Hollywood, FL–If you’re like me, then virtually all of your ticket buying activity these days is done on Stubhub. It wasn’t always this way or this easy, Millennials. Back in the day when Ron Delsener ruled the world, getting tickets to whatever event you wanted was tough. Without the internet, event goers were forced to endure unimaginable pain waiting in line for ducats to your favorite game, concert, whatever. In high school, the cool kids who went to concerts the night before always came to school the next day wearing their Pink Floyd, Grand Funk Railroad or Blue Oyster Cult t-shirts. Or in Short Matt’s case, a very unfortunate Minnie Ripperton cut-off. More on that later.
One Saturday afternoon about three years ago, my kids and I went to a Met game. We had purchased the tickets beforehand online. No sooner had I plunked down my $21.00 to park, it dawned on me that I had forgotten to print out my already purchased tickets and had no access to print them now.
I walked into the Mets customer relations office just off to the side of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. They scrambled, taking several forms of my ID, a DNA sample and made about 7 phone calls before emerging about 20 minutes later. Yes-they could print out my tickets for that day’s game, but there would be a seemingly arbitrary $7.00 service charge. Per ticket. Since that day in 2012, I decided, much like B.A. Baracus decades earlier, that I would “game” the system and never again pay a usury service charge like that.
The novelties of the Red Sox visiting Citifield and the Mets being in 1st place had conspired to drive the cost of last Saturday’s game sky high. So when I decided to take my kids and a friend of theirs to the game, I bought one ticket in the field box level in left field for about $60 bucks. Next, I returned to my laptop and bought 3 tickets in section 597 or something. These were roughly $12. a piece.
We entered the stadium with our 4 tickets and quickly sprang into action. For me, the beauty of arriving just as the gates are opening is sublime. No matter where your seats may be, for the first hour or so after the gates open each game, there is nearly unfettered access to every part of the ballpark. Batting practice is typically underway, and the choice to hang out by the field in either left or right field is driven by the autographs you seek-home team or visitors. This early arrival affords you the chance to chat with the ballplayers, get autographs rather easily, and even collect a few baseballs from cooperative players. And the grass. The greenest grass you’ll ever see.
About 45 minutes prior to first pitch, the ushers start clearing the field level of the “undesirables” who’ve been loitering about in the pricey sections. By this time, I’m furniture. I’m anchored to my seats, have schmoozed with most of the ushers and become the frazzled father of 3 chasing after his kids who can’t possibly be expected to produce all four of his tix to security every time I get up and back.
Dad gets to enjoy his Bacon on a Stick (extraordinary, btw) and the unrivaled feeling of having “gamed” the system once more. Victory-at least for one day, is mine!