You Can’t Win this Battle

Well I decided to battle the virtual waiting room for Boston Red Sox tickets. Its a battle you can’t really win with all the markups and convenience fees. But you can try to minimize the damage by getting the tickets from the red sox, instead of their official online markup dealers AceTickets. How to get the tickets? Wait in the virtual waiting room for single game tickets. Sounds pretty simple, its not. If you go to the Boston Red Sox home page to buy tickets, they will inform you that they are not on sale yet. Try to find out when they go on sale, and it will not be posted anywhere. On January 28th, it was posted on the red sox site that tickets to single season games go on sale Saturday January 30th at 10am. Wow, thanks for the 2 day heads up. Its like they are trying to hide it from the public.

Waiting Room
Waiting Room

So what do you do, get into the virtual waiting room, and hope you get picked for tickets. I’ve tried this before. Some days I’ve been in from 10am-4pm, and still never got tickets. I’ve got tickets before too, so its a crap shoot. About 2 hours in, almost all the weekend games had “limited availability”. Around 1pm I amazingly got in! Knowing all the “good” games were sold out, I tried for bleacher (lowest cost) seats to two mid week games against the Arizona Diamondbacks in June. I was able to get bleacher seats on Tuesday, but Wednesday they were sold out and I ended up with more expensive right field seats.

My $28 bleacher seats came with a $4.25 convenience fee, and the total order has a $7 processing fee too. But how does this compare to buying the same tickets through the Official Boston Red Sox ticket resellers? Well 4 tickets in the same section go for $67 each, with around a $4.50 service charge. How is this legal? Well the anti-scalping laws are very vague:

“The statute says they can charge a reasonable mark-up,” Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said. “We can’t assess what a reasonable mark-up is … because the statute is very vague.”

So, with almost 2/3rds of the seats at Fenway reserved for season tickets, another portion allotted to Sox Packs, more tickets to Yankees games available through email lottery, there just isn’t that much choice of how to get your tickets. Here’s a link to an interesting older article on ticket sales, things haven’t changed much in 2010.

Red Sox fans squeezed by ticket resellers –