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The Sellout Streak and Fenway Park


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#101 mabrowndog


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:41 AM

They're going to continue the charade until they have evidence that the vast majority of the fan base is aware of the sham. I doubt that evidence arrives anytime soon.

Hohler's article will erode some of their ability to be "that man behind the curtain", but there's a significant portion of the ticket-buying public that doesn't read the Globe and instead gets their Red Sox news from NESN and team-operated fluff feeds on Twitter & Facebook. Hell, I'd bet that "portion" still constitutes a majority.

#102 yecul


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:56 AM

It will be interesting to see how deep of a hole they have dug for themselves. Ending the streak would be admitting failure. Ending the streak could reveal (further) that it's been horseshit for a while. Ending the streak means all their chatter about how special it is now means that they are not special. Etc.

This wouldn't be a big deal, but you know they care a lot about those things and clearly believe they translate to dollars, which is what this is all about at the end of the day.

#103 mabrowndog


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:17 PM

The funny thing is that if they'd just avoided the use of the word "streak", and stuck with repetitive references (online, during broadcasts, etc.) to "another sellout crowd at Fenway", or "another packed house", or "it's standing room only in Boston", they could have avoided this whole mess.

But the word "streak" has been the centerpiece of their marketing campaign. Yecul's right, it's almost impossible to back away from it now.

#104 HriniakPosterChild

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:12 PM

But the word "streak" has been the centerpiece of their marketing campaign. Yecul's right, it's almost impossible to back away from it now.


Crash Davis: I told him that a player on a streak has to respect the streak.
Annie Savoy: Oh fine.
Crash Davis: You know why? Because they don't - -they don't happen very often.
Annie Savoy: Right.
Crash Davis: If you believe you're playing well because you're getting laid, or because you're not getting laid, or because you wear women's underwear, then you are! And you should know that!
[long pause]
Crash Davis: Come on, Annie, think of something clever to say, huh? Something full of magic, religion, bullshit. Come on, dazzle me.
Annie Savoy: I want you.



#105 The Gray Eagle


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:27 PM

The Red Sox just need to retroactively claim that they've always given thousands of tickets to charities, maybe 10,000 some nights. (They just had an understanding that the charities were supposed to pick up their tickets from the dumpster after the 6th inning.) And that some parts of the park were unofficially closed for safety reasons during lots of games. And all the other empty seats in all games were just due to no-shows.

So the "streak" actually started in 1912. Every game in the history of Fenway has been sold out! What an amazing feat! Unless you have an actual unused ticket from a previous game, you can't prove otherwise. And even if you do have an unused ticket, that just proves that you bought it! That counts as a no-show. Sell-out!

#106 LoweTek

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:33 PM

Granted the Sox do a great job with the JimmyFund, but considering the price of concessions and tickets, even if the 800 tickets are only $25 each, thats about $1.6M in charity donations they are giving away per year, and maybe I am biased but I just dont see this ownership group and Larry being that generous.


Whether they are that generous or not they have significant local charitable contribution obligations which were a condition of the purchase of the team. It was part of the settlement by AG Reilly to allow the sale to go forward given his suspicions the bidding process did not maximize the return to the Yawkey Trust. This is why you see so much RS Foundation activity, sponsors who donate $X to [insert local charity here] for every home run, save, run scored, etc. I don't know the details but it is a lot of money, with most of the "credit" for charitable activity funneled through the RS Foundation. Presumably, when they extend addditional comp tickets to charity, this activity is credited to the obligation.

#107 soPhisHticated

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:00 PM

Folks in Boston are not programmed to come to Fenway and buy tickets at the box office day of game like you can in every other major league city.

They leveraged this streak into the highest ticket prices in MLB and are trying to justify holding the line on ticket prices this year. This is an ownership group that might be a little too used to advance sellouts of games on dreary nights and overwhelming demand for tickets. That couldn't last forever, but these guys seem to operate with contempt for reality these days.

#108 sittingstill

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:01 PM

I'll bet they're also bankrolling (through low-cost or free airings on NESN) the Ace Ticket ads that run 2 or 3 dozen times a night during Sox games, pregame and postgame shows.

Except that promoting Ace at this point is counterproductive--if the team has tickets to sell, every dollar that goes to a reseller is a dollar that the team doesn't get. I know folks think that the team funnels tickets to Ace, but I don't think they do, at least not now. (Among other things, I think Ace would have wound up with some spring training tickets--but they had almost nothing, because the season ticket holders, who I think are their real sources, held onto tix for the first year.)

I do wonder whether it's against the rules of their agreement with StubHub for the team itself to list tickets for sale. That's what I'd do, if it were allowed in their agreement, to compete with market rates under the radar.

But not if that's the working definition that all teams go by. I'm not sure that it is, but if so I don't see why it should end. I'm sure the Indians tried similar things to keep their streak alive, and there came a point when it didn't make sense to lose money on excessive giveaways just to fill the stadium.

In case this hasn't been linked, there was an article in the Biz of Baseball last year on sellouts.

... each club controls how the threshold is set. For the Angels, it’s 43,500 (ballpark capacity is 45,281). And for the Rays, it’s exactly the seating capacity of Tropicana Field (36,973).



#109 ObstructedView

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:03 PM

I don't think the organization wants THIS to be the year that they acknowledge the end of the streak, what with the whole "Fenway 100" thing. It's bad enough that they were humiliated by their hated rivals on the birthday itself. Add in the bad PR that accompanied the end of last season, and there's ample motivation for ownership to maintain the charade through the end of this year out of pride alone.

#110 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:10 PM

Folks in Boston are not programmed to come to Fenway and buy tickets at the box office day of game like you can in every other major league city.


But that's the thing, they can't even if they wanted to. As Fenway has this policy, some think asinine, some think it makes sense, to not sell day of game tickets at the box office (in person) until the gates open (at gate E, not even the same place as "future games box office"). And on most sunny days you (used to) have to wait a couple hours in line for that "privilege." And some idiots still camp overnight.

#111 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:16 PM

I don't think the organization wants THIS to be the year that they acknowledge the end of the streak, what with the whole "Fenway 100" thing. It's bad enough that they were humiliated by their hated rivals on the birthday itself. Add in the bad PR that accompanied the end of last season, and there's ample motivation for ownership to maintain the charade through the end of this year out of pride alone.


The gaping blocks of empty seats are going to make their decision for them. No fanbase enjoys having its intelligence insulted, and we're getting into that territory now with the continued insistence of sellout after sellout.

#112 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:32 PM

It would be quite easy for them to fill the ballpark for most of the remaining games on the schedule. Tonight against Baltimore when the team has lost 2 in a row and it's cool and damp out? Maybe not. But tomorrow and Sunday and next weekend against Cleveland and beyond? Won't take much of an effort. And don't suggest cutting ticket prices, or doing the "$10 in concessions attached to your ticket" deal. It's not fair to folks who already bought tickets to give better deals to last minute buyers.

Here are some ideas:

No one goes to the games for the guys they get in Autograph Alley (tonight! Jim Corsi!), but it's the 100th Anniversary, stupid! Tomorrow is actually Billy Conigliaro, who I don't recall seeing listed there before. Sunday is Joe Morgan: Again, better than the Bill Monboquettes (sorry, Monbo), Dick Beradinos, and Frank Malzones that they usually get, but they can do better.

Get Jim Rice down there. He's at the park anyway half the games. Get Eck signing. Get Dewey and Mo and Luis and maybe even Pedro for that 4PM game against Seattle next week. That will sell more tickets. Let Oil Can sell and sign his book over at the souvenir shop on an off day. Buy a book, get an SRO ticket maybe.

Have a bobblehead night. There's no shame in giveaways. Start with the retired number guys. Do a Remdawg T shirt giveaway if you must, or even have a post game concert. I know SoShers will remember a Celtics bash that had a postgame concert by Akon (before his legal problems). Hell, if the Mets can do REO Speedwagon and Cheap Trick, the Sox should be able to get Journey or the Dropkicks.

There's no shame in promotions. They help sell tickets and will help extend the streak. There is shame in lying about a streak. When it was just "singles and obstructed views don't count", I thought that was fine. When all the tix have "been distributed" I can understand that. But when there are hundreds of tickets still at the booth in the 6th inning when they stop selling tix, that's just lying. And that's wrong and unnecessary.

#113 Oil Can Dan

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:09 PM

So some people see tickets for below face value on Stubhub, and then say they'd forgo Stubhub for more expensive tickets on redsox.com if only the Sox would stop lying about a sellout streak that's not for real.

Alrighty then.

(null)

#114 Matty005

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:21 PM

I find it funny that so many people think the Sox are the only teams that do this. I've been to Oakland A's games where I feel like at most there are 2,000 people in the place, yet it shows close to 10,000.

Also, unless there is a long homestand where they are having trouble selling, I doubt the streak will end anytime soon. I am sure they feel that once they get past today, it should be clear sailing (until September at least). Weekends are still a hard ticket and then you have Memorial Day weekend and after that it's summer. No point of ending the streak knowing that after one game of not being sold out, you'll have about 50+ games that should easily sell out.

#115 The Allented Mr Ripley


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:51 PM

Lurker weeba PM'd me with his two cents:

The part in that article that really got me was this quote:

"Yet interest in single game tickets has lagged, which has been evident in the resale market. Jim Holzman, president of Ace Ticket, said he lost about $10,000 on tickets he had bought and was unable to sell for Wednesday’s game, not including about 100 tickets he gave to charities."

$10k in tickets with a (legal) scalper for an early May game? This is why no one can buy tickets during the normal February sales. I'm glad to see Ace lose that much per game.



#116 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:15 PM

I find it funny that so many people think the Sox are the only teams that do this. I've been to Oakland A's games where I feel like at most there are 2,000 people in the place, yet it shows close to 10,000.

Reported numbers are tickets SOLD, not asses through the door. This includes season tickets (corporate, box, etc) that very likely are empty a decent amount of the time.

If they aren't selling more than 2000 tickets, we'd be hearing about it.

Lurker weeba PM'd me with his two cents:

$10k in tickets with a (legal) scalper for an early May game? This is why no one can buy tickets during the normal February sales. I'm glad to see Ace lose that much per game.


$10K in tix, with an average price around $50 = 200 tickets That's barely 1/2 of 1% of the tickets. That's not why he can't buy tix during the February onsale date.

Edit: And Ace isn't buying bleachers, so their average price is probably higher than $50.

Edited by Lose Remerswaal, 04 May 2012 - 07:16 PM.


#117 URI


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:17 PM

For the record, 800 comps is not a lot of comps. It's like 2% of the house, and a big chunk (I wouldn't guess a majority, but a good bit) of that is probably mandated by Major League Baseball rules.

I doubt they say the streak is over this year for a couple of reasons:
1. After the offseason they just had, where they pretty much pushed Theo out the door, and ignited Tito as he was pushed out as well, I doubt this management group wants to announce that a streak that started in 03 was over the year they remade the product.
2. They are still trying to sell going to Fenway as an event that has some exclusivity to it. "I'm going to Fenway tonight!! OMG how did you get tickets?"

#118 mabrowndog


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:17 PM

By the way, I saw the Globe while out shopping earlier. Having only read it online I thought it was just a sports section story, but it's the primary headline on the front page above the fold.

Edited by mabrowndog, 04 May 2012 - 07:19 PM.


#119 Fratboy


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:05 PM

Tonight's attendance: 37,223. No announcement of a sellout. I think it's over.

#120 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:02 AM

They've lost 8 of their last 9 at home and are now 7 games out of first. The ballpark is going to get real empty real fast real soon at this rate. Let's see how long they think they can fool us with the sellout crap.

#121 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:18 AM

Tonight's attendance: 37,223. No announcement of a sellout. I think it's over.


Per their website, capacity for night games is 37,493. That sounds like a non-sellout to me. Nothing in this morning's Globe mentioning that, however.

#122 yecul


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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:44 AM

Since no one cared in the first place the best thing to do would be to move on. Forget about it. Never mention it again. It will never come up because, once again, no one cared.

#123 MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:01 AM

So some people see tickets for below face value on Stubhub, and then say they'd forgo Stubhub for more expensive tickets on redsox.com if only the Sox would stop lying about a sellout streak that's not for real.

Alrighty then.

(null)


Sure. I'd pay face for tickets i wanted vs. $5 less a ticket for ten rows back or mid-row. The point is i don't even bother looking, as i'm sure most people don't. Not sure why that's a hard concept to grasp.

#124 HomeBrew1901


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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:20 AM

Sure. I'd pay face for tickets i wanted vs. $5 less a ticket for ten rows back or mid-row. The point is i don't even bother looking, as i'm sure most people don't. Not sure why that's a hard concept to grasp.

Now that I know Stubhub is selling tickets at below face value I'm far more likely to take my family of 4 and it is my go to site on a day like today when we don't have a lot going on and seeing a game is possible. Why would I pay 145 for 4 tickets in the grandstand plus surcharges on the Sox site when I can pay 81 for 4 bleacher seats? Plus that's if I bought now instead of waiting a few more hours to see if prices continue to come down.

Sucks for season ticket holders and people that bought before the season started but that's the way it goes. Same with buying airline tickets early, sometimes it works in your favor and sometimes you paid a few hundred dollars more than the guy sitting next to you that bought his tickets hat morning.

#125 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:51 AM

Lurker weeba PM'd me with his two cents:

The part in that article that really got me was this quote:

"Yet interest in single game tickets has lagged, which has been evident in the resale market. Jim Holzman, president of Ace Ticket, said he lost about $10,000 on tickets he had bought and was unable to sell for Wednesday’s game, not including about 100 tickets he gave to charities."

$10k in tickets with a (legal) scalper for an early May game? This is why no one can buy tickets during the normal February sales. I'm glad to see Ace lose that much per game.


That game was available during the December 10th sale, not February. And by available I mean available. "No one can buy tickets" for Friday May 4th = hogwash

#126 Reverend


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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:13 PM

hm.

Edited by Reverend, 05 May 2012 - 04:35 PM.


#127 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:44 PM

Got turned away when? There were tix at the box office today at noon, and plenty of empty seats.

#128 Reverend


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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:22 PM

Got turned away when? There were tix at the box office today at noon, and plenty of empty seats.


It's quite possible they don't know what they are talking about.


EDIT: Wait, are we talking about SRO?

Edited by Reverend, 05 May 2012 - 06:03 PM.


#129 sittingstill

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:00 PM

"Jim Holzman, president of Ace Ticket, said he lost about $10,000 on tickets he had bought and was unable to sell for Wednesday’s game"


I'm sure it's a total coincidence that Wednesday May 2 was one of the other games in the Opening Day Sox Pax.

#130 DanoooME


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Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:57 PM

Got turned away when? There were tix at the box office today at noon, and plenty of empty seats.


By my purely anecdotal observation of the crowd today, there were probably somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 empties throughout the ballpark today. Some of that may have been due to the potentially questionable weather, but it is getting more and more obvious. And the poor results at home aren't going to help things any.

#131 Domer

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:05 PM

Per their website, capacity for night games is 37,493. That sounds like a non-sellout to me. Nothing in this morning's Globe mentioning that, however.

Well that's assuming there were less than 270 no shows.

#132 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:05 AM

Well that's assuming there were less than 270 no shows.


The announced attendence includes no-shows. It's tickets "out", not asses through turnstiles.

#133 Max Power


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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:20 AM

By my purely anecdotal observation of the crowd today, there were probably somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 empties throughout the ballpark today. Some of that may have been due to the potentially questionable weather, but it is getting more and more obvious. And the poor results at home aren't going to help things any.


The empty seats were scattered all over the park, but the last row of every section was filled. The place was sold out; those were all no-shows.

#134 BigMike


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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:46 AM

I'm sure it's a total coincidence that Wednesday May 2 was one of the other games in the Opening Day Sox Pax.


Hopefully they lose money hand over first on the Red Sox this year, and they cut back on their buys moving forward

#135 Jim Ed Rice in HOF


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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:26 AM

Hopefully they lose money hand over first on the Red Sox this year, and they cut back on their buys moving forward

I imagine Ace has a whole host of season ticket accounts either directly or indirectly. If the indirect STH are no longer able to easily sell off their extras (or the whole season) to Ace for either face value or a premium then you could see the STH waiting list shrink considerably.

#136 Domer

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:55 AM

The announced attendence includes no-shows. It's tickets "out", not asses through turnstiles.

Hohler and Lasko point out that announced attendance is less than the number of tickets distributed.

#137 mabrowndog


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Posted 11 May 2012 - 11:52 AM

I posted this in the Carl Beane thread last night, but it really is a smoking gun that illuminates the team's marketing sham.

This was taken just moments before the ceremony to honor Carl, which began at 6:56 pm -- a mere 9 minutes before first pitch. It's like Municipal Stadium in Cleveland circa 1979.

Posted Image

Edited by mabrowndog, 11 May 2012 - 11:53 AM.


#138 Seven Costanza


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Posted 11 May 2012 - 12:24 PM

I got two bleacher tickets for Monday's game off stubhub for 28 bucks total- 10 bucks of fees included. It's like a buy one, get one free sale at the supermarket.

#139 sittingstill

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:59 PM

This was taken just moments before the ceremony to honor Carl, which began at 6:56 pm -- a mere 9 minutes before first pitch. It's like Municipal Stadium in Cleveland circa 1979.


It's my impression that the park is not filling up until at least the second inning, sometimes the third. Fans waiting out scalpers? Dodger fan syndrome? Increase in the capacity of drinking establishments near the park, along with the general perception that you aren't going to miss much if you miss a few innings?

#140 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:09 PM

First pitch is at 7:10PM this season, so that shot was 14 minutes prior to game time, and I can vouch for the fact that folks are streaming in through the gates from about 10 of until about 15 past for night games this year (ok, my sample size = 2, but they've only played 7 weeknight games so far), so although I had the same reaction that Mark did from that shot on NESN, I don't think it's applicable to this thread.

#141 Seven Costanza


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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:13 PM

I agree SS. In the 3 games I've been to thus far this year, it seems like a larger than usual number of people don't make it to their seats until the second or third. Tons of empty seats abound at first pitch. Concourses are generally always full, so I don't think it's late arrivals- more people waiting in line to get food and beer before they head to their seats.

#142 Laser Show

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:22 PM

I agree SS. In the 3 games I've been to thus far this year, it seems like a larger than usual number of people don't make it to their seats until the second or third. Tons of empty seats abound at first pitch. Concourses are generally always full, so I don't think it's late arrivals- more people waiting in line to get food and beer before they head to their seats.


Yup. After Opening Day, I went to the second game against Texas and I was shocked how empty the park was at first pitch. By the middle of the second inning, though, it had filled in almost completely.

#143 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:33 PM

Same experience as you guys yesterday.


Furthermore, these 2 days have the Celtics home game competition syndrome plus weekday night.

#144 estreetfan

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:54 PM

Attendance 376,611 (1,019.4% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
Wow! Fenway grew overnight!

#145 Infield Infidel


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Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:47 AM

$10K in tix, with an average price around $50 = 200 tickets That's barely 1/2 of 1% of the tickets. That's not why he can't buy tix during the February onsale date.

Edit: And Ace isn't buying bleachers, so their average price is probably higher than $50.

While I get this sentiment (and Hendu's update on the purchase window), it only says "he lost about $10,000 on tickets he had bought and was unable to sell ".There's no mention how much he made on tickets that he was able to sell; it's probably more than .5% of the tickets.

#146 behindthepen


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Posted 17 May 2012 - 02:51 PM

interestingly , got an email today from the Sox advertising tickets at Camden yards for all of their games down there ...

#147 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 17 May 2012 - 03:39 PM

According to friends of mine who were at Tuesday's 4PM start (and she's a Yankee fan) "We were surprised that the place seemed to be full for a midweek day game with shitty weather".

Wouldn't surprise me if the Wakefield ceremony sold a few hundred extra tickets for that matchup.

#148 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 17 May 2012 - 04:27 PM

According to friends of mine who were at Tuesday's 4PM start (and she's a Yankee fan) "We were surprised that the place seemed to be full for a midweek day game with shitty weather".

Wouldn't surprise me if the Wakefield ceremony sold a few hundred extra tickets for that matchup.


It was also a BU Fenway day, either originally officially or because of the NZ tragedy. A BU senior threw out the second, first pitch.

http://www.bu.edu/to...nior-week-2012/


Plus, it was the 9 year anniversary of the streak.

#149 Caspir

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 05:24 PM

It was also a BU Fenway day, either originally officially or because of the NZ tragedy. A BU senior threw out the second, first pitch.

http://www.bu.edu/to...nior-week-2012/


Plus, it was the 9 year anniversary of the streak.


They are doing this for all area colleges. I went to Northeastern night this month and got tickets through the school at a discounted rate. The school emailed me the other day to let me know they have tickets to 20-25 games at the same rate, so it seems to be a coordinated plan.

#150 The Allented Mr Ripley


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Posted 19 May 2012 - 07:46 AM

Another Globe article on the softened market and how it's impacted season ticket holders.



The turn of events has made one group happy: people who want tickets to a single game. For the first time in recent memory, they feel they can see baseball at Fenway without hitting up a season ticket holder or paying exorbitant prices to a scalper or online reseller.


As the team tries to fight its way of out last place, Stuart Rothman, president of First Cambridge Realty Corporation and a part owner of two $175 State Street Pavilion seats, reflected on happier days.


“There was a time when you’d look at those tickets and think these are going to be a treat for people,’’ he said. “But now they are more of a burden. I have difficulty giving them away, never mind selling them for a fraction of their face value. The cachet is gone.’’






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