Thursday, March 06, 2008

Have things gone too far?

We all know that tickets are very difficult to get at Fenway Park unless you are willing to pay through the nose for them. So, many members of Red Sox nation have taken to the road to see the Red Sox in nearby cities. Baltimore and Tampa are the most popular targets, as they are easily reachable by air from New England, but we see substantial numbers of Red Sox fans in every ballpark the team visits.

Apparently, some of the the out-of-town teams are taking advantage of this. Go to the Phillies and Reds Web sites and click on one of the "T" icons for a Red Sox game like you were going to buy a ticket. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Did you see what happened? You can't buy a single game ticket to see the Red Sox in either of these cities. You have to buy a multi-game pack. So if you are only interested in seeing the Sox, you end up with five (Phillies) or three (Reds) tickets you don't really want. If you are from New England and want to see the Sox in Philly or Cincinnati, you either have to go to Stubhub, Ebay or some other aspect of the "secondary market" or try to sell off the tickets to the games you don't need.

It seems to me that this is just greed gone wild. The Reds and Phillies are taking advantage of the Red Sox popularity to pad their own pockets. It also seems somewhat short-sighted. New England fans traveling to these cities spend money in restaurants, stay in hotel rooms and patronize local businesses. Wouldn't making it difficult for potential tourists to get tickets to these games hurt the local economy?

Of course, it might be simpler than that. Maybe the Reds and Phillies are concerned that Red Sox fans might outnumber the home team fans in their own ballparks.


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