BU Today

Sports

Six Strategies for Buying Red Sox Tickets

Getting into the park without breaking the bank

Watch the video above to see game-goers’ strategies outside Fenway Park.

Boston University has a reputation for great professors, eager students, and outstanding academic opportunities. It also happens to be roughly 1,056 steps from Fenway Park, the oldest and one of the most storied ballparks in the country—home of the Boston Red Sox.

That means BU students also have an outstanding opportunity to become emotionally invested in the legendary Red Sox–Yankees rivalry, to watch Dustin Pedroia and Big Papi swing for the fences, and to see Dice-K hurl pitches. Of course, those things are best done from inside Fenway Park, and getting in is not always easy and seldom cheap—ticket prices range from $12 for upper bleacher seats to $312 for infield dugout box seats. With a capacity of 38,805 spectators, Fenway is one of Major League Baseball’s smallest parks. And the Sox have sold out every game since May 15, 2003.

What to do? BU Today offers personality profiles of six buyers, all with strategies that just may get you inside Fenway Park.

The Opportunist
BU’s Student Activities Office offers some game tickets, usually once each spring or fall. As a group buyer with the Red Sox, SAO is typically allotted just 80 to 100 tickets, and they get snapped up immediately by quick-thinking students. The Opportunist keeps tabs on SAO’s ticket offerings by checking its Web site periodically or stopping by the office at One University Road. Students can also wait until senior year, when SAO offers tickets during Senior Week events.

The Investor
At the Red Sox Replay Web site, fans can log on and purchase tickets offered for resale by season-ticket holders. It costs $49.95 to become a member of Red Sox Replay, but having done so, fans can purchase regular-season game tickets. The Investor is someone who wants to attend more than a few games during the season, so plunking down $50 right off the bat (pun intended) could be a good investment.

The Waiting Gamer
Two hours before each game, a limited number of tickets goes on sale at Fenway’s Gate E on Lansdowne Street. Unfortunately, fans often start to line up for those tickets four or five hours before game time, so this is hardly a guarantee. Also, these tickets are typically for single and obstructed-view seats and for standing room. The pluses are paying face value, and if you’re lucky, getting into a game that has been sold out for months.

The Headhunter
Buying Red Sox tickets from scalpers typically means paying more than face value—often much more. And while scalping tickets is illegal in Massachusetts, the problem for buyers is not getting busted; it’s getting stuck with fake tickets. “Ask to look at the ticket,” says Steve Thaw (COM’08). “Make sure the date, time, and opponent are correct. Check whether or not that section and seat exist.” To get the best bargain, Thaw suggests buying right before a game begins, right after it has started, or if the forecast says rain.

The Gambler
Going online to Craig’s List or eBay to get tickets is another option. On Craig’s List, transactions can be faster and easier because you are dealing person to person, Thaw says. On eBay, it’s usually easy to tell which ticket auctions are legit—but be prepared to pay much higher prices. “I only buy from reputable sellers with positive ratings,” says Chad Boldini (COM’08). “I always look at an auction carefully to make sure it’s legitimate, and I read some of the seller’s feedback.”

The Doughboy
StubHub is an open marketplace where anyone can sell any ticket, and prices here are usually higher than face value. So the Doughboy must be prepared to fork over some of that extra dough. The site charges a 10 percent commission, plus shipping fees of $11.95 and up, or a handling fee of $15 for pickup. Ace Ticket is another option.

Sierra Brown can be reached at hokulele@bu.edu.