I wonder how much a ticket would cost to see Game 7 of a Boston Red Sox World Series game at Fenway Park. What would some "Cheeseheads" in Wisconsin do to get tickets for the NFC championship at Lambeau Field, January snow and all? A ticket to any NBA final with Michael Jordan playing would have been priceless. In some years, a single ticket to the Texas/OU game during the State Fair of Texas can cost thousands.
Given the cost of attending a game in person these days, I am so thankful for high definition television! No doubt about it, fans love their teams and the games they play. Because sometimes, no matter how much money it cost or time it takes to get tickets pales in comparison with the ability to say, "Yes, I was there!" Some games, some teams are so iconic that the money and time spent are priceless.
Let the games begin
These are all things I ponder as I endure the third hour of standing in line to get season tickets for our high school football team! It has not been an easy road to even get to this point. I am in awe of those in front of me: those pre-dawn warriors of the Friday-night lights. They are already thinking and scheming in the still cool May morning about warm Fall evenings yet to come. Why, oh why, did I decide to do this???
The story of my quest for season tickets actually started last year. Our daughter was the Lieutenant on the high school drill team as a junior. I thought mom and dad should step up our game and get season tickets with dedicated seats for the five home games on the schedule.
In prior years my family had always gone to home games, but we were content to sit in General Admission. To do that, you have to get in line early. Overflow goes to the visitor's side. Our stadium is always SRO. I understand we do not sell many tickets to the visiting team. The school must save those to sell the rabid local fans. We have spent many a happy year passing drinks up the stadium rows, passing notes to the cute 3rd grade girl 3 rows up and 3 seats over, passing a baby down to the aisle for a diaper change. The usual hometown Friday- night-at-the-game-type activities. And, oh, yes, while watching the game, too. I saw the special blue-back seats between the 40-yard lines. I just never knew who got them or how.
On the grid
In May 2012, I walked into the Athletic Office and asked for Season Ticket Sales. The color drained from the secretary's face. She asked if I was late responding to the letter or just new to the neighborhood. I replied neither, I just needed better seats not located in General Admission to see my beautiful girl lead her drill team out on the field. With a worried nod, the lady handed me the 3-page memo on ticket purchases, which I took home to review. I needed two forms of ID proving that I was in residence of the school district; a report card showing I had a child in the school system;the list went on and on: only two tickets allowed per household.
I worked all summer on checking off every item on the list and returned in late July. I was 'approved' as a buyer in August, and ended up buying two seats together in the worst location. The two tickets that the lady in the Athletic Office had originally told me "did not exist' were suppose to be on reserve for VIPs, but my persistence wore them down. All that mattered was I was officially in the system!
As luck would have it, I was only on the hook for the tickets for one year. 2013 would start the draw for a three-year option, with another three-year option in 2016. I was given the instruction book on how to apply for the three-year ticket and the option on upgrading my current seats. Mind you, they weren't for the coveted blue-back seats. We were still on the page reserved spots on an aluminum bench, which is where we will sit for five games, but we will have the right to tell people to move. Ah, the power, and yes, the pressure, too!
On the clock
Of course we paid for the 2013 season tickets long before the deadline and decided I would stand in line for the option of the upgrade for the next three years. I made the mistake of going the day before my group (calendar snafu). I ended up meeting the people in the exclusive club vying for blue-back seats assignments. I am not ready for that type of action. I have until 2016 to figure out a new strategy.
Will you be my neighbor?
The first person out of the office was my triumphant neighbor. She and her brother and a stand-in had been in line since 2:45 a.m. to be the first to grab blue-back seats. They managed to get six seats together, which was an amazing feat, and, needless to say, they were thrilled. I heard them referring to the seats as an "asset." Their was talk of "estate planning." The last time six seats were obtained together, local legend has it, involved a death, a divorce and a re-marriage. That is more than I want to think about for five Friday night games!
I think about the lucky family who got a charitable deduction and 4 blue-back seats by generously donating several thousand dollars to the Junior/Sr Prom for 4 of the select seats.
My beloved college roommate is sound asleep knowing her blue back are secure. She and her husband trade 5 Dallas Cowboy home games tickets in a Suite With CLUTCH parking pass for 5 games in the old stadium that does not know Wi-Fi.
The next day - the day I am supposed to be there to improve my seats - I come around the corner to see that the line is already around the corner. Are these people crazy? Yes! Am I crazy? I decide in hour three that, yes, I am. I wonder why I am here. My daughter has one year left in high school. I would be fine with my same tickets on the aluminum bench from last year. They really were not that bad. NO! I was competing for something more, anticipating that five years down the road, her growing-like-a-weed little brother would be playing under the Friday Night Lights. My master plan: keeping moving up the season ticket food chain until perhaps, someday, I was able to upgrade to two blue-back seats for Fall 2018 when, unless he does becomes a professional fisherman in the next 4 years and ruins his UIL standing, he could, if he tries hard, be part of the winning tradition on the gridiron. That is a lot to consider on my first half cup of coffee!
So, for me, the price of admission is pride in my kids, along with hope and patience and the promise of tomorrow. I just want to have the option to be able to say, "Yes, I was there."
Being a parent is being the biggest fan of that truly iconic, one of a kind team. Your family!