Red Sox series tickets red hot
Long-suffering fans of upset American League champs scramble for chance to attend fall classic.
October 21, 2004: 3:32 PM EDT
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - There was no eBay the last time there were Red Sox World Series tickets available. But there is now.
And Thursday morning the online auction site was flooded with the team's long-suffering fans vying to pay top dollar for the right to be there when the fall classic opens Saturday night.
The Red Sox completed an unprecedented comeback from a three-game deficit in the American League Championship Series to knock off the rival New York Yankees late Wednesday.
One pair of front-row box seats for game one of the World Series sold for $5,300 in an auction completed Thursday morning on eBay. Todd Luongo, a 35-year-old Boston-area native, now a technology sales rep in the Washington D.C. area, was the winning bidder. He'll be seeing the Sox in the series for the first time.
"One of my earliest Red Sox memories was '75, and my dad got two tickets for Game 6, the Carlton Fisk home run game, and Game 7," he told CNN/Money.
"I begged him to take me, but I was only six years old and he wanted to take his father. He told me, 'Next time I'll take you.' When they got back to the series in '86, I was a teenager and couldn't afford the tickets. I know the price I paid was ridiculous, but this is my big splurge for the year. I'm not going to regret it."
Some sellers were asking as much as $15,995 for four bleacher seats or $25,000 for four box seats.
The Red Sox last played in the World Series in 1986, and have not won a championship since 1918.
Besides the team's long drought, demand for tickets is driven by the fact that Fenway is the major league's smallest stadium, holding just 36,298. Demand for tickets was great enough that the Red Sox sold out every regular season game this season.
At StubHub, another online ticket marketplace, sellers were asking as much as $7,000 each for two tickets. The biggest single sale at StubHub so far has been $13,000 for a eight tickets. The average price of the tickets being sold so far on StubHub has reached $1,500 a seat, said Anthony Rodio, vice president of marketing for the service.
"For any ticket marketplace or ticket broker, the complete fantasy World Series would be Cubs against Red Sox," he said. "But having the Red Sox going 7 games against the Yankees, then having the Sox in the World Series means this will be a very good year for us."
The face-value price for World Series tickets is $190 for box seats. Massachusetts law prevents tickets from being sold for more than $2 above face value and transaction costs. In addition, season ticketholders are prevented by their agreement with the team from reselling the tickets, Rodio said.
"Just like if you drive 62 mph, you're in violation of the law if you sell it at these prices," he admitted.
The Boston Globe reported last month that in an effort to crack down on scalping, the Red Sox had staged a sting operation, buying tickets on the street, from brokers and from online ticket sites and then penalizing five season ticket holders caught selling tickets. The team decided to revoke the season ticket holders' right to buy postseason tickets rather than close their accounts as a penalty because it was a first-time offense for the five.
Red Sox team spokespersons were unavailable for comment Thursday.
The Red Sox will open against either the St. Louis Cardinals or the Houston Astros, who play a deciding game seven in the National League Championship Series Thursday night. The Astros have never been in the World Series in the club's 43-year history, while the Cardinals have not been in the series since 1987.