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Getting into Red Sox Nation

Students share tips on finding tickets

Boston University’s summer residents often experience a particularly cruel irony: for three months they are within walking distance of Fenway Park, but by the time they arrive on campus Red Sox tickets are long gone.

“If you really want to go to games, you have to plan it out beforehand,” says Dan Chaparian (COM’07), founder of the Red Sox Fans for More than Two Years group on Facebook. “Tickets go on sale at two different times, once in December, right before Christmas, and once in February.”

Latecomers do have options, however: the “unpleasant world of scalpers,” says Daniel Hayes (CAS’05), founder of Facebook’s Diehard Red Sox Fans group, and ticket agencies like StubHub and 1-800-MY-SEATS are reliable, if expensive, ways to get into Fenway. But both Chaparian and Hayes advise that the best legal and affordable way to get into a Sox game is to show up a few hours before the box office opens on game day. The Red Sox typically have 200 to 300 tickets on sale, and fans can get in line up to five hours before the game starts.

“The Lansdowne Street box office is the only one that opens for any game day sales — it opens up around 6:20, 6:30-ish,” says Chaparian. “If you get in line around 4, maybe 5, they have hundreds of tickets on sale. The deal with that is, you obviously have to wait in line the whole time and you can’t hold your place, and once you get your ticket you have to go immediately to the ballpark. But the people in line are pretty cool — you’ll make some friends.”

There’s a one-ticket-per-person limit for game-day box office sales; for more tickets, start checking the team Web site a few days before the game, and you might find some tickets available.

Chaparian also advises against dropping a lot of cash on game-day tickets, particularly when standing-room tickets are usually available for less than $30. “If I can get standing-room seats, I know that I’m only gonna stand for five innings,” he says. “Then someone’s gonna leave and I can poach their seat.”