Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Individual Game Ticket Sales

The African Queen called this morning to inform me that Our Washington Nationals sold out the remaining few thousand seats for Opening Day in less than 10 Minutes. Knowing that was a Hot Ticket and some might have been shut out--how did the process work for anyone wanting Single Game Tickets to the remaining 80 regular season games?

Did you get what you wanted?

Did the online sales process work?

What adjustments to the process need to be re-worked, if anything.

As always, its important to know.

PS: And yeah--I am still in Texas. In fact, we drove right past The Texas Rangers Ballpark in Arlington this morning while covering some canvassing. Nothing struck me more than noticing that this stadium--once again--has changed its name--for the third time since its inception. Originally--The Ballpark In Arlington. Later--Ameriquest Field. Now--Rangers Ballpark. OK--can we come to the conclusion that--despite the monies raised for naming rights--not many fans really care about those corporate names? Except for any teams bottom line--do the corporations actually receive value in return?

It's a good debate. Of course--I can't wait for Old Navy "Yard"--Northrup Grumman, GEICO, Capital One Field or whatever name New Nationals Park ends up with. Because--once Nationals Park hosts its very first game--The South Capitol Street Ballpark will always be called Nationals Park by me.

Only Old Navy Yard will be an acceptable change--otherwise.

Nationals Park @ The Old Navy Yard is just SO PERFECT--even without the corporate sponsor.


Anonymous said...

From what I understand, the process worked out fairly well for anyone seeking tickets to games other than Opening Day. As you mentioned, OD was a hot ticket that went very fast.

All day yesterday, there were complaints about the virtual waiting room, being kicked out of the ticket selection process after making it through the VWR, etc. All of those are valid complaints, but unfortuantely, there is not much the team can do about it. All of the legit complaints I read and heard yesterday ultimately go back to inadequate infastructure. Simply put, tickets.com got overloaded and could not handle the demand. Until the Nats and MLB sever ties with tickets.com, nothing will change. On that note, I really don't see why a team cannot manuever out of the tickets.com tie-in, and implement their own system. It really is not that hard to do, and if the Nats do not have any capable of quality web design and infastructure, I am sure there are quite a few people in the area who could use a well-paying job.

Reagrding opening day tickets, it was a madhouse. A lot of tickets ended up on stubhub and ebay, but not as many as I thought. Stubhub had over 1100 active sales going on last night for opening day, and only 400 left this morning. So, business was brisk overnight.

JD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JD said...

A few things.

1. I was lucky to get in after a few minutes wait in the virtual waiting room. I reserved 4 tix RF. Unfortunately, in my haste and excitement I entered the wrong cc expiration date. I got a warning msg, fixed it, but then the button to confirm the purchase did not navigate me to the next screen. I tried and tried to no avail. Eventually I did something to try and maybe go back one page and start over but got put back in the waiting room. Needless to say I was not offered seats after that. Eventually (30 minutes or so later) the system told me no more tickets were available.

2. I was on the phone during this time with tickets.com. I have worked in a phone customer service environment for long enough to spot a major rookie, and it seemed like the guy I got had never taken an order before. (great)

He had no idea what the ticket limit was. (he told me 24) I asked if he was sure since the web site was limiting to 4. I asked him to please hurry as I knew tickets were going fast. He kept trying to figure it out on his own until he decided to check with someone (putting me on hold) and finally came back with 4 as the max. I said fine, buy them, best available but PLEASE do it fast! He slowwwly read back the order to me. 4 tickets, best available to the Nationals vs. Braves on Sunday March 30 2008. I remained calm but in my mind was yelling "YES!!! ORDER!!! HURRY!!!!!" .

Then he says, "hmm... well... it does not look like I have 4 together". I told him I want 4 tickets total. I don't care where they are or even if they are together. At this point I have asked him 2-3 times to go fast, it was about to sell out and to just buy whatever he could.

He robotically insists on repeating the order each time before he places it. I'm sure this is how they are trained but COME ON MAN!!! In a fast moving market you have to act fast. So he tries sloowwwly to get me 2 & 2. No luck. I said, "JUST SINGLES THEN!!! LIKE I TOLD YOU!!"

He says, "ok, I do see some scattered singles…Lets see what we can get..." Again he stars with the long order confirmation. As he does. I say "YES YES YES!, Dude! just buy them!"
Another puzzled response from him.

30 seconds goes buy. "Huh, that's weird. It says none available, even when I say 1 tickets. I guess it's sold out."

No kidding buddy. "I told you they were going fast."

Oh well, thanks for trying.

Chuck B. said...


Yesterday was a joke. In fact this whole OD ticket situation was not very well thought out by the Nats Front Office. It's over and nothing can be done now but, hopefully they learned some lessons and will correct some major mistakes for next year. I understand they wanted "regular folks"/the general public to get a chance at OD tickets but, they way it was done was a scaplers/brokers paradise.

SenatorNat said...

The good news is that everyone who was shut out for nats OD through this rather disconnected process automatically was placed on the waiting list for Redskins tickets: I got #442,789 in fact (year 3024 availability or 2008 if you will buy two or more "Slighty Distance Viewpoint-Impaired Roof Birdseye "Sean Taylor Memorial" Club Seats, with Helicoptor Pad Access -$4,000 per ticket per game."

Trust in Airbus Nationals Park at the Navy Yard in L'Enfant's Capital City. All Good.

Kenny Gartner said...

yesterday was absolutely ridiculous... found out when i decided to visit the site at 8:55 am and found that i could already be in line for something that started AT NINE O' CLOCK AM!
Then I called in, and the problems grew. How about waiting for almost a minute after making your selection? That should be something that is seamless... when you press a number it should take you to the next selection possible... so in the time that I waited for a bunch of open sections, they quickly sold out. I was rather ticked. I know the team can't do much with that, but it still shouldn't have happened.
Needless to say, i was able to get tickets for the exhibition game against the orioles from StubHub, so that will be my Opening Day.
Let's hope next year they also iron out the ridiculous server errors

Anonymous said...

MLB owns Tickets.com

That relationship will not be ending.

Why couldn't they do a lottery? Its not like this is the playoffs, they had plenty of time to prepare.

JD said...

I still wonder how many people scammed the system using a bogus season ticket holder code during the pre-sale. The guy I know who did it got his 2 "extra" tickets last week. I guess nice guys finish last....

Anonymous said...


According to the Nats, notvery many at all. They had only a limited humber of inquiries from STH who tried to get tickets during presale, but could not due to a used password.

Chuck B.-

I would be hesitant to automatically assume that anything was a brokers/scalpers paradise. I would say it was a STH paradise. Yes, a lot or brokers have tickets. However, they obtained them because: (1) the broker itself has several STH accounts; or (2) the broker purchased the tickets from an individual STH.

At the end of the day, there are a lot of STHs that spent several thousand on this season already, realized they could get 600-1200 back for a pair of opening night seats, and decided to forego chilly weather on the first night if it meant recouping a significant portion of the STH payment.

Anonymous said...

25 days until real baseball talk!!

Chuck B. said...

I am not naive to the fact that some STH's have sold to brokers to recoup a little money. Admittedly, The thought briefly crossed my mind when I got boned by the Nats decision to only allow 2 tickets and I have 4 on my plan.

Brokers feast on these types of open situations, jamming phone lines and the internet to get as many tickets as possible and then turning the big profit. Stan the Plan bump set them and the brokers spiked it.

Anonymous said...


I had a pretty good experience. Started refreshing the webpage at 8:53 am. Got into the waiting room at 8:55 am and at about 9:02am got to the purchase screen. Got four together in Sec 105. Then checked back a half hour later and bought some extra tickets to the Cub series. All in all smooth and no problems. I have, however been on the other side as well so I know the frustration of the neverending waiting room. I, like you will always refer to it as National's Park no matter who is the highest bidder in the Naming game. I'll stick with National's Park, just as for me the 49ers play at Candlestick and the SF Giants at PacBell Park!