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Ticket Madness Leaves Us Longing For Days of Old

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, February 19, 2011 11:00 AM | Comments: 17
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

It wasn’t all that long ago you could go to the store, buy a can of baked beans and a hearty side of potato salad, add in the buns and a pack of Phillies Franks, and get a free ticket to the game. Not only were you engaging in a hell of a meal, you were on your way to Veterans Stadium thanks to a ticket nestled in links of beef and whatever that juice is when you cut open the packaging.

Think about that for a second. If Phillies Franks still existed, your local Genuardi’s or Wegmans would have had people camping out like Bonnaroo yesterday, waiting for the store clerk to unload the next box of hot dogs in aisle four. Sadly, those dog days are over.

Now, Dave Montgomery and his cohorts sell them for $4 a pop at Citizens Bank Park. And yesterday, you were waiting in line for hours, or gave yourself carpel tunnel attempting to score tickets on the Phillies website. What a difference a decade makes.

With their recent success, the Phillies have become one of the behemoths of the game and with that comes the rush for a seat in the house. By the estimation of the team yesterday, the Phillies have sold out 15 of the 81 home games while unloading over 3.3 million tickets total. Outside of Citizens Bank Park, many went the nostalgic route by standing in line for ticket, an old-fashioned phenomena with the invention of the internet. A friend who was working on Lincoln Financial Field told me he showed up at 6:30 a.m. and the line was beginning to wrap around the stadium.

Strange times indeed for someone who has followed this team through Von Hayes, John Kruk, Tony Longmire, Ricky Otero, Jon Lieber, Brett Myers, and others. Even during the World Series season of 2008, you could walk up to the window and score a decent ticket. Now, forget about it.

The success of the franchise is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, everyone is ecstatic that the team is winning and able to field a team filled to the brim with all-star talent. On the other, many fans have been priced out or pushed out by the sea of newbies looking to get the hottest ticket in town.

Certainly, no one is complaining that this team is in a position to contend once again. However, a justified complaint from the super fans has been heard: if you’re going to pay all this money on tickets, pay attention to the game and stop acting as though this is a frat party. Because there are certainly others who would relish the opportunity to have that seat.

And that’s not a knock on those who want to enjoy the atmosphere of a baseball game. Back in the old concrete bowl, the smell of urine and the sight of rats gave a night out at the park the ambiance of a trip to the scrap yard. No one wanted to go – really, for years, that place was inhabited by only the most ravenous fans, teenagers looking for something to do on a summer night, or the people who worked there.

Now, Citizens Bank Park is teeming with red and white, and that’s cool. But dammit if we don’t get a little teary eyed thinking about those Phillies Franks.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1684 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 3 michael weber

    Didn’t know Phillies Frank’s were history, and TastyKake is in trouble too. Moved away from Jersey and havent seen a game since they retired Mike Schmidt’s #20. But I still keep track hope we can do it again this year.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    I think they still sell them, but not with a ticket inside, thats for damn sure.

    Michael, you’ve gotta get to a game? How far are you!

     
  • Posts: 1 Geoff

    Avatar of Geoff

    I think the ticket for the first game my dad took me to in 1974 was $6.50 for a seat in Sec. 328, right behind home plate. I just got tickets for the July Braves series online from a ticket outlet, since the best I could do on Phillies.com was standing room for $27.00 (I don’t think so). $46.00 for a seat in the upper deck, $18.00 markup from the Phillies.com price…and that was a cheap price for that section. I love having a good team, I was there through the rough times, I actually liked the Vet, but I miss being able to afford more than one game a year and actually being able to find a ticket without getting gouged.

     
  • Posts: 14 phillygirl17

    Avatar of phillygirl17

    I remember going to vet and exchanging a $7 can of coffee for a seat in the 200/300 level at the Vet. I loved it. I hate not having a way to go to the games, and I have said that often. I love the winning, I love the atmosphere, but I agree, it’s a ballgame, not a frat party. Even at CPB, I remember buying nice seats for a fraction of the current cost. It’s absolutely insane. One of the few times when living in DC is to my advantage.

     
  • Avatar of Dropped Strike Three

    I remember being bribed to read books for the Read A Thon in elementary school because every 5 books would net me 2 Phillies tickets. The tickets were listed as GA and you would just show up at the box office and trade them in for whatever was available. Since it was the early 90s, there were some GOOD seats available!

    My timing for graduating college and getting a season package couldn’t have been better. My 17 game plan in 2006 was my first significant purchase with my first real pay check out of college. Renewing it every year has been a hell of a lot easier than clicking away or waiting in line.

     
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    Great article, Pat.

    Yup. Now we need to actually plan way ahead of time. Since I moved to DC, I’ve been buying the 6-pack tickets for weekend games in Philly. It works for me, but I definitely miss being able to just walk up and buy a ticket for that night’s game.

     
  • Posts: 993 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I am not sure how people are being priced out of seats, I have the Sunday Package in 417, great seats by the way, outside of the one time my sister got tickets to the HOF club the best seats I have sat in. the face value is only 25 dollars I pay 22 with the Sunday package. It is the stub hub con artist that drive up the prices, people buying tickets that they never plan on using just reselling for a profit

     
    • Posts: 3113 Tracey

      Avatar of Tracey

      Absolutely. Stub Hub is evil. If you try to sell tickets on the street for a dollar over face value, you can get arrested. If you sell tickets on the Internet and give MLB a cut, you can sell them for whatever you can get. I’m a partial season ticket holder too, and I’m appalled at how many seats are empty in those “sold out” games. On top of that, I am no longer allowed to trade out the games I can’t go to, because all the games are sold out. Instead, I am told to resell them on Stub Hub, where I have to compete with 5000+ Stub Hub scalpers. And if I lose money on the resale, MLB still gets a cut, double-dipping on my ticket purchase.

       
      • Posts: 93 Ted Bell

        Avatar of Ted Bell

        Someday there will be an investigation concerning StubHub and it’s “partnership” with MLB. It especially becomes suspicious during the postseason. How a single seller can have 16 SRO playoff tickets in his possession is still a mystery to me.

        I’m Ted Bell.

         
    • Posts: 1 Ed Webb

      people ARE being priced out…..$22 is way too much to pay for a ticket, And Parking is how much now? add the cost of gas,Food at the park, multiply by the times per year you go.

      Now I know its 2011, but why are the Cincinnati REDS way cheaper than the phillies? thier ball park is better and they are a playoff team

      Phillies priced me out, all i will do is listen on the radio, like the old days

       
      • Posts: 147 Don M

        Avatar of Don M

        The Reds stadium sucks and has no personality…. and the Reds sucked until last year. Last year they were the 2007 Phillies… and if their pitching develops, they’ll be good for years to come. They have lots of homegrown, low-priced talents, that they’ll have to pay at some point.. and they’ll either decide to raise ticket prices to increase revenue to pay those salaries …or they’ll let those players go

         
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Well the problems stem from people not getting them ahead of time and then not being able to purchase them at face value after. Its just the way its become, right or wrong.

     
  • This article is idiotic at best and why I read blogs like Crossing Broad now. I never want Phillies tickets to be easy to get. Anyone who is anything less than overjoyed at what the Phillies have become needs to get their head checked. We finally have a baseball team that this city deserves and likewise appreciates.

     
    • Avatar of Dropped Strike Three

      Step down from your high horse for a second, champ. The article was a “remember when,” not a gripe. I’ve never heard one person on PhilliesNation complain about selling out games.

       
    • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Wah Wah Wah
      Boo Hoo Hoo
      Sniff Sniff Whimper Whimper

      How is this article “idiotic at best”?? Nobody is NOT overjoyed…and we ALL appreciate this team. Go ahead and go to Crossing Board and complain and whine over there.

       
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Haha, thanks Nick. Tell Kyle we said hi.

       
  • Posts: 45 JakeyJ

    Avatar of JakeyJ

    The article is correctly stating the reality that with success the demand for tickets will drive prices up. It’s in the secondary ticket market (StubHub) where the big jump happens and I have to agree with those that suggest some of these ticket purchases on StubHub are mysterious. I tried to get groups of 4-5 tickets together for a family group at spring training games this year as soon as they went on sale online and although I did get some at face value, the much better seat sets were only available on StubHub at a much higher price. I’ve bought StuHub tickets also and they came from Texas.

     
 
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