, but unless you want to pay an arm and a leg through Ebay or the official scalper of the Red Sox (ACE Tickets), the moment tickets to selected games become available at 10:00am you have to be armed and ready – prepared to work the phone lines and/or spend considerable time in the virtual waiting room just to have a shot at what are probably the worst seats in the park being sold first.
I gave up using the phone method a few years back… too much hassle redialing three phones at the same time, and the family weren’t too impressed that I was hogging all of the phone lines in the house trying to get through. Using the phone, I NEVER got anything but a recorded message, always failing miserably in the quest to talk to a human being and order tickets.
My chosen method of obtaining tickets is now the Internet virtual waiting room. I have had some success using this method, scoring two Sox Packs (same seats to 4 games) last year at this time that went down very well as presents for Sam. You click on a link to purchase tickets and are magically transported to an Internet holding area… from there you watch the clock countdown from 15 seconds… at that point the clock refreshes for another 15 seconds (and another, and another), or you are lucky enough to be chosen at random and offered a chance to purchase tickets for the upcoming season. After last year’s success, I was feeling pretty good about my chances, especially with my patented strategy.
Like the lottery, I figured the more times you are entered into this process, the more likely you are to be selected. With this in mind, I opened 60+ browser windows (see the screenshot below) and sat for over an hour waiting and watching them refresh every 15 seconds, hoping just once to be welcomed into Red Sox ticket-land. It worked last year, so it should this year too, right?
At 11:08 and 25 seconds I called it a day. My eyes were exhausted from scanning each of the browser windows as they refreshed, and besides… at that point I figured that there weren’t going to be any good seats left anyway. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t really a bad seat in Fenway Park, but to try to get 4 together over an hour into this frenzy would likely have been futile.
So… hello Ebay and a healthy profit for those fortunate enough to have been able to navigate the virtual waiting room process and interested in re-selling their tickets. Even though I struck out this time, and I am feeling somewhat bitter about the elevated cost of supporting the Sox in person, that will not stop us from visiting Fenway Park again this summer. Nothing compares to a warm summer evening spent in America’s most beloved ballpark cheering on the hometown team and eating an Italian sausage… go Sox!