Sep
27

On the availability of postseason Yankees tickets

By

Yesterday afternoon, I received an interesting e-mail from a reader that I wanted to share with the group:

I was online Tuesday morning with all my account numbers and Ticketmaster accounts with credit card info saved and in place. In short I was ready to pull the trigger as soon as the tickets went on sale and I was able to get 2 games.

What i wanted to mention though is that when i clicked on “best available” at like 1 second after 10 a.m. I was able to get Tier Res. 34. I thought those were kind of weak tickets for such an early response. You think if I took the time to chose Main Reserve or something I could have done better? Just curious … it seemed like the system was set up to give you worst available than best?

This is an interesting question, and one I get asked a few times every season. TR 34 doesn’t quite seem like the “best” available at any point during the season. Yet, many people who try to get the playoff tickets get shafted. Why?

In short, the answer lies in the season ticket holders. All of the Yanks’ season ticket plans come with playoff preferences. Since a vast majority of season ticket holders hold seats for flex plans, they can’t all get what they would consider their own seats for the playoffs, but they do get early access to seats in the Stadium.

By the time the team releases the tickets to the general public, most of the seats – and all of the good seats – are already sold. That’s why people logging in at 10 a.m. get stuck with TR 34.

Had our reader opted for Main Reserve instead, he would have received equally as bad seats but would have been charged more for them. So pick your poison.

Categories : Playoffs
  • dan

    Apparently Tim Dierkes has caught Buster Olney fever:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....d-fit.html

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      This whole “a good fit” thing may just be the worst stereotype in sportswriting today. Good players are a good fit for any team. We get it.

  • Dustin

    I’m not sure why you got Tier 34 seats when you were obviously prepared. I did the same thing and was able to get Tier Box and Main Box seats to all three rounds. It’s not a fair process. You have to cross your fingers and hope for the best. Enjoy the games.

  • Jon

    “In short, the answer lies in the season ticket holders. All of the Yanks’ season ticket plans come with playoff preferences. Since a vast majority of season ticket holders hold seats for flex plans, they can’t all get what they would consider their own seats for the playoffs, but they do get early access to seats in the Stadium.

    By the time the team releases the tickets to the general public, most of the seats – and all of the good seats – are already sold. That’s why people logging in at 10 a.m. get stuck with TR 34.”

    Ben – I’m confused. I thought the tickets on sale Tuesday WERE for the partial season ticket holders. The public onsale hasn’t even happened yet – it’s tomorrow at 10am (though good luck with that). This morning was the presale for those who won the lottery for non- season ticket holders.

    Since this guy was buying them on Tuesday morning, he must be a flex plan holder. So your explanation doesn’t make sense, I don’t think…

    Am I wrong?

    Anyway, I’ve been doing this for awhile. In 1998, we’d call Ticketmaster in some other state – I think Georgia was our favorite for some reason. No busy signal, just call and buy tickets while everyone else was calling the NY number.

    Then they started the online stuff, and I’d say until 2005 or so it wasn’t too hard to just log on, hit refresh a few times, and get ALDS and ALCS tickets (could never get WS online though).

    Now it’s nearly impossible. I guess I don’t mind the random lottery aspect, but I question how many tickets are actually available. I got 26 people to enter for me, and not one got a “postseason ticket opportunity” password (and I have a few friends who entered 5+ times each and nobody got it). So you’re talking about 40-50 entries, and no winners. Oh well.

    My big fear is that they don’t actually check what they say they check (only one entry per person, and credit card must match lottery winner’s info). I’m sure scalpers are entering thousands of time, making it impossible for people doing it honestly to get tickets.

    Whatever. It’s clear that neither the Yankees nor Ticketmaster have any incentive to provide a fair chance to get tickets, or even good service at all. They’re going to sell out no matter what. If the Yankees really wanted a fair raffle, then there are many better ways to do it.

  • Freddy

    Ugh such bullshit. Screw the fans who live and die by the Yankees all season and make room for the rich “only show up in October” big wigs who couldn’t tell you who Melky Cabrera is. I love my fellow Yankee fans, but I hate these October assholes that throw on a Yankee cap and call themselves fans.

  • Lets say I only want to buy 1 ticket to one game of the ALDS. Am I able to use my other ticket allowance to buy 1 ticket to an ALCS game too or do I basically get screwed out of that second ticket?

  • Frank

    Tuesday was for partial plans.

    I was also on at 10am and I got (Games based on Yanks having Wild Card):

    Game 4 (ALDS) – Bleachers row KK – pair
    Game 6 (ALCS) – Tier Box MVP – row C – pair

    Now I was playing around with things and so that delayed my Series attempts. But the best I could tell, people were going for the “sure” games first and so only single tickets were available were available for Game 3. I was able to get paired seats of the ALDS to Game 4. And the seats were even better for Game 5 (but I knew that would not likely happen at the Stadium).

    It was the same deal for the ALCS. Games 1 and 2 had some pairs, but the seats were worse than for Game 6 and Game 7 (same reason again). I reasoned that of all the series, the ALCS would likely go the longest.

    By the time (10:45am) I got to the Series (which the Yanks would have homefield) , there were only single tix to games 1 and 2. Playing around for a few minutes cost me a pair to Game 6. I ended up with a single ticket to Game 6 (Tier Box – $200!) and a single ticket to Game 7 (Field box right behind the plate – row F – $550!). If they make it that far, I’m going to be very conflicted as to whether to StubHub those pricey seats. But I didn’t see the series going to 7 games. So I didn’t try to get a pair. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have bought the Game 6 ticket, and instead got a pair to Game 7.

    And don’t try to buy more than your limit. You run the risk of the whole order getting canceled.

  • Frank

    Jon -

    I’m not sure there’s a better way to do it. I stood in line in 1996 for Series tix, and while we were there for over 20 hours, scalpers were winding their way through the line for the third or forth time. We ended up with tix to Games 6 and 7 (for $150 combined!) and hell yeah it was worth it. But back then, only folks that could make their way to the Stadium got tix if they didn’t have a plan.

    Problem now it the sold over 4 million tix this year. Now there’s a huge demand for what will be, at most, 500k tix (55k x 9 games) and that doesn’t count the ones held out for MLB, FOX, the other team, and of course season ticket holders (who you have to say are true fans shelling out alot of dough each year).

    I guess what I’m saying is this tiered system is probably the best at rewarding the fans that have put in the most cash already. Granted, some folks are better able to put in that cash.

    For folks going for tix tomorrow: Be prepared for only single tix. Just plan to do “Best available” for 1 ticket. Depending on the limit, either do it again or for another game. And FYI: Ticketmaster can monitor whether you have it open in another window (my crashed a few times for this reason). So either use a proxy (Google: free proxy) or have a friend help with another computer. I’ll be very curious if you manage to snag a pair.

    • Jon

      Thanks for the reply. Yep, I slept out for series tickets in 98, 99, and 01. We were poor college students back then so in 98 and 99 my friend and I got a pair of bleachers each, sold one pair, and went with the others.

      2001 was absolutely ridiculous. Instead of the typical “wait for wristbands, then we announce the number that’s first in line, get you back in line at noon, and you can each buy two tickets”, it was a free for all. They had us in the park across the street caged in like animals, and my friend and I managed to push our way to the front and get in the 2nd “bin” (i.e. fenced-in area surrounding the stadium). Then they announced there were no wristbands – just first come first serve. And you could buy 12 tickets each! 4 to each game! Our theory was that being so close after September 11th, they just didn’t care and wanted everyone out of there as fast as possible.

      I got to see all 3 home games, including, of course, the back to back comebacks against Kim. My friend bought his 12 tickets for $1600 and sold them for $7500.

      Then in 2003 we were among the first to NOT get bracelets. Literally, people who were 20 ahead of us in line got the last bracelets…eh, I guess what goes around comes around.

      Good times…

      Anyway, I’ve got no problem with the season ticket holders getting first dibs. The problem I have (which is unconfirmed) is just that they don’t check what they say they check (has anyone actually had orders cancelled? – I know a few years ago I accidentally ordered more than I was allowed – and I didn’t even know it until an extra pair came in the mail! – and nothing was cancelled of course).

      I’m going to give it a shot tomorrow, and I agree about single tickets. And also, you should try the day before the game, or even day of. In 2004, I got a single ticket to game one of the ALCS, about 30 rows behind home place, about 4 hours before the game started!

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    Hmm. I didn’t realize Tuesday was for partial season ticket holders. That’s even more disconcerting. I know that the full-season ticket holders had the pick of the litter, but I didn’t realize there were so many of them.

    I think the person asking the question just got unlucky even after accounting for the fact that all of the good seats were probably taken.

  • http://www.nosenseworrying.com/ Jen

    There are probably a lot more people now with the A and B plans, which give you your seats throughout the entire post-season. And what also happens is that when MLB takes over a few thousand seats per game (which go to FOX, TBS/TNT, sponsors, players’ families, etc), they don’t just take whatever seats are empty. They take premium seats. So whoever has them gets moved somewhere else in the Stadium. I’ve heard of people who had tickets behind the Yankee dugout during the regular season getting moved to a Tier Box in left field for the playoffs. Plus you lose a bunch of seats in the Loge which they turn into additional press boxes.

  • Relaunch

    This is the right way to do this. The season ticket holder should have every right for the 1st chance at post season tickets.

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