Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dollar $ign of the Times

T-Wolves (Possibly) Offering $1 Tickets

Desperation is a stinky cologne. Unless mixed with the proper proportion of inventiveness and salesmanship. In that case, it's alluring enough to almost convince me to buy a 29-game ticket plan for the Minnesota Timberwolves just in case I find myself in the Twin Cities for another conference of historians during the NBA season.

Ever since I bought one ticket to one T-Wolves game - they played the Heat that night and Shaq was lumbering while Garnett was wiry if I recall correctly - a few years ago, I have received emails from the club about their various promotions and happenings. Generally I delete such missives without even opening them. But not this one. Not the one whose subject line read: "Ticket Packages As Low As $1 Per Game." That caught my attention. After all, around here the Yankees have been selling tickets that are literally worth their weight in gold.

The Minnesota ticket package in question includes one night with each of the 29 clubs in the NBA. You get to see everyone when they come to town. And each game is just one buck? I can't think of a better deal this side of the ramen I ate for lunch. Like my Nissin Cup Noodles, $1 tickets sound almost too good to be true. And, they could be. Depending on how the ping pong balls pop during the upcoming. NBA draft lottery. You see, the promotion allows fans to pay per seat the number of the pick the team receives. If they land the No. 1 pick in the draft? Then the seats are just 1 dollar. If they land the No. 2 pick then the seats are 2 dollars. And, so on. "Thanks" to their 24-58 record (fifth-worst in the NBA) the Timberwolves have just a 7.6% chance of actually taking home the top selection and awarding their fans with 100 cent tickets. The deposit is $29 and becomes the total cost if the team can pull off a surprise upset at the draft. Odds are that Minny will land the fifth pick and that fans will have a chance to score $5 ticket plans. That's still not too shabby considering that there are approximately 17 tickets priced at $10 for each game at Madison Square Garden and that they sell out immediately. I like to think of them as the Unicorn Seats.

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