Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cubs Refuse to Sell Tickets to Game with Yankees

Wally Hayward—executive vice president, chief sales and marketing officer for the Chicago Cubs and proud owner of the longest title of anyone whose occupation is not British royalty—says that if you're planning on seeing the Yankees play at Wrigley in mid-June (and the Cubs will be there too), you'd better buy as many tickets as you can to the Cubs' Pick 13 Plan that, as of . . . right now, will go on sale in an hour. The reason? He claims the series will probably be sold out by the time individual game tickets go on sale in February (no date yet announced).

According to Paul Sullivan, Hayward doesn't expect the single-game crowd to see any tickets trickle down their way:
Hayward said season ticket renewals are ahead of last year, and that the Cubs expect to sell out the New York Yankees series before individual tickets become available to the public.

"People who do wait for that on-sale date will most likely get shut out," Hayward said.
I find this extremely interesting, since . . . well, just look at the picture.
I see Friday tickets. I see Sunday tickets. I smell baloney.
 I'm curious to know how the Cubs plan to sell out the series against the Yankees through a combination of season-ticket sales (and I'm sure Hayward is being absolutely forthcoming about the strength of those) and this Pick 13 promotion that offers bleacher tickets and "bowl" tickets (their term for the reserved sections, which, in true Wrigley style, aren't configured to resemble a bowl so much as a trough) to just two of the three games.

The only conclusion I can muster is that the Cubs will not be selling tickets to the Saturday, June 18 game. Just won't sell them. No deal, Burns. Take your interleague lust and shove it.

I guess it's possible Paul Sullivan misunderstood the gist of Hayward's comments. Similar things have happened.* But this isn't that complicated of an issue. Is it possible Hayward was just twisting what everyone knew to be true already? You don't get to be the head of marketing for the Chicago Cubs without knowing how to put a good light on things. Of course most people who want to get Cubs/Yankees tickets won't get them. Between the two teams there are tens of millions of interested fans and only about 120,000 tickets, many of them already claimed by STH scalpers who, with the assistance of the Cubs and MLB will happily take your money and an appendage in exchange for as many tickets as you like season ticket holders.

But still, there's an entire game not even subject to this sale. How could anyone remotely acquainted with the virtue of honesty say that he expects those tickets to sell out before they're even made available for sale? Part of me wants to say that Hayward could just be a big fat liar who should check his pants for signs of potential spontaneous combustion.

Instead, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume the Cubs and Yankees will engage in baseball competition in front of an empty bowl and deserted bleachers. At least we'll have McCarver and Buck to bring us the action.

*It's interesting to note that the Trib has retroactively changed the original headline of 'Milton Bradley Calls Cubs Fans Racist' to 'Milton Bradley accuses some fans of racial taunts.' It's also interesting that they have yet to produce a single quote in which Bradley ever did call Cubs fans racist, say that they made racial taunts, or bring up the topic of race in anything but an answer to a question about racism. They even specifically state that when asked if he received racial taunts, he refused to give them an example. Milton Bradley accused fans of hating him. I have yet to see a single example of anyone either a) proving him wrong, or b) showing that Milton implied the racial connotation that Paul Sullivan inferred. Good to see the Chicago Tribune is willing to water down their false statements without actually correcting them.
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