After posting yesterday about the Cubs fans who are already bidding up to $1,700 for the rights to buy playoff tickets, I started thinking of a possible sillier and riskier ways for fans to guarantee themselves an 'in' to the games before tickets go on sale.
Short of finding a season ticket holder on match.com and jumping into a relationship with someone who smells like ballpark, here's what I came up with:
To my knowledge, the Rays are the only current playoff contender to be offering postseason rights in 2008 if you buy a ticket plan for 2009. If you visit the team's website, you'll find that a $150 per seat deposit toward a partial or full plan in the upper deck for '09 guarantees you a playoff seat.
The terms note that the deposit signals "a commitment" toward actually buying the plan, so assuming you'd be coming from Chicago (or Los Angeles or Boston or Milwaukee or Philadelphia or Minnesota or New York*) and would want the cheapest plan possible, you'd be looking at a total price of $180 for a 20-game plan plus whatever the postseason games would cost. (Admittedly, the $180 figure is if the current upper deck prices of $9 per seat remain the same, which they probably won't.)
I can hear you now. "That's a huge risk we'd be taking!" you claim in a worried tone.
But let's use a little logic here. Since the Rays are almost assuredly going to go all the way to their first of many World Series titles**, you'd be able to recoup all the costs of the games you don't attend by selling them to the other fan bases that will also unwittingly invade the Tampa/St. Pete area, only to walk into their inevitable slaughter.
You'd also be refunded all the games not played because the Rays swept the series in three or four games, plus have 20 or so reasons to visit the best team in baseball in '09 while helping boost their pitiful per-game attendance.
Foolproof? Pretty much.
Cheaper than risking $1,700? Definitely.
*Marlins fans need not apply since tickets at Dolphin Stadium will also be plentiful.
**Tongue planted firmly in cheek