Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Need Tickets? Got Tickets?

The Red Sox announced that, apparently for the first time in 14 years, they are freezing ticket prices for the 2009 season. I was pretty excited about that. But, listening to some of the EEIdiots, that’s not even enough. There were actually calls for the Red Sox to cut ticket prices so that more people can afford them. I know I’ve brought this up before, but why do people think they’re entitled to go to a Red Sox game?

Some of the calls mentioned the tough economic times. How, they asked, could the Sox expect people to shell out ticket money when times are so tough? That’s a good point. The economy isn’t as good as it could be. But, from the Sox point of view, there are still plenty of people who can afford to go to Red Sox games. I have no doubt that the Sox will sell out every game once again. They may make a larger dent in their seven-year waiting list for season tickets then they have in the past. But, there will still be a waiting list. People will flock to Fenway 81 times. I suspect the same would be true if they raised prices. So, why would they lower prices? The usually response from the EEIdiots is that the real fans can’t afford games. The families can’t afford games. It’s all corporations, and the rich who can afford the $125 seats. Who gets to decide who “deserves” tickets? Should there be a quiz you have to pass before they let you through the gates? I’m very sorry that some people who would like to go to a game this year won’t be able to afford to. That’s the way it works sometimes. I can’t afford a Lexus, but I’m not calling for Lexus to lower their prices this year to a level that I can afford. I’d be laughed at for even suggesting it. And, really the prices themselves aren’t that high. You can get a bleacher seat for $26, and an infield grandstand for $50. A ticket to Disney on Ice is going to cost you that. People aren’t calling in radio shows to complain that they’re not slashing prices.

The other argument that the EEIdiots like to bring up is that it’s not just ticket prices. You need to pay $50 for parking. Food and beers cost an arm and a leg. That’s all extra money. Families are hit worse. Once you’re done buying food and hats and programs for two kids, the day costs as much as rent. Of course, they ignore the fact that you don’t have to do any of that. Parking at the T is, what, $3? Plus another $3-4 for the T pass? Even a family of four gets in at less than $20 to park. As for food and drink at the game, don’t buy it. Eat at home before you go. I generally stick to a hot dog and a souvenir soda at the game. That’s around $10. I just make sure I eat well at home before I go. As for the kids, I know that I didn’t get endless food when I went to games with my parents. If I ever bring kids, they won’t get hats, and pennants, and programs. Heck, the autographs in Autograph Alley are free. What better souvenir is there?

If you want to go to a game, you can do it. Just like any other fun thing you want to do, you just need to make it a priority. Just like going to the opera, or a museum, or an amusement park. Costs come with everything. Some things you can afford. Some things you can’t. It’s the way it goes.

If you want to go to a game cheaply, I do have a couple tips that make sense to me. -Pay face value for a ticket. Don’t waste money by paying scalpers. Get your butt in front of a computer, and get them from the ticket office. You still may get shut out, but you need to try.
-Don’t pay the crazy parking fees. Even if you don’t like the T, it’s worth a bit of a walk to not pay the fees next to Fenway. If you look around town enough, you can find better deals. I still think the T is the way to go.
-Buy the kids peanuts or popcorn. It takes several innings to make your way through a bag of either. That limits the number of times you’ll need to stuff food in their face. The peanuts are nice too because they get the fun of having them thrown into the crowd. (Although, food is usually cheaper if you go down and get it yourself)
-Kids don’t need hats or shirts or bats. Programs are a couple bucks outside Fenway. Teach the kids to keep score. (This saves money by keeping them too occupied to want food as well) Autographs are free. Kids like the cheap things as much as a bat.
-Skip the beer. You’re there to watch a ballgame, not get a buzz.

Anybody else have a way to save money on a trip to the Fens?

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