Virtual Waiting Room Virtually Gone
So, single game tickets went on sale yesterday (yawn), a couple of weeks later than what had been the norm for many years. I used to go at it on Day One via phone and computer both, from the opening bell until whenever I finally broke down the door to the virtual waiting room. Usually that was mid-afternoon and by then the pickings were slim for whatever prime games hadn’t already sold out.
Yesterday it was mid-afternoon before I even recalled that the ticket windows were open. Then I tapped into the Cub website for the sake of both old times and curiosity.
Opening Day was still wide open. So was the White Sox series. The Saturday Boston game in June was down to nothing but $140 (!) bleacher seats (that’s not including handling/processing fees) but the Friday and Sunday games were very available. Weekend series with the Cardinals in July and September still featured full menus of sections and price tiers. I checked again before I hit the sack last night and all of the above was still true. I couldn't find a sold out game. Feeling almost sorry for the organization I plunged in and bought four in the bleachers for a game vs. the Giants on Labor Day weekend when my alma mater Iowa Hawkeyes will also be in town for their season opener at Soldier Field. I got 'em for the comparatively low price of $27 (silver tier) plus about another nine bucks per in add-on fees.
The brand appears a bit tarnished after prolonged storage in fifth place.
But the thick manual the new management regime has been rushing to assemble apparently isn't limited to on-field ways and means of doing business.
One of my spring rites is to get pocket schedules from the Cub marketing commandoes. I'm unable to find them here in Des Moines, even so closely removed from headquarters as the team's Triple A outpost. They always oblige, but never so promptly or cordially as this year. The same day I e-mailed my request I got a reply from Barb, a "Wrigley Field Ambassador" assuring me the schedules were already in the mail. Sure enough, they arrived a couple of days later, tucked inside a handwritten note from Barb. She also tossed in a Cub decal and expressed her hope that I'd be able to pay (and I do mean pay) a visit to The Vaunted Confines sometime in 2012.
There's one born every minute. The trick this year will be luring three million of us enabling suckers through the turnstiles again. But if they can get someone who's used to driving across town to watch guys like LaHair and Barney play for free to spend lots of time and money for the privilege of watching them do less in Chicago than they did here in Des Moines, who knows? Maybe they can turn that trick.
15 minutes until first peek at the 2012 Cubs on WGN. I can hardly wait to see what I bought into.