How many times can a World Series ticket change hands?
In the case of Game 5 of this World Series, the answer is several. Local ticket brokers and sites on the secondary market were reporting some business today from people trying to sell their tickets to a game that could last as little as two-and-a-half innings and might not get resumed until Thursday.
Billy Adams, of the Wanamaker Ticket Office at 16th and Market streets in town, said a couple hours ago that "eight out of 10 calls today have been people trying to sell their seats. I guess they are trying to recoup their money. But then you have people calling trying to get a thousand dollars seat for three innings of baseball, two-and-a-half if the Phillies get the lead. So basically we've been buying back tickets at face (which range anywhere from $150 to $250)." He said they've resold them for $300 and up, below what they would have sold before Game 5 started yesterday.
"We definitely do have action," Adams said, "but the big action just isn't there anymore. Most of my calls have been people selling. But we're not getting too deep back into it."
A representative for StubHub, the official reselling partner of Major League Baseball, said a couple of hours ago that it had 53 tickets posted and expected 100 by the end of the day. Sean Pate said he saw a similar interest in sellers trying to recoup as much of their investment back as possible. Tickets were listed for $575 on the low end for standing room up to $3500 for a spot behind home plate. "So prices are staying pretty firm," Pate said. "It's interesting because not only is the suspension such a unique thing, but basically what's at hand here is the clinching game of a World Series. You’re looking literally at potential people buying three innings what they've waited three decades for."
Anyone wanting to sell their ticket through StubHub was told that they needed to drop them off at the company's office in the Holiday Inn Philadelphia Stadium, 900 Packer Ave. That office opened at 9:30 this morning and also will be open tomorrow. No tickets were being accepted by e-mail.
Matt Moran, an associate VP for TicketNetwork.com, said they were showing around 80 tickets available on their site, including a smattering that never were sold. Those were posting in a range of $2000 on the upper end to $500 on the low end. That compares to the $900 get-in price that buyers were paying before Game 5 originally started Monday. Any tickets purchased were available by pick-up only.
Certainly anyone picking up tickets that were used last night wants to make sure those tickets are intact. There was a false report circulating for a while today that some had been ripped in half at the entrances, but Phillies VP for Sales and Ticket Operations John Weber wrote in an e-mail a short time ago that all tickets were scanned last night. Now some tickets might have gotten damaged in the downpour; if so, Weber asks fans holding tickets that they think might be unscannable -- "because it's crinkled or ripped somehow" -- to get down to the park a little earlier than usual to alleviate any problems. Pate also said that all the tickets they have had turned in at their office have been intact. "If for some reason a ripped one was submitted we would validate its authenticity with the Phillies and have it reprinted for the buyer," he wrote.
The Phillies noted on their Web site that fans will need their Game 5 tickets to get into Citizens Bank Park whenever the game is resumed.
There's some question when that will happen. Fox 29 forecaster John Bolaris said by phone this afternoon that tomorrow's decision on whether to play will be tougher than today's. Today was a washout from the start, with periods of heavy rain falling much of the day. Tomorrow those will slacken to rain and snow showers that could last until 9 or 10 o'clock in the evening. Wind chills, he added, will be in the upper 20s. Thursday night's forecast seems much better, with skies clearing and temperatures in the mid-40s.
Average prices for Game 5 spiked over $1000, Pate noted, with the potential clinching game increasing demand. Bottom line, the three games in Philly has cost StubHub buyers an average of $904 a ticket.
That's far short of what people are paying for Game 6 and Game 7 in St. Petersburg, Fla. Overall, the average price of a ticket for the four games there is sitting at $389. Get-in prices have been as low as $185. "They've come down substantially the last couple of days," Pate said. Game 6 tickets have sold for an average of $427 and the cost of a ticket for Game 7 has been around $30 higher. Pate said he expects a "landslide of activity" once buyers know the series definitely is headed back to Florida. The ticket price most affected would be Game 7, obviously the clincher for both teams.
At this point, those who sat through last night's rain and wind just hope the clincher has been delayed no more than a day or two. Greg Hoy, of Philadelphia, paid four figures for two tickets so he could take his dad to Game 5 and sort of pay back his gratitude for his dad taking him to Game 1 of the World Series in 1980 at the Vet. Hoy said by phone that they attended last night and just sat there in disbelief as the rain continued to intensify. "We just kept thinking that there was no way [the game was] going to be canceled but ultimately they did [suspend it]. But we are going back. My dad is coming back into town to do it, and we'll hope they can squeak out a win. It's unfortunate the way [last night's game] turned out. I just wish Major League Baseball would have had a little more foresight when it comes to the Series and take look at things like weather forecasts, and maybe moving games up."