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Saturday in the Park

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 19, 2010 9:05 AM |

I am a very lucky guy. Having been blessed with a beautiful wife and family, I count my abundant blessings everyday. On that note, I am looking forward to today. I have the good fortune of taking my two youngest boys to Fenway Park for a game between our beloved Boston Red Sox and the legendary boys of Brooklyn moved west, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Having grown up in Boston and attended games at Fenway as a youth, bringing my own boys to America’s most beloved ballpark is a special treat. They have heard all my stories about going to games (bleacher seats for $1.00, and riding the trolley car back home) more often than they would care to mention. That said, memories created from days like today are truly special.

I witnessed a sign of our current economic times in the purchasing of tickets for today’s game.

I did not look at the schedule well in advance and circle this date. In fact, my youngest son prompted me earlier this week with a reminder that this Dodgers’ series would be the return of Manny Ramirez to Fenway since his unceremonious departure two years ago.

I immediately thought tickets would be either unattainable or off the charts in terms of price. I was not interested in the best seats nor the worst seats in the house. The setting at Fenway is intimate and fans truly get into the game. In any event, my youngest son has always been interested in sitting atop the vaunted Green Monster. I checked on availability there and was not surprised to learn that all seats were taken. I left my name and number with a Red Sox ticket agent to call me in case seats on the Monster opened up, but I viewed that happening as a longshot.

From there, I proceeded to an online ticket broker, Stubhub. In reviewing available tickets, I was shocked to find excellent seats at face value less than 48 hours before this Saturday afternoon game. Thinking there must be some sort of mistake, I double checked the seat view, the date, and the price. I called my wife in to have her check the same. I then purchased the seats. Having utilized this online service for other Red Sox and Yankees games, I fully expected the seats would have been priced somewhere in the vicinity of two times face value.

What is going on here? The Red Sox are currently playing great ball and are only one game out of first place. The Dodgers, with Manny Ramirez and Joe Torre, are a great draw. A Saturday afternoon 4pm start on the weekend of Father’s Day are also factors that would have bid up these tickets.

This ticket purchasing experience is clearly an indication of real weakness in the economy and discretionary consumer spending.

Could we have merely gotten lucky with these seats? I think not. Why? The extremely pleasant Red Sox ticket agent called me back yesterday afternoon to let me know that she actually had availability atop the Green Monster.

I will enjoy the entire day with my boys, but this experience is a sign to me that the economy is far from healthy.

Go Sox!!


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