Word-of-Mouth is a powerful tool, especially on the blogesphere. So fellow bloggers, it's time to use that power and spread the word about Higs Tickets to our readers.
Let me take a step back.
The subject of ticket scalping isn't a new one. As long as there is a demand for a product (Red Sox Tickets) there will be someone out there trying to capitalize on that demand. This is something we, as fans, all understand. Sometimes there is a game which really is important enough to spend the rent money on and there is no other option other than to visit your local scalper. What? I'm not the only one who's done it! Plus, I used MLB's preferred scalper so it was ok, right? Other times you can't help but feel disgusted during a game in which you emptied your savings just to see the home team lose. But, hey, scalpers are people too and they're just trying to earn a (dis)honest living like the rest of us. *snort*
Sure I get annoyed at the nasty old b@stard outside of the park trying to rip me off on a pair of tickets, but what annoys me more are these companies (StubHub, Ace Tickets, Higs Tickets, just to name a few) whose business it is to do nothing but scalp tickets, AT RIDICULOUS prices! I have often wondered how they can get away with this and today I was pointed to a blog post by Sean Caulfield at RedSoxSuperFan.com and I found the answer. He wrote:
The fact that the state (MA Dept. of Public Safety) lets them get away with it that pisses me off too, as detailed in this report by Boston.com report (State Sets Rare Anti Scalping Hearing).
According to the article, “the state’s anti-scalping law, which dates to 1924, doesn’t prohibit ticket purchases above face value, but it requires anyone in the business of reselling tickets in Massachusetts to obtain a license from Public Safety and limits markups to $2 above face value plus certain service charges. Public Safety has never disciplined or audited the books of any of the ticket resellers it licenses.”
The city of Boston more often or not arrested these guys up until 5 years ago, when they stopped because the police had to relocate resources for bigger things to worry about (like murder). Even my father, who has been a Boston cop for 27 years, often said that “the only reason we arrested these guys wasn’t for the ticket scalping, but it was because we knew they were such lowlifes they would often have contraband like cocaine/heroin, stolen items, and even weapons on them as well.”
You know why this pisses me off more than words? This season they have supposedly "cracked down" on the scalping outside of Fenway Park. A friend of mine is a season ticket holder and he had two tickets to a game he wasn't interested in going to that night. When he got to the park the weather was bad, and he just didn't feel like sticking it out. The two tickets he had were $27 each. He found a guy who wanted to buy the tickets and said he'd give them to him for $30 - total. All of the sudden a second guy enters the picture and said "is he selling those tickets to you for $30 a piece?" and before my friend knows it he's being cuffed and read his rights. THEY ARRESTED HIM FOR SCALPING! Even if he was going to sell the tickets at $30 each, that is only $3 above face value which doesn't cover the fees he paid on them! Yet these "companies" are marking tickets up as much as 3,000x the face value of the ticket with no ramifications!
If you've stuck with me this long, I'm sure you're wondering why I titled this post "Boycott Higs Tickets" and have singled them out among the other scum, er, scalpers. Well here's the reason. An employee from Higs actually responded to RSSF post with this email:
I hope this email finds you, not well. I recently had your blog posting on RedSoxSuperFan.com forwarded to me and just got through reading your overly derogatory remarks regarding our operation here at Higs Tickets. I’m not sure why of all ticket scalpers you singled us out. Calling me brazzen? We facilitate dreams buddy. We sell to those who want and can afford. So f*** you, F*** your contributor Sean Caulfield, and f*** your blog, it sucks.Say what?!?!
I find it amusing that a Higs employee felt the need to respond to a random blog posting. I mean honestly, if they were a company really interested in garnering more business in the Boston area and felt they HAD to respond to the blog post, I'm sure they would have responded in a way to defend what they do, not say "We sell to those who want and can afford. So f*** you, F*** your contributor Sean Caulfield, and f*** your blog, it sucks", right?
So while Higs continues to "facilitate dreams" to corporate clients, a bunch of asshats who really don't care about the Red Sox or the little suckers who spend their rent money on a pair of seats, the RSN blogesphere is going to facilitate our own dream and get the word out there about these jerks. Each time we buy tickets from someone like Higs we're driving the price on all tickets up for all Red Sox fans.
I'm not naive enough to think that buy a few of us posting, or reaching out to the local media that we're going to put these scalpers out of business. I also know that because Fenway Park is one of the smallest and we have one of the biggest fan bases there are still people out there who are going to pay whatever they have to in order to see a game.
So what can we do?
I'd like to offer a few suggestions on how to get Sox tickets at, or close to face value. I'm not gonna lie, it takes some work (maybe a little luck) and a bit of patience but it IS possible.
How to buy Red Sox tickets Legally
- There is a Scalp free Zone at Fenway, it's located at Gate B near the Ted Williams Statue. The Red Sox have done a HORRIBLE job at promoting this option. Season ticket holders are allowed to sell their tickets at face value in this area. If you buy them, you must enter the park immediately to ensure you're not going to turn around and sell them again.
- Red Sox Replay is an online interface which allows season ticket holders to resell their seats for games they are unable to attend. All tickets sold through Replay are at face value.
- Stop by the Fenway Ticket Office (in person) at a random time during the week. it is located at the corner of Brookline Avenue and Yawkey Way. They often have tickets for future games that are listed as sold out. I've had a few friends get great tickets this way, even to Yankees games!
- Go to the park the day of the game a few hours early (five hours is the earliest you are allowed to line up) and wait in line at the Ticket Window at Gate E for the day-of ticket sales. The tickets are usually standing room and scattered single seats.
- Sign up to be entered in every single Red Sox Lottery to buy tickets. It's annoying...if you win a shot at the lottery you still aren't guaranteed tickets, but through the lottery I've been able to sit on the Right Field Roof Deck AND I'm going to Game 6 of this years ALCS (if there is a game six) - so it works
- Try, try and try again the day tickets go on sale on RedSox.com
Goodluck and Godspeed.
P.S. I am hereby pledging never to buy tickets from a broker again. There, happy?
P.P.S. Thank you to Derek at SawxBlog.com for bringing this to my attention!