As a die-hard Phillies fan who has been waiting my whole life to see my team (or any of my teams, for that matter) win a championship, let me just say this: thank you Stubhub. Thank you for creating this ridiculous climate where the scalpers and fair-weather fans prosper, while the die-hards don't have a chance to see their team play in the World Series.
Only season ticket holders are guaranteed the opportunity to buy playoff tickets directly from the Phillies. Because of the high demand for tickets, anyone else who wants to buy them has to enter their name into a random drawing for the slim chance to be able to buy tickets.
This system would be all well and good except for one factor: Stubhub and other similar internet sights, where people who buy tickets at face value can turn around and sell them for an exorbitant profit. This creates a climate where it's not just fans who actually want to go to the game who enter their names into the lottery system, but also people who are just looking to make a profit.
Thousands of people have undoubtedly entered their names into the drawing, won, bought tickets, and then immediately put them up for sale online. In case you haven't seen the listings lately, the cheapest tickets going on Stubhub for Game 3 right now are $600. There are standing room only tickets going for $800!
No true Phillies fan would give up the chance to witness the Fightin' Phils in the World Series, possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, just for the chance to make a buck. But the fact that people know they can make a profit off of these tickets makes non-fans enter the drawing with the sole intention of selling the tickets.
As a result, the highest bidder with the deepest pockets will be sitting in Citizens Bank Park this weekend, not the truest fan. This will undoubtedly weaken the homefield advantage we expect our Phillies to have, and I can only hope it doesn't cost us.
The Phillies would be helping themselves on the field if they made it easier for their actual fans to get the tickets by disallowing them to be resold for profits or by limiting sales to fans who had actually attended games this season. This way they would know they have the best homefield advantage possible.
But thanks to Stubhub's partnership with MLB, teams and the league alike know there is even more profit to be had from these resales, so nothing is done to stop it. As a result, the diehard fans are kept out of the stadium.
All true Phillies fans know this is an opportunity that we should never take for granted because we never know when it will happen again. If you're among the fans who bought tickets just to make yourself a profit, shame on you for cheapening the integrity of the World Series. If you're a fan like me, who got screwed over by this system, let's cheer as loud as we can in front of our TV sets.
Let's go Phillies!