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Red Sox series tickets red hot

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.


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Oct. 21st, 2004 02:25 pm (UTC)

Yankees fans believe Red Sox curse will follow rivals to World Series

Associated Press Writer

October 21, 2004, 2:12 PM EDT

NEW YORK -- The sun still came up Thursday, the subways were still running, the Empire State Building still stood 102 stories tall. But there was something different about this October morning.

The Boston Red Sox had defeated the New York Yankees. In a deciding seventh game. At Yankee Stadium.

"I don't understand," said Alex Afriyie, 30, a Manhattan parking lot attendant working on the painful morning after. "I just don't understand what happened. They were on the top, and now they're on the bottom. This is very bad."

Afriyie, like most Yankee fans, was disoriented, confused, angry. For years _ 85 of 'em, to be exact _ the baseball hangover belonged to Boston fans. But on this morning, the pounding heads and bloodshot eyes were the property of those rooting for the Bronx Bombers.

"I couldn't sleep," said Larry McCants, taking a break outside his job near Madison Square Garden. "I kept waking up. It's a tough loss. I didn't think we'd let the Red Sox come into Yankee Stadium and make history."

And yet, it happened. The Bosox became the first team in major league history to rebound from a 3-0 deficit to win a postseason series, and they did it in style: The last two victories came before 55,000 rabid fans in the Bronx.

It was an incredible contrast to last fall, when Aaron Boone's extra-inning home run sent Boston home with a seventh-game defeat.

By the last out on Wednesday, things were deathly quiet at Yankee Stadium _ and they were even quieter on Thursday. For only the second time in the last seven years, workers weren't scrambling to prepare the old ballpark for the fall classic. The box office was open _ but only to offer refunds for fans holding World Series tickets.

The New York tabloids reacted to the Yankees' elimination with typical understatement.

"DAMNED YANKEES," proclaimed the New York Post over a shot of shortstop Derek Jeter hanging his head.

"THE CHOKE'S ON US," offered the Daily News, which also featured a doctored picture inside of Babe Ruth with a tear rolling down his cheek.

The Red Sox have not won a World Series since 1918, a torturous streak that many have blamed on the "Curse of the Bambino" _ a whammy that landed on the franchise after its owner sold Ruth to the Yankees in 1920.

This year, however, it was the Yankee fans delivering the call to wait until next year.

"I'll never give up on the Yankees," said Tony Garcia, 35, of Manhattan, as he bought his morning coffee. "I'm a die-hard fan."

Not everything was topsy-turvy on the Yankees' home turf. At Cosby's, the famous sporting goods store inside Madison Square Garden, a Yankees shirt still hung from a hanger above a Boston T-shirt. To the left of the front door, Jeter and Mariano Rivera jerseys were still for sale.

There were few, if any, takers.

One last thought remained to carry the Yankees' backers through this bleak day: a Red Sox loss in the World Series. "The Curse" may have failed in the Bronx, but the Red Sox start chasing the championship Saturday night in Fenway Park.

"We've still got Babe Ruth," said McCants, his Yankees cap perched on his head. "Will the Red Sox win? No."
Oct. 21st, 2004 04:12 pm (UTC)
wow you're very faithful to even bother trying! I knew it was virtually impossible.
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