Orioles are making progress on the field, but off the field it’s still the same old s**t

May 15, 2012 | Drew Forrester

I have no idea why the Orioles would limit the number of student tickets they sell.  That makes no sense at all.  If an 18-year old high school student shows up with 3 friends and they put $24.00 up and say, “Four tickets, please”, they should be sold four, $6.00 tickets.  Period.  I’m sure the team is fully aware of their ticket selling woes over the last half-decade or so.  They can’t possibly be in the business of turning folks away who have money and want to buy a ticket, particularly a young fan who could very well turn into a fan (or not) based on their game-day experience.

A couple of people noted to me via e-mail that Student Night has become somewhat of a problem, because a lot of the college kids are using it for “Get Drunk at the Ballpark Night” and creating havoc throughout the evening.  That might very well be true.  But that’s an “in-stadium” problem.  That kind of stuff needs to be handled by the operations folks inside the ballpark.  That would be akin to owning a bar and cutting off the drinks at 10:30 pm because “I don’t need people in here getting drunk and going home after midnight.”

When people show up at the ticket window, with money, you need to sell them the ticket they thought they were buying.

Or, at the very least, you have to be MUCH more forthcoming about what “limited availability” means.

One e-mailer told me his son was told by one of the ticket staffers that the availability expires once the first pitch is thrown.  I almost can’t imagine that’s true, but nonetheless, that’s what was reported back to me.

Another parent says a guard INSIDE the ballpark told him they only sell 1,000 of the LF Upper Reserve seats to students.  I guess I could believe that, although I see no reason at all why that makes sense.

I’ll repeat:  If a student arrives at the window with money in hand, you sell him or her a $6.00 seat as long as the LF Upper Reserve seats are available.

That’s what a smart organization would do, anyway.

If after 14 years of losing you’re still arrogant enough to effectively chase people away who actually want to buy a ticket to see the home team — then shame on you.  Big time.  Shame, shame, shame.

Naturally, a lot of these questions could be answered if only the Orioles cared enough to answer a simple e-mail from a member of the media who has a legitimate inquiry.

The Ravens would have an answer out within 3-4 hours of receiving the e-mail.

Then again, they sell all of the seats in their stadium ahead of time.  They wouldn’t encounter the problem the Orioles have, which is coming up with unique ways to attract folks to the ballpark on a Friday night.

And as someone who created his fair share of ticket-selling concepts during my former life in the soccer business, I completely understand the need to do some “outside the box” thinking to get people into the facility.

When a kid shows up with six dollars and wants a ticket, you need to sell it to him or her.

It’s that simple.