Well, here we go again. In what is my best guess an effort to reduce the amount of ticket scalping going on on the Internet, the upcoming Mets/Yankees subway series tickets are going into a lottery system.
The lottery system has got to be one of the absolute worse atrocities that teams have committed against their fans in recent years. The Mets are not alone in this, as many teams have gone to this system.
What makes the lottery so unfortunate is that, when combined with the Internet, it opens up the system to the entire world.
On the surface, it would seem that you are going into a lottery with 100,000 or so other Mets fans for a shot at a few thousand tickets. which at least gives some glimmer of hope. However, the fact is, you are going against millions of people across the nation who are out to score these at face value so they can flip them for easily double what they are worth if not more.
I have friends who signed up for every MLB lottery so they could flip tickets for teams thousands of miles away. There's something just not right about that.
As a 15-game plan holder with two seats, my $700 investment in the team is worth no more than Joe the Plumber in the eyes of the lottery.
At first glance, it would seem that it is capitalism at it's best, and if we were talking about municipal bonds I might be inclined to agree. However, isn't the end result going to see a ballgame?
Why should a guy in Wyoming with an eBay account at the ready be afforded the same shot at tickets as someone with a Mets ticket account who actually goes to the games. It boggles the mind.
Earlier this year, I wanted to take my fiancee to a Yankees home game. I ended up buying the tickets on-line...FROM A GUY IN NEW HAMPSHIRE!
If the Mets are dead set on the lottery system, let me at least suggest they create their pool of entries from the people who have bought at least one ticket from the Mets over the past year. I don't mind having the same amount of ping pong balls as a dad who takes his kid to one game.
At least then, in theory, the tickets go to a Mets or even a Yankees fan. Even if they flip the tickets, at least the money stays in NY. Failing that, they could always go back the old method of selling these games at the ballpark ticket window only and let people line up when they go on sale in the winter.
If the guy from Wyoming wants to drive to Flushing and get on line, then he deserves his tix.
But all is not lost in the current scenario. At the very least, it teaches us a lesson in probability.
Let's give a low number and say the Mets get two million entries into their lottery. This gives you a one in two million chance of scoring a ticket. (I realize the numbers vary depending on tickets offered but lets just run with this.)
Given those 2,000,000/1 odds, here is a list of things more likely to happen to you:
- Dying from being bitten by a dog: 1 in 700,000
- Dying in a fireworks accident: 1 in 1,000,000
- Dying from a car accident: 1 in 18,585
But don't worry it's not all bad, check these out:
- Getting a hole in one: 5,000 to 1
- Winning an Academy Award: 11,500 to 1
- Writing a New York Times best seller: 220 to 1
- Dating a supermodel: 88,000 to 1
So, good luck this week to all of you who entered the Mets lottery. As for myself, I am going to go out to my local golf course, hit a hole in one, write an NY Times best-selling book about it, have that book turned into a movie, win an Oscar for that movie and date a supermodel.
I'll let you know how it turns out.