Monday, March 30, 2009

Worth More Than Their Weight In Gold

This morning I awoke to find an email from the New York Yankees. When I sat at my desk at 7:04 a.m., I learned that it had arrived in my gmail inbox -1 minute ago. It was not the email I was hoping for (which we can talk about at another time) but it was from the future so I was happy to see it all the same. It was sent to inform me that tickets were still available for games during the opening week at Yankee Stadium. In fact, this email was letting me know that there were still plenty of tickets available for games throughout the season. I was mildly surprised, but believed the news. I mean, would the Yankees lie to me? Between the multiple on-sales dates that clubs employ as a way to keep your ticket-getting hopes up as long as possible and the dire state of the economy, I didn't think twice about tickets being available. I just started clicking my way towards some seats at the new Yankee Stadium.

Now, I'm no Yankees fan. This is a fact. I am, however, related to Yankees fans. My father and his father are both fans of the Bronx Bombers. So, I figured I would see if I could wrangle us some tickets to a game this summer. And, I felt like I had lucked out as I scrolled through the schedule and saw so many games still on sale. At that point, I assumed that there must have been some tickets released just this morning and that by virtue of having sat down at my computer before shuffling dejectedly to shower that I had put myself in position to score some seats that would probably sell out within a few minutes. I considered myself fortunate. It seemed that everything was working. was flying. There were no virtual waiting rooms or lost places in line. I clicked that I wanted four seats together. I passed the word scramble test. And, then. My seats came up. My $900 seats.
My first reaction was to laugh. And, I did. Long and hard. I needed that laugh on a Monday morning. Nine hundred dollars? Each? Oh, and these are still available? Shocking. Realizing that allowing Ticketmaster to default to "best available" was apparently not an option when dealing with the Yankees, I went looking for more reasonable rates. The search didn't go well. Or take long. The few affordable sections in the ballpark were sold out. The not-really-affordable-but-rationalizable-as-a-gift sections were sold out, too. But, anyone capable of spending $400 and up per ticket could seemingly put themselves together quite a nice a la carte ticket plan for the inaugural season at the third Yankee Stadium.

But, let's get back to those tickets that I was originally directed to after clicking my way from the Yankees' email to Ticketmaster. Those $900 tickets. With fees and shipping, those tickets are actually worth several times their approximate weight in gold. I think. According to my hasty Internet research, the price of gold is around $920 per ounce right now. Not having a scale with me, I'm not totally sure exactly how much a ticket weighs, but I would estimate that the old unused concert ticket in my bag feels a little bit heavier than a paper clip from my desk. According to my poorly recollected grade school education, a paper clip weighs one gram. And it takes 15 grams to equal an ounce (not a liquid ounce, obvi). Which means that a ticket to a ballgame probably weighs around 1/10 of an ounce. Meaning that the New York Yankees are selling tickets that are worth ten times their weight in actual gold.

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