BU Today


Six Strategies for Buying Red Sox Tickets

Getting into the park without breaking the bank


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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. In fact, today kicks off a season-long celebration of Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary.

The park’s proximity to campus means BU students have an opportunity to witness firsthand the legendary Red Sox–Yankees rivalry or to see Dustin Pedroia put on a “laser show” while crushing high-and-inside fastballs. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Tickets can be expensive, and hard to come by. With a seating capacity of 37,493 for night games and 37,065 for day games, Fenway is one of Major League Baseball’s smallest parks. The Sox have sold out every game since May 15, 2003, reaching 700 consecutive sellouts on September 2, 2011. Tonight’s home opener, not surprisingly, is officially sold out.

With that in mind, BU Today offers personality profiles of six buyers, each with a unique strategy. One of these strategies just may get you inside Fenway Park.

The Opportunist
BU’s Student Activities Office is selling game tickets for the Red Sox vs. Mariners game on May 15, 2012, during Senior Week. Only seniors can buy them, and the limit is four per person. The tickets are $28 for bleacher seats and $25 for standing room. You can also enter the Red Sox online waiting room for tickets as soon as they go on sale.

“You can buy tickets directly from the Red Sox site,” says Kevin Anton (COM’12). “It is supposed to be a virtual version of waiting in line.”

The Philanthropist
If you’ve never thought of a night out at Fenway as a charitable way to spend your time and money, it’s time you discovered the Red Sox Foundation. What better way to get your hands on tickets than through the team’s official charity? The foundation auctions off tickets for some of Fenway’s most in-demand games on its website. You can also experience the game by volunteering with Fenway’s Green Team. This group of 30 to 50 volunteers gathers beer cups, water bottles, and other recyclables from fans during the first seven innings—and gets a chance to keep an eye on the game, of course. The BU Red Sox Green Team volunteers at two games a month. Find out how to sign up here.

“It was really cool to get to walk all the way down to the field to pick up the recycling for those seats,” says Jessica Beavis (COM’12). “I got to get a lot closer to the field than I probably ever would have if I had just purchased tickets. We also got to help the environment. So it was totally worth it.”

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 them four or five hours before game time, so there is no guarantee any will be left by the time you make it to the front of the line. Also, these tickets are typically for single and obstructed-view seats or for standing room. That said, they go for face value, and if you’re lucky, you can get 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 although scalping tickets is illegal in Massachusetts, the biggest problem for buyers is not getting busted, but rather winding up 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 calls for rain.

The Gambler
Going online to craigslist or eBay to buy tickets is another option. On craigslist, transactions can be faster and easier because you are dealing person-to-person. “Since BU is actually so close to Fenway, it’s pretty easy to get tickets on craigslist for that day or the next day when people can’t make the game,” says Anton. “You can get them at face value and just meet them at the park.” On eBay, it’s usually easy to tell which ticket auctions are legit—but be prepared to pay much higher prices.

The Doughboy
StubHub is an open marketplace where any person can sell any ticket. Many fans swear by it, but are generally resigned to paying more than face value. The Doughboy must be prepared to fork over the extra dough. The site charges a 10 percent commission, plus shipping fees or pickup fees. Ace Ticket is another option.

More information about buying tickets to Red Sox games can be found here.

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

This updated story originally ran on June 17, 2008.

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