Friday, February 22, 2008

Tickets for All

Ok, it happened again this weekend. The waitress was talking about the Red Sox, and mentioned trying to get tickets. She was complaining that the tickets were so expensive and hard to get. She claimed the Red Sox needed to do something to make the tickets cheaper and easier to obtain so she could have the opportunity to go to Fenway.

Why? Why do people feel, when it comes to the Red Sox, that they are somehow entitled to not only be able to go to the game, but to do it cheaply? Why is it the Red Sox’s fault that they can’t go to a game whenever they want? This odd obsession doesn’t carry over to other forms of entertainment. Nobody seems to feel they deserve to go to the zoo, or a museum, or Broadway show. It’s just the Red Sox. Suddenly it’s a birthright to attend at least one game a summer, and it needs to fit into whatever budget they have.

A decent Red Sox ticket at Fenway, in section 36 perhaps, costs around $25. Is that really so unreasonable? If I want to go see Elton John in Manchester, NH I’d have to spend at least $70 for a ticket. If I want to go on a Boston Aquarium whale watch, I’m shelling out $35. If I’d like to see Blue Man Group, I’m looking at $48 and up. Even going to York’s Wild Animal Kingdom will cost $19 for the zoo. When compared to other entertainment activities, does the $25 for the Sox sound unreasonable? It’s certainly not so overpriced that the Sox need to take action. And, it wouldn’t appear that the high ticket prices are stopping people from buying them. So, what are the Red Sox supposed to do? If they cut their prices in half, would more people be able to go? No. They’re already selling every ticket. Would different people be able to go? Probably not. The crowd that’s grabbing up the tickets at $25, would still grab them at $10. So, the prices clearly aren’t the problem.

I’ll admit, that tickets are hard to get. Harder to get than tickets for the other activities I listed. (Maybe Elton John would be as tough…and certainly if I included Hannah Montana she’d be even tougher) But, again, I don’t know what the Sox are supposed to do about that. They’re adding more seats every year to increase the number of tickets. Are they supposed to limit purchases to 1 ticket per person per year? Even that only gets it out to a few million people…and everyone has to go to the game alone. So that’s not exactly a plan. Again, I’ll admit, that scalpers get a lot of the tickets. It’s unfortunate, but hard to avoid. Even if the Sox went with the 1 ticket limit, scalpers would just hire every college student in Boston to get a ticket for them. There’s just no way around it.

In the end, I’m sorry that not everyone gets to go to a game whenever they want. I’m sorry that some things are too expensive for people. I’m sorry that some things are hard to be able to do. People really just have to deal with it. I accept that I will never attend a Broadway Show. Getting to NYC is too expensive and difficult. I’m not screaming that Broadway should lower their prices, and find a way to get me to the city. Why are the Red Sox any different?

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