Monday, May 03, 2010

I Must Be In the Front Row (or at least close to it)

I went to the Cubs game yesterday at Wrigley Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks. I wasn't planning to blog about it unless something really notable happened--besides the Cubs winning, which they did 10-5--as I had recently gone to the Cubs home opener and posted a Photo Essay from it.

But while I had purchased a single top-of-the-upper-deck $14 ticket for yesterday's game when the season went on sale in February, I couldn't help but ask the first ticket broker I saw--just west of the L Station on Addison--if he had any singles. As I often go down to games without a ticket in hand and buy from a broker close to game time, I just wanted to get a sense of what such tickets were going for, even though I had one.

The broker offered me a seat in the "first row"; Aisle 34, Row 1, which he said was right down next to the field, for $50. The face value on the ticket was $67, so an amazing seat a good discount. But I already had a ticket and couldn't justify spending another $50.

So I offered him $40, which he didn't accept. Then I told him I was only checking ticket prices as I actually had a ticket, then thought to ask if he'd take $40 plus my upper deck single, and he accepted.

I felt a bit guilty, but if all goes well I should have some real income coming in again soon and when else was I going to get a first row ticket for $40 pocket cash? It sure seemed worth it to me.

Especially when I was able to go down the special ramps for those with the very best tickets, and marched down to my seat in the front row. 

Where I sat for the little bit of remaining pre-game--and told to take my hot dog off the top of the wall--, the top half of the first and into the bottom half as the Cubs scored their first run. They were about to score their second when a couple came with tickets seemingly for where I was sitting (I was the second seat in, with nobody yet in Seat #1). I instantly wondered if perhaps I had bought a fake ticket, but it had scanned just fine coming into the park.

An usher was immediately down to resolve the situation--completely not caring that Chad Tracy was driving in the Cubs' second run--and asked to see my ticket. I obliged and the usher told me I was in the wrong seat; as play continued, I was walked up the aisle like some kind of miscreant who belonged in Standing Room.

Fortunately, I was only taken back three rows and deposited in Seat 2. I then noticed that the first 3 rows were labeled A, B and C; the guy next to me--a season ticket holder had sold the broker an extra ticket (for $40)--explained that Row 1 used to be next to the wall, but a few years ago they added the extra three rows, whose seats cost twice what they do in the actual fourth row labeled Row 1. The guy, who provided some good conversation during the game, agreed with consternation that the broker shouldn't have implied that it was a first row ticket, right next to the field.

I was a bit disappointed, but had already taken some unobstructed photos and was still in a great seat for far less than it might otherwise have cost. And the Cubs won, with Alfonso Soriano hitting two of their three home runs. So all in all a good day--I also got down to the Art Institute before the game for an excellent exhibit I'll review separately--and above and below are some photos from the first and/or fourth row.

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