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The Sellout Streak and Fenway Park


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#1 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:03 AM

The Red Sox Fenway Park sellout streak is over 700 games now. What with the economy still not back up to speed, and the way the team ended 2011 (and started 2012), it's a real question as to whether the streak will continue.

We've all commented on games being declared "sell outs" when attendence was 500 or 1000 below capacity, and we've all witnessed many empty seats, and yet the "sell out streak" continues as the team claims SRO and singles and obstructed view seats don't count.

What's next?


This is next.


Yes, the Sox are on Google Offers.

For $20 (the regular price of an SRO "seat") you get a standing room ticket, plus $10 in included concessions (if you dare give up your primo spot behind 45 rows of seats, and you can't use it for beer), and 20% off at the Yawkey Way Store. Offer good for the 17th or 18th.

True, as mentioned, they've never required standing room to be sold out to count towards the sellout streak, but this works for them two ways:

1) It could help sell out the SRO's, which will make last minute purchasers buy crappy grandstand seats
2) If successful, there is no doubt in my mind that they will use this method to get rid of crappy grandstand seats in the future.

#2 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:14 AM

to clarify, a sellout is when there are at least as many SRO tickets sold as unsold reserved seats. So the more SRO they sell, the more overpiced reserved seats they can leave unsold. (Loges in the 160's, OV GS, etc)

with the SRO's and their bundling with Yankees games (especially the SRO pax), they may be ok until September. Althought April 17-18, and April 30-May 2nd and May 14-15 will be tough.

Edited by Hendu's Gait, 12 April 2012 - 08:17 AM.


#3 soxfan121


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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:39 AM

Nothing would hurt this ownership more than a national broadcast (FOX) with early inning crowd shots of empty seats. Stand on Yawkey, watch on the monitors, watch the end.

But swaths of 3rd inning empty seats would scare the shit out Lucchino, even if the game was "sold out" and most of the patrons were out on Yawkey Way (not buying beer - that would be another component).

#4 sittingstill

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:29 AM

For $20 (the regular price of an SRO "seat") you get a standing room ticket, plus $10 in included concessions (if you dare give up your primo spot behind 45 rows of seats, and you can't use it for beer), and 20% off at the Yawkey Way Store. Offer good for the 17th or 18th.

True, as mentioned, they've never required standing room to be sold out to count towards the sellout streak, but this works for them two ways:

1) It could help sell out the SRO's, which will make last minute purchasers buy crappy grandstand seats
2) If successful, there is no doubt in my mind that they will use this method to get rid of crappy grandstand seats in the future.


There are really sweet seats on Stubhub for those games well under face value, FWIW, so there may be empty seats visible anyway. I decided last year that outside of Opening Day and Patriot's Day I wasn't going to buy anything in April when tickets went on sale, because so many season ticket holders list their April seats under face.

Out of curiosity I just ran through the available sections using the seat map on redsox.com and found 490 available seats for the April 18 game.

Heck, the Mets gave away tickets for Easter--I don't see any reason the Sox wouldn't run some kind of $5 cheap-seat or SR or half-price other seat Twitter deal, maybe with some other kind of freebies attached.

#5 biollante


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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:54 PM

I believe the so called "sell outs" are a myth for the last two years. I have been to too many games where there are too many empty seats. Just because ticket companies or Red Sox affliates buy seats doesn't mean it is a sell out. Until there is ticket transparency, I won't believe it. It is all a big shell game.

#6 trekfan55


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Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:51 PM

I believe the so called "sell outs" are a myth for the last two years. I have been to too many games where there are too many empty seats. Just because ticket companies or Red Sox affliates buy seats doesn't mean it is a sell out. Until there is ticket transparency, I won't believe it. It is all a big shell game.


I think that towards the end, all sellout streaks are a shell game. I'm pretty sure that the Rockies played around with the numbers a lot during their sellout streak, until they finally had to drop the act (before it became too obvious I guess). Ditto for the Indians.

In this case, there may be some number they want, or just a point where they can no longer pretend, and at that point they'll admit to not having a sellout. There is no benefit, other than a record keeping stat to having sellouts, unlike the NFL where a sellout is needed for the game to be broadcast locally, so I don't really expect anyone to suddenly "audit" a sellout game.

So yeah, I'm pretty sure that Fenway stopped being fully sold out some time ago.

#7 8slim


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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:30 PM

Attendance numbers are the biggest sham in sports. I mean I go to minor league hockey games near me where announced attendance is often 5,000 in an 8,500 seat arena, and yet there is no earthly way that there are more than 2,000 human beings in the building. I believe attendance, and the accompanying "sell out" streaks, are some concocted measure of tickets distributed and outright lying.

#8 Harry Hooper


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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:45 PM

I believe the so called "sell outs" are a myth for the last two years. I have been to too many games where there are too many empty seats. Just because ticket companies or Red Sox affliates buy seats doesn't mean it is a sell out. Until there is ticket transparency, I won't believe it. It is all a big shell game.

All

The streak is totally a sham. Don and Jerry were begging repeatedly on air for folks to buy tickets during many games last year, especially in May- June - July. As a last resort, the team may have sold a bunch to Ace for $1/piece just to claim another sellout.

#9 JimBoSox9


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Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:26 PM

Am I the only one who A) doesn't care about the technical requirements for a sellout, B) doesn't care if the Sox play shell games to maintain a sellout streak, and C) doesn't care if the sellout streak continues?

#10 saintnick912


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Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:43 PM

As far back as September 2006 there were a lot of empty seats, and not just at the end of games. Maybe they were just no shows, but I was able to move around quite a bit.

#11 judyb

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:43 PM

Am I the only one who A) doesn't care about the technical requirements for a sellout, B) doesn't care if the Sox play shell games to maintain a sellout streak, and C) doesn't care if the sellout streak continues?

No, I only checked this thread out of curiosity about how people were finding something to discuss in it.

#12 Pumpsie


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Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:55 PM

Just about all announced attendance figures for regular season sports events are a sham. One only has to attend games and look around or even watch games on television and compare common sense to the announced figures. This fakery has become more obvious in the past few years with our slumping economy. Some NBA and college basketball games are very sparsely attended. Some of the college bowl games this past year had only about 10% of the seats filled. The money comes from advertisers trying to reach the people watching on television, not the people buying tickets for actual seats. But everyone does this, in order to keep the brand equity up for the advertisers to buy, so it continues.

#13 amh03


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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:25 PM

There are tickets on Stubhub and Ace as low as $8.99 & $12.00 for some early games!

#14 simplyeric


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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:38 PM

No, I only checked this thread out of curiosity about how people were finding something to discuss in it.


On the Forum page, this thread supposedly has 56 replies....doesn't look like it in here though.

Question: does all the "sell-out" talk start to hurt their sales? If everyone thinks the games are selling out, aren't a lot of people going to be discouraged from even looking to see if tix are available?

#15 Curt S Loew


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Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:48 AM

This was on Boston.com today:

http://www.boston.co.../?p1=News_links

What says it all is that I just went on StubHub and I can get a ticket for TODAY for 20 bucks. Even during the crummy years of the 90s this was unheard of. People really do not "like" this team.

#16 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:54 AM

This was on Boston.com today:

http://www.boston.co.../?p1=News_links

What says it all is that I just went on StubHub and I can get a ticket for TODAY for 20 bucks. Even during the crummy years of the 90s this was unheard of. People really do not "like" this team.


"As soon as they didn’t sell out, they never sold out again"

Sobering. And explanatory of the lengths and widths and depths the team goes through to keep the illusion alive.

Edited by Hendu's Gait, 13 April 2012 - 07:54 AM.


#17 Toe Nash

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:23 AM

This was on Boston.com today:

http://www.boston.co.../?p1=News_links

What says it all is that I just went on StubHub and I can get a ticket for TODAY for 20 bucks. Even during the crummy years of the 90s this was unheard of. People really do not "like" this team.


1. I would be surprised if there weren't some years in the 90s where opening day tickets were available cheaply.
2. I don't see anything below $40 on Stubhub right now.
3. Stubhub prices drop the closer you get to game-time, as sellers are more desperate and fewer people can get out of work to go. Ticket prices the morning of the game aren't really indicative of much.

#18 Seven Costanza


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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:26 AM

Bunch of tickets for the Rangers and A's upcoming visits- under 10 bucks. Looks like I'll be going to a few games.

#19 Toe Nash

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:28 AM

"As soon as they didn’t sell out, they never sold out again"

Sobering. And explanatory of the lengths and widths and depths the team goes through to keep the illusion alive.


The Indians also only made the playoffs once after 2001, and had some pretty poor years in there. And the year after they made the ALCS, the economy crashed so they couldn't really take advantage of their success.

If the Sox have a run like Cleveland from 01-11, then, yeah any team would have trouble filling seats.

#20 trekfan55


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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:30 AM

"As soon as they didn’t sell out, they never sold out again"

Sobering. And explanatory of the lengths and widths and depths the team goes through to keep the illusion alive.


The quote refers to Cleveland, which entered a rebuilding phase, the Sox are built as playoff contenders (whether they are or not is for another thread).

Apples and oranges, but still an interesting reason why the FO fudges the numbers around to keep the sellout streak alive.

Edit: Beaten by 2 minutes by Toenash.

Edited by trekfan55, 13 April 2012 - 09:31 AM.


#21 Captaincoop


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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:30 AM

What says it all is that I just went on StubHub and I can get a ticket for TODAY for 20 bucks. Even during the crummy years of the 90s this was unheard of. People really do not "like" this team.


True, because StubHub didn't exist. You could walk up to the ticket booth and buy tickets on your way in to most games, though.

#22 MentalDisabldLst


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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:34 AM

I'm just glad I managed to unload my RF Roof Table 4-pack of seats for a little above face on StubHub. The days of sold tickets having full-price resale value are probably numbered.

I like the fact that the Sox legitimately had the longest sellout streak in pro american sports. I'm fine with it ending once it becomes a sham, because (A) it keeps the legitimacy of the record, and (B) nobody's going to beat that record anyway.

#23 Curt S Loew


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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:39 AM

1. I would be surprised if there weren't some years in the 90s where opening day tickets were available cheaply.
2. I don't see anything below $40 on Stubhub right now.
3. Stubhub prices drop the closer you get to game-time, as sellers are more desperate and fewer people can get out of work to go. Ticket prices the morning of the game aren't really indicative of much.


I have been going to opening day just about every year since 1993 except for the last few years. I don't remember ever seen opening day tickets this cheap and in this quantity day of game. Plus, as has been mentioned up thread there are a TON of other games available for cheap. And 40 bucks is still cheap for the home opener.

#24 TomRicardo


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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:41 AM

Just about all announced attendance figures for regular season sports events are a sham.


You do realize the sellout streak has nothing to do with attendance figures right? The Red Sox continue to sell all their tickets because of legal scalping like stubhub but the secondary market is collapsing. Until the people reselling tickets take too much of a loss and walk away as well as the season ticket holders just decide it is not worth watching about a quarter of Larry Lucchino's All Personality All Stars, the streak will continue.

#25 trekfan55


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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:49 AM

You do realize the sellout streak has nothing to do with attendance figures right? The Red Sox continue to sell all their tickets because of legal scalping like stubhub but the secondary market is collapsing. Until the people reselling tickets take too much of a loss and walk away as well as the season ticket holders just decide it is not worth watching about a quarter of Larry Lucchino's All Personality All Stars, the streak will continue.


This is the key. When the secondary market is low enough, or if the team is really bad enough, people may start dropping their season tickets and then the FO has a problem selling out the place.

Question (I honestly don't know): If I want to purchase season tickets now, is there a long waiting list?

#26 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:59 AM

I'm just glad I managed to unload my RF Roof Table 4-pack of seats for a little above face on StubHub. The days of sold tickets having full-price resale value are probably numbered.

I like the fact that the Sox legitimately had the longest sellout streak in pro american sports. I'm fine with it ending once it becomes a sham, because (A) it keeps the legitimacy of the record, and (B) nobody's going to beat that record anyway.


Redskins are on a sellout streak back to 1968

Of course that means 7 & 8 games/season (unless they count preseason), but even so, they are up over 400 games with no reason to believe they will stop selling out in the next 30 years.

#27 MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:59 PM

Yeah, I kind of like this cratering of the market. Check out the May 2 game against the A's. Bleachers tix for under $10 is more like it. Infield grandstand for $33.

#28 In my lifetime

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:25 PM

The sellout streak is obviously a major deal to Red Sox management. It is not just about the record itself, but also the dynamics of what happens when it ends. Over the past 5 years, people could buy season tickets and sell whatever games they couldn't or didn't want to attend on the secondary market at a profit. This subsidized their sunk cost. The secondary market has taken a huge hit over the last year and this will end the automatic subsidies of the season ticket holders. Naturally, this will cause some season ticket holders to reconsider their investment. As a result, I would expect season ticket sales to take a significant hit next year unless the Red Sox have a good to great year this year or make big moves next off-season.

As it gets easier to get tickets, there is much less to be gained about buying tickets ahead of time and taking a chance with the weather, the standings, etc. The cycle results in more day of game sales for all but the premium games (Yankees, other good matchups, and weekends) and less advanced ticket sales. Inevitably, it will result in the end of the sell out streak probably during one of those cold, damp weekdays in September of this year or April of next.

No matter, even if the streak ends, just about every team will wish it had the Red Sox' problem.

#29 zimmerolls

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:44 PM

...and the Brewers have tickets on sale today 4/13 for $4.13. We just haven't had to resort to it, definitely can't remember when OD tickets were this cheap this morning there were still 700 + tickets available on Stubhub for decent prices. September's ugly finish still lingers and bandwagon fans want to see a winner...see mfy fans, DBack fans and the like. Die-hard fans are pissed about a lot of things. FO/ Theo's bump and run/ Tito being bounced. But as always with the RS if we win they will come. People don't stay away long. Right now you can have your pick of the litter on Stub Hub if you want some decent tickets. Enjoy the moment, it won't last too long.

#30 estreetfan

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:50 PM

The Sox had an attendance of 38,024 on Saturday and 38, 024 on Sunday. With Standing Room Only, is this a fluke?

#31 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:41 PM

More likely a computer error.

#32 FortyFive


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Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:08 PM

The thing is though, season tickets in baseball are different from season tickets in other sports. Much harder to give up tickets that have been in the family or that you've had for decades. Especially at a place like Fenway, where the seats are so much closer to the action and things like personal seat licenses don't preclude real people from sitting in close proximity to the field. I don't think the Sox are going to have a problem with most of the premium season ticketholders (Field Box, Loge Box, certain GS seats) suddenly deciding not to buy. And if they do, they have a pretty sizeable season ticket waiting list. Fenway Park is a destination - which is why, even if they do lose some season ticketholders, they won't be F'd to the same degree as other teams who have lost their season ticket base with less venerable establishments than Fenway.

#33 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:41 AM

At the box office windows (the regular ones on the left, not the traditional VIP and/or season ticket holder), right over the Future Game Sales sign there's a sign that reads Ace Tickets VIP pickup or something to that effect.

Last yeat were the post cards, this year it's this, wonder what next year will bring.

I love the hypocrisy of that place.

#34 Hosey and Housie

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:39 PM

I had an odd experience in the box office on Opening Day. There was a Sox employee checking with everybody as they got in line what they were getting in line for. I stated I was getting in line to purchase for a future game. The Sox employee said I would have to come back at a later date or call on the phone tickets for any future game tickets. I pointed to the window with the sign over it stating "future game sales" and I stayed in line and went to that window and purchased tickets. I noticed on Opening Day the day of game sales line was moving quite steadily and the Sox even tweeted out there was a ticket drop about 30minutes before the game.

In past seasons I've heard good things about the Scalp-Free zone and people purchasing tickets a significant discount from people looking to unload tickets. I've had the 10game pack for several seasons now, in the past you could always sell extras to friends/family even against teams like Baltimore/Cleveland- now nobody is really interested in any tickets unless it's the Yankees. Like others have noted, there are tickets for under $10 on Stubhub, you can always just pick up an SRO or cheaper bleacher and find a seat somewhere else if you wanted to. More and more people I think will be turning to Stubhub etc rather than the fixed pricing the Red Sox have.

#35 Laser Show

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:13 PM

I don't think the streak will survive this season. The prices on Stubhub are getting ridiculous - they start at 30 bucks for Sunday night's game against the Yankees. The demand is already dropping and so is the quality of the team on the field.

Edited by Laser Show, 17 April 2012 - 11:05 PM.


#36 Robert Plant

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:51 PM

Just like a lot of other teams, the Sox will probably turn to dynamic ticket pricing. If and when this happens, Stubhub is going to be in trouble.

#37 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:54 PM

Just like a lot of other teams, the Sox will probably turn to dynamic ticket pricing.


I asked someone in ticket operations this last year, no plans to do it in the near future. Things can change though.

Edited by Hendu's Gait, 17 April 2012 - 10:55 PM.


#38 HriniakPosterChild

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:28 AM

I asked someone in ticket operations this last year, no plans to do it in the near future. Things can change though.

The M's did it this year, and I'm sure they had plenty of data of actual StubHub prices from last year to convince them it was a good idea. Lord knows I sold enough $40 face value tickets (season ticket price) to Tuesday night Oakland games for $30-something last year. No one was going to buy a seat 30 rows back from mine for the $60 single game price the team was offering with StubHub in play.

This year, my price for the garbage-team, garbage-night games has to compete with the team's, and the team doesn't have to account for StubHub fees when setting its prices.

The airlines make a mint off the idea, and we all love the airlines, right?

#39 JMDurron

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:51 AM

I think it's safe to say that the sellout streak is nearing the end when the team is putting free tickets in green balloons all over Boston. I'm not precisely sure where the "freebie stored in a balloon you have to look for" price point falls on the "sellout streak ends" timeline, but it's got to be pretty damn close to the end.

#40 sittingstill

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:18 AM

Just like a lot of other teams, the Sox will probably turn to dynamic ticket pricing. If and when this happens, Stubhub is going to be in trouble.

Possibly, but as FortyFive said, the season ticket base is very strong. Forbes had the number of seats represented by season tickets at 21,000/game. Even if a season ticket holder no longer wants to go, selling some premium games at multiple times face and dumping some half-price unappealing games makes it financially worthwhile to keep them. Stubhub essentially already practices dynamic pricing--but sellers can be greedier on the high end for Yankees games and summer weekends and cut their losses faster on April weeknight Orioles games. They'll live.

#41 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:30 PM

Anyone know which season tickets have multi-year contracts? I'm guessing only EMC and perhaps State Street Pavilion, but not sure. Those people/corporations have to be taking a beating on them this year.

Some of the expensive seats that don't have a commitment/contract will be leaving, especially the recent ones.

But yes, overall, if I had to bet, I would say this is the strongest ST base in MLB.

#42 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:28 PM

they're also doing some events/bundling, like this:

http://www.dartmouth...ts-as-a-career/

#43 WayneHousieHOF


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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:32 PM

If the team continues to stumble, I could see things getting dicey for the streak during the Oakland series.

#44 behindthepen


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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:36 PM

"college games at Fenway", may 14 and 15 vs Mariners

edit for clarification of the promo:
"
College Day
Fans with valid college ID
Join hundreds of other college students at Fenway Park as the Red Sox take on the Seattle Mariners. All students get a 20% discount at the Red Sox Team Store on Yawkey Way and the first 200 students to arrive will get a free T shirt and access to the Green Monster for batting practice. Visit redsox.com/college and enter the code COLLEGE to get your tickets today!"

Edited by behindthepen, 25 April 2012 - 03:20 PM.


#45 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:33 AM

Same Google offers as the start of this thread for April 30 and May 2 (but not on May 1). $20 gets you SRO and $10 in concession cash and 20% off at the store.

Edited by Lose Remerswaal, 25 April 2012 - 05:33 AM.


#46 Dummy Hoy


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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:51 AM

Same Google offers as the start of this thread for April 30 and May 2 (but not on May 1). $20 gets you SRO and $10 in concession cash and 20% off at the store.


What a bunch of scumbags. Even as Rome appears to be burning (the end of the sellout streak), they still won't just give in and lower ticket prices the slightest bit. Nope, instead they'll see if they can get us into the park by trying to trick us into still paying too much for their shitty food and overpriced trinkets. I'd buy the tickets if they just fucking lower the prices.

#47 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:16 AM

A: It's hard to lower ticket prices during the season
B: $20 for SRO really isn't so bad, is it?

#48 johnmd20


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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:21 AM

A: It's hard to lower ticket prices during the season
B: $20 for SRO really isn't so bad, is it?


Agreed on B. I'm trying to find the reason to be outraged. 20 bucks to walk in the door and discounts on concessions and souvenirs. What absolute jerks. That's awful!!11!!11

edit - no spelling skillz

Edited by johnmd20, 25 April 2012 - 06:21 AM.


#49 Seven Costanza


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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:59 AM

What a bunch of scumbags. Even as Rome appears to be burning (the end of the sellout streak), they still won't just give in and lower ticket prices the slightest bit. Nope, instead they'll see if they can get us into the park by trying to trick us into still paying too much for their shitty food and overpriced trinkets. I'd buy the tickets if they just fucking lower the prices.


Take a gander at StubHub. Standing room starting at 7 bucks for April 30 and May 1, starting at 8 bucks for May 2. Other than my already purchased 4 game pack, it's going to be my goal to pay below face for every other game I go to this season.

#50 Stuffy McInnis

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 07:48 AM

Take a gander at StubHub. Standing room starting at 7 bucks for April 30 and May 1, starting at 8 bucks for May 2. Other than my already purchased 4 game pack, it's going to be my goal to pay below face for every other game I go to this season.


But Stubhub adds $10.45 in fees to that 7.00 SRO ticket. With Stubhub at $17-18 and Google offers at 20$, that seems to be what the market price is for getting in to the park.




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