Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Eat My Shorts, Scalpers!

It's been said, "They're all good seats." I think PT Barnum said it first. Then after he sold the ticket for a seat behind the elephants, he coined the phrase, "There's a sucker born every minute."

As an average guy, I'm lucky to get better than average seats to concerts or sporting events. Blocks of tickets are reserved for corporate sponsors, premier club members, wealthy benefactors, scalpers--pretty much everyone else but me. By the time I'm on Ticketmaster's website, the best available is row RR in the upper level.

I took the family to an international soccer game at Soldier Field in Chicago last summer. We sat high in the third deck, so far from the field that some eagles roosting nearby couldn't figure out what we were looking at. Sure, we had a nice view of the boats out in Lake Michigan and could wave at passing planes, but so far as figuring out what was going on down on the field, forget it. Rumor after the game was that Manchester United tied Bayern Munich.

I hoped for better fortune when I pre-ordered tickets to a Smothers Brothers gig a couple years ago. Our seats were listed in row "HC" which I couldn't find in the seating chart. Maybe a special box seat? No, it turns out they were tickets for handicapped folks, though we're not. You'd think as a generous gesture they would sit disabled folk front and center to give them a better view in case people stood up. Nope. We were given portable folding chairs near the exit in back of the theatre--better for us in case there was a fire, we were told. But certainly not the better view. It could have been Laurel and Hardy singing way down front and we wouldn't have known the difference.

So I'm hoping my luck is changing. I hopped aboard the internet and Ticketmaster earlier this year trying to score tickets to Paul McCartney. I wasn't going to 'settle' this time. Although I accessed the ticket site just as the public sale commenced, I was disheartened. Nothing in the lower deck and many ticket offerings in the upper deck carried "behind the stage" warnings. I tried again. And again. About to give up, I spied a notice that a second concert had been added the following night. Clicked on that and I was able to snatch up two tickets. It was Row R and behind the floor seating, but ON THE LOWER LEVEL! No nosebleeds this time, no sirree Bob.

Then my older son asked me to try to get tickets to a World Cup soccer qualifying match in Columbus, Ohio on Labor Day weekend.. I even had a special mailer with a pre-sale password. But I missed the pre-sale by a day and had to wait for the sale to the general public. This time, I took the first three seats offered as "best available" from Ticketmaster, rather than trying different price ranges. Good thing. The tickets sold out in 20 minutes. Later today, I saw scalpers' sites offering tickets to the same event at prices over three times what I paid. Oooooohyeahhhh.

Of course, we haven't been to either the McCartney concert nor the Soccer World Cup qualifier. Our seats may still be terrible. But for today anyway, I feel like I'm one up on the ticket scalpers.


Anonymous Old Horsetail Snake said...

Don't they have television where you live Dave? That's the REAL way to beat scalpers: don't show.

(Thanks for showing, though, at my place today. Effing Mariners...)

7:43 PM  
Blogger Gypsybobocowgirl said...

I feel your pain. The only thing I will take a lousy ticket for is Jimmy Buffett--the most fun there is always on the lawn anyway.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Sunnyside said...

Yes, indeed, the world of obtaining tickets is just so much fun these days!

Wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice message. Yes, I have courage and even though I have had things put in front of me that have made for some rough roads and detours in my route, I am a good traveler and a fighter.

Sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. It is always difficult, not only at the time, but throughout many times afterwards as well.

I am very glad you also checked out the article I had reference in my blog. The woman that wrote that is excellent at nailing things on the head!

10:50 AM  

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