“What if 20,000 students showed up and they all wanted to get in for six bucks?”

May 17, 2012 | Drew Forrester

Yesterday, after giving an Orioles official 24 hours to respond to my inquiry about the team’s “Student Night” ticket policy, I decided to reach out to 14 different members of the team’s front office with the hope that someone – ANYONE – would be willing to give me the details of the ticket offer so I could pass it along to those of you who have reached out to me over the last four days to express your dissatisfaction with the way it was all handled last Friday night when students were turned away at the ticket windows.

No one replied.

Not one person saw the e-mail and said, “Damn, we do owe the fans an explanation…”

Until late last night, that is.

Someone (and I’ll confess here that the e-mail I received came in from an address that shielded his/her identity — so it’s entirely possible that this person is a fraud…but they did reference the e-mail that I sent, so I assume they’re legit) reached out to me with this explanation and…well…I’ll just post it here and let you see it for yourself. You won’t believe it.

Without going into any detail so as to protect my identity, I will simply say I’ve worked for the Orioles for the better part of 10 years. I wanted to respond to your e-mail of earlier today and give you some much needed insight into the common practices of ticket sales in the world of sports. Despite what poison you’ve tried to spread around, we do know what we’re doing here. Yes, there is a limit to how many student tickets we’re willing to sell on a Friday night. That’s done in connection with the sponsor (AT&T), as they’re involved in the promotion both conceptually and financially. We limit the number of tickets sold because we have to draw the line somewhere or else we might have 20,000 people lined up at the window wanting six dollar tickets. Obviously we couldn’t stay in business very long if we just let all 20,000 of those people in for six bucks. But you don’t get that. Yes, there have been some long lines at the windows for the Friday home games this year, but that’s because a lot of those students would rather stay in the bar until the first pitch is thrown and then they come over to the ballpark for the game. Is it our fault those students didn’t get to the stadium in time for the first pitch? And further, a lot of them just up and leave in the 6th or 7th inning and wander around the Eutaw Street area and cause problems. These are things you don’t see because you’re not here dealing with the problems.

So there you go. Of course, we still don’t know what the policy is for “Student Night”. It’s like a government secret. What, exactly, is “subject to availability”? Do you have to be one of the first 100 people in line to get the $6.00 discount? One of the first 500? Do you have to be there by no later than 10 minutes after the first pitch in order to receive the discount?

No one knows…because, for some bizarre reason, the Orioles aren’t willing to tell anyone what the policy is.

But that’s only part of the issue.

I was stunned to see the explanation offered in the e-mail: “What if 20,000 students were lined up and wanted to buy six dollar tickets?”

Yeah, boy, that sure would suck, wouldn’t it?

(Please see next page) 

34 Comments For This Post

  1. Brad A Says:

    It is kind of a mess with the students. I like to go to the games on friday nights with my buddies and because of the underage and sloppy immature drinking you cannot buy more than 1 beer per person which is rediculous but i get why they do that. That is another argument for another day. But this past friday was sloppy. I witnessed two fights and three kids throwing up in the bath room. Im 24 years old and all for a good time but it is really rediculous and sloppy. (DF: I will say, again, that the behavior of people INSIDE the park has nothing to do with the Orioles announcing their “student ticket policy”. Nothing. There are high school age kids who don’t drink who were turned away last Friday night. This is NOT a story about kids getting drunk. It’s a story about people being led to believe they’re going to get a $6.00 ticket and that ticket not being made available to them when they show up at the park.)

  2. John West Says:

    I don’t know how many times ago I stopped saying “This is the last straw”, but if I hadn’t, this would be it.
    How is it possible that the question “What are the parameters to the subject to availability language in your Friday night student promotion?” is a answer that must be treated like a National Security.
    I cannot imagine any business staying in business if this is how they treat their paying customers. As wnst has accurately pointed out time and time again, the Orioles have structured their profitable business plan to not care about the fans. Just the MASN money.
    I cannot help but ask the following question almost everytime I hear an Oriole story….”What would the Ravens do?” (DF: It’s amazing. All I’ve asked is for the Orioles to be more transparent with “Student Night” than to just say “tickets subject to availability” and somehow I’m the bad guy. I hear ya, bro. It’s crazy how secretive they are over something that’s all about the fans.)

  3. justafan Says:

    Maybe the Orioles should discontinue Student Night. It create more problems than it is worth with all of the drunken rowdiness that goes on not only in the Stadium, but on public transportation and in the surrounding neighborhoods.

  4. John West Says:

    Drunk students are not the issue. Getting a straight forward honest response from the Orioles for the legitimate press question of “What does subject to availability mean?” is the story.

  5. Nick Says:

    Which gates were turning away students? I took my brother and his two friends to the game on Friday. We all had club level tickets, but one of them lost their ticket while we were at Pickles Pub. It was in the top of the first when we noticed. We walked to the box office right by gate F and he was able to buy a student ticket with no problem. We were still able to get to our seats because 3 of us quickly flashed our tickets and our fourth friend just followed us.

    I personally did not have a problem, but I have no problem believing there were issues.

  6. justafan Says:

    John West, Have ever been to an Orioles game on Student Night? Please don’t tell me that drunk students are not the issue. It most certainly is. This just may be the reason why the Orioles limit their ticket availability. I shudder to think what might happen if the Orioles sold 20,000 $6 tickets to students who are coming to the game mainly to get drunk, and to them the ball game is merely an afterthought.

  7. sal Says:

    drew this isnt indoor soccer, its mlb they can do anything they want, masn is doing good for the community and the ball club is winning so stop whining about a couple extra bucks for a ticket. you can go to any other staduim in MLB and your paying 30 to 40 dollars for nose bleeds so jeez stop acting like a little child. go os

  8. Stoner Says:

    Well said, Sal. That golf story explains it all. DF seems to think a store/company’s policy should be thrown out the window when it suits him. That’s why it’s a POLICY. The employee at the golf shop doesn’t own the company. He has to abide by the rules or he’s fired. Why should he do you and your friend a favor and give a free monitor test, thereby breaking his rules and jeopardizing his job? I deal w/so many customers like you in the service industry, always trying to question the policies of my bar/restaurant, just to save a single dollar. Just a meiser. Amazing. (DF: You must have read the story wrong. I wasn’t buying a club. I was merely tagging along with a friend. He’s the one who walked out on them when they wouldn’t service him the way he expected. And because you don’t read well, let me remind you the whole story was about the “if we let everyone in here to use the launch monitor for free, we’d have people lined up to the street” comment. It wasn’t about their policy, per-se…I couldn’t have cared less. I wasn’t a customer, my friend was.)

  9. Scott Says:

    So, from the team that devalued itself by selling $1 tickets, we get this. Isn’t 20,000 people at $6 better than 20,000 empty seats? If the students are such a problem, eliminate the promotion. The best part is the “we know what we’re doing.” Really, is that why season tickets are at an all-time ridiculous low and the renewal rate decreases every year? Let me tell you, I saw about 30,000 drunk people at Opening Day and most of they were over the age of 30. This is really unbelievable.

  10. richard Says:

    Years(and I mean years ago), my parents were having a party and asked me to buy them 4 dozen donuts. They were 1.25 a dozen. I ordered the 4 dozen and then asked the person for 1 more to eat while I drove home. The salesman told me it would be 5.25(no tax).I asked why 5.25 and he said 4 dozen at 1.25,and 1 at .25. When I said I bought 49 donuts,he said I had bought 4 dozen and 1. After talking to the manager,they lost the sale for 49 donuts.
    Sometimes I think people and the O’s abide by the old Henry Clay quote,”I’d rather be right than President.”

  11. Charlie Says:

    Stoner, in the likely event that your bar/restaurant goes bankrupt, you sound like a great candidate to go work for the U.S. government. You’d be the idiot buying the $400 hammer because that was what the handbook told you to do. Your moniker and lack of common sense infer that you’ve had a few too many bong hits.

  12. Jason Manelli Says:

    They should just clarify the policy, and I’m surprised there’s no legal requirement to have disclosures associated with this policy under the truth in advertising laws. There should be some fine print that spells out anything that effects the availability of the promotion, blackout dates or any volume or time triggered expiration of the promotional ticket rate.
    If you’ve ever gone out in Towson, Ellicott City, Canton, Federal Hill or Fells Point on a Friday night, you know the deal. All the businesses there benefit from the green those kids bring, and like all opportunities for revenue there are associated costs, like the diminished value to the family consumer.
    The O’s obviously have a formula that accounts for the opportunity cost of this promotion both in terms of revenue shortfalls on full price tickets and the diminished value of the ‘family fan’ experience. The formula probably goes something like At X quantity of $6 tickets we increase concession revenues by Y% over average while generating ‘Z’ amount of complaints from other ticket buyers. There must be a sweet spot in $6 ticket volume where the promo pays off, and it seems the O’s aren’t interested in sharing that number.

  13. Oriole85 Says:

    I always make it a point to tell the person working behind the desk that “I know it’s not your policy” and then proceed to tell them why it’s a *bad” one. Hard to blame low-level employees in any situation for doing their job. It’s almost always management’s fault. Still the employees can say to their supervisor, about the customers concerns and hopefully it changes.

  14. Oriole85 Says:

    About the 20k students being a problem, I’m not quite sure what’s better- staying in your parents basement binge drinking or going out in public, where it can be relatively monitored? Answer is quite simple.

    I guess the one bad thing about cheap tickets is it does leave more room for the booze $$$. When I’ve gone with my friends before who aren’t as big of a baseball fan as I am, they’ve suggested buying cheaper tix for that reason. But really I don’t favor a quota system which would limit college kids.

    I’ve never had these problems before with student night, in fact I used to buy the “student tickets” without a student ID. I’m not doubting this is an issue though. The Orioles drew 16k PAID attendance Monday to see the Yankees,they should be doing everything possible to get the seats filled.

    I remember the Blue Jays some years ago had a $1 day throughout the ballpark and sold out. In addition to the good will of underselling more tickets, they’d get more fans hooked and make up for it in concessions.

  15. mike paskoff Says:

    I’m not sure which golf store you visited but I have bought a few individual clubs and this spring a new set of irons from Golf Galaxy in Towson. Each time I used the launch monitor testing area to try the different clubs and see the diagnostics.

    They DO charge $20 for the use of the machine and the clerk’s time BUT in each case they credited the $20 towards my purchase of the clubs. Perhaps that is what the store you went to had in mind? If not, then they should adopt the Golf Galaxy plan. (DF: I have no idea what the store “had in mind”…my friend left as soon as the debate ensued about the launch monitor costing $30.00 to use. The employee merely needed to say, “NORMALLY it’s $30.00 but if you’re buying the club here, we’ll waive it.” Nothing was said except, “Sure you can use it, it’s $30.00.” So my friend left.)

  16. Mike from Carney Says:

    This whole ticket deal, in conjunction with AT&T, is just a promotion. No different than floppy hats to the 1st 10,000/ Not everyone is going to get one. But, you will if you make the time to get there, early. Same concept. (DF: Of course it’s different, as you pointed out. “The first 10,000” people get a free hat. Fair way to do it. That way, you either get there within the first 10,000 or you don’t get a hat. “Subject to availability…” exactly how many tickets is that? It’s EXACTLY 10,000 hats. How many tickets is “subject to availability?”)

  17. Purple Kelly Says:

    We won again today. Quit trying to stir up trouble and stop being a Debbie Downer. (DF: Yeah, it’s a real downer to try and help the fans of the team who call my show and e-mail me about having a bad experience with the team. You’re a riot…)

  18. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    Had dinner with some friends last night and the topic turned to the “O’s” and their less than fan friendly marketing concepts. I was the only one aware of the walk-up surcharge and all agreed that they would not pay it and that it was stupid. Couple that with the student ticket fiasco and one has to wonder if these fan “turnoffs” aren’t deliberate – they admit that they “know what they’re doing”, so maybe there is some clandestine plan to unload this franchise, which reportedly has been for sale for some time……..

  19. cw Says:

    Thank you for continuing to keep the Orioles’ feet to the fire. Someone needs to hold them accountable. Two questions. First, aren’t the Orioles violating the laws against “bait and switch” by not being specific regarding the availability of the discounted tickets? Second, when the students were forced to buy the $18 tickets because the $6 tickets were no longer available, did that $18 include the same day surcharge? If so, the students are getting doubly screwed. They go down to the stadium expecting to get the $6 tickets, but because they waited until the same day as the game, they had to pay extra for the other tickets. Typical Orioles.

  20. sal Says:

    its kind of funny that my comments get deleted by mr. drew, but he b***** and complains about the orioles over few extra bucks for student night. Even when they are winning and in first place its very funny what these guys at wnst do to try get at the orioles for getting left out and no press passes for them to get perks and interviews, sucks to be them. Anyway, there a business drew, they have right to dictate and price there tickets and promotions as they want it to be. So your whole idea of 20000 students should get 6 dollar tickets is balony, most dont even watch game, leave in the middle game, or just plain drunk, and kids are stupid enough to pay the extra bucks to get in now days. I think it is actually a brilliant idea about the orioles to only sell a portion of the 6 dollars tickets. Then sell the rest for more money its plain and simple economic gotcha games Mr. Drew. (DF: Dude, your comment is up there. Can you read? Or is your own stuff that hard to decipher?)

  21. BmoreBobRob Says:

    I remember the days of Memorial Stadium when I had a student ID and this was never a problem. Maybe they should publish their policy so the public is aware. It is as if the team is not ready for a sudden resurgence of fan interest.

    If people think this is a problem, what in the hell ever happened to You Pon? Drew, I took your advice and asked Nestor but he never responded. Can you help? (DF: Maybe you should ask Nestor more nicely. You have an abrasive way about you. Perhaps you weren’t aware of that…)

  22. jayp Says:

    students?!?! These are the same jerks that drop $300 bucks for a cell phone or $100 plus on a Friday night bar tab but still complain over paying a few more bucks to watch the best team in baseball. Now if we were talking about single mothers or orphans, I’d care. But students, not so much. (DF: It’s amazing how many of you actually don’t get what the issue is here. I swear, we might live in the dumbest city in America.)

  23. Jim Says:


    To start, I have been to a couple of Friday nights and did not see anyone turned away. We even got there late. You have any comment on that, DF??? You really are the same old, same old. How many students were turned away? You have an annoying habit of insulting anyone who does not agree with you. You say this is the dumbest city, well you live here so what does that say about you? You just cannot wait for as chance to rip the Orioles. You cannot complain about the team’s play so far so a few (exactly how many students) get turned away and you jump on the chance to rip the Os. You and your owner constant ripping of the team have created a bad atmosphere with the Os. How would you feel if you were ripped all the time. Your station attracts all the syncophants that think just like you.

    How Pr friendly are the Ravens? No more camp in Westminster. Really high ticket prices as well as high concession prices but you chose to ignore that because your owner loves the Ravens and you dare not critisize the Ravens. Everythin they do is always for the fans (such as having to buy playoff tickets to games that are never played) Oh pardon me, only the Orioles are PR unfriendly. (DF: I don’t know why you didn’t see anyone get turned away. I have over a dozen e-mails from folks who say they were turned away. Maybe you’re not telling the truth. I said this MIGHT be the dumbest city in America. And yes, I’m born and raised here. But when I see stuff like what you just wrote – and others have wrote – I wonder how smart WE all are. The Ravens have forgot more about PR than the Orioles know. And you know that…but you’re an apologist for the team. And to prove you’re an apologist, you still haven’t answered the question on whether or not the Orioles are RIGHT or WRONG about not being truthful with the fans. All you did was beat me up…LOL. But that’s how you people operate. Rather than actually address the issue at hand, you somehow try to blame ME for bringing it to light. As Tiger Woods said to Alex Miceli — “you’re a real beauty, you know that?”)

  24. over40 DON Says:

    hey Jim, ask 10 people in a casual conversation about the Orioles policy of charging extra to walk up and buy a ticket. How many think it’s a stupid policy and would they pay it ?

    Why won’t the Orioles eplain the Student Night policy?

    Did you camp out at the ticket window and see nobody turned away for the $6 ticket?

    Why do bother reading this blog, commenting, and even listen to the station if you feel so bad about them ?

    Do you work for the Orioles? Sounds like it.

  25. bill Says:

    Anyone that gets pissed at DF’s dumb and sarcastic insults and comments comments should just go play angry birds…In the game you can zap as many DF looking creatures as you want for as long as you want. I have no idea how this clown has an audience after insulting everyone from the callers, the fans, and the players…everyday is cheap shot day with this poser…love to see him say face to face to the players repeating some of the things he says about them behind thier back (because WNSt doesn’t exist 5 miles outside Hart Road to the Orioles or anyone else). DF would soil his pants…

  26. bill Says:

    DF- I called and politely asked the policy. The person I spoke to was highly proffessional and explained patiently in great detail the details of the promotion. Roughly 3,000 seats are used in sections 368-388 rows 13-25. When these ran out, they opened up rows 1-12 for student sales. Then they opened up sections 360-365 for even more student sales. Thats alot of tickets. They stopped selling student tickets at 7:45. Stop hiding behind a computer screen and place a call to the team, or that’s right, you want to whine and bawl something negative about the Orioles every chance you get because the free tickets and buffet ended for you and the rest of the NST goofs….The orioles even responded officially on Orioles Hangout in the forum “Ask the Orioles” http://forum.orioleshangout.com/forums/showthread.php/119191-Ask-The-Orioles/page32
    Stop wasting people’s time with your classless stupidity and those “friends or listeners” that were stupid enough to ask you instead of calling the source, the Baltimore Orioles.

  27. over40Don Says:

    hey Bill, get a life it’s free country if you don’t like Drew don’t listen, don’t read his BLOG based on the responses to anything Oriole related, I’d say that Drew’s following is substantial and in agreement for the most part. Are you buddies with Jim?

    BTW, Drew’s a commentator, has his own opinions and expresses them on the radio and blogs them. Obviously you don’t like them. Have you ever called in to the show and voiced your displeasure or do just hide behind your computer screen. PUTZ!!!!!

  28. over40Don Says:

    the response on Orioles Hangout DOES NOT give a # of $6 seats allocated. They say it’s in the thousands but no actual # of seats is listed. Apparently most of the students don’t sit in their allocated seats but roam around. Of course with all the good seats not sold I’d venture to say they sit where they ain”t supposed to . No problenm with that as far as I’m concerned. Funny though that they don’t give an actual # of seats alocated for students at $6. (DF: Not only does it not give the actual # of seats, but there must be a lot of fans flat-out lying about last Friday night’s game. I have nearly a dozen accounts of people who said they got to the box office window at 6:45-7:00 pm and were told the student tickets weren’t available anymore. Honestly, though, the ONLY issue I’ve tried to press this week is the following: why not just post the rules somewhere for the fans to see? That’s all. Put a sign up near the box office on game night so folks who are standing in line SEE the rules and understand that they might not get a seat for $6.00. For some reason, people seem to think that’s not good business. I don’t get it. Why won’t the Orioles just publish the rules for their fans? That’s all I’ve asked of them this week. Somehow, though, I’ve turned out to be the bad guy. LOL.)

  29. dave hittinger Says:

    You could very possibly win a Pulitzer for investigative reporting. I’m actually surprised this isn’t bigger news on a national basis. Thanks for keeping us all safe from those big bad Orioles executives.

  30. RJ Says:

    Nestor and Drew, the Os are in FIRST Place and playing exceptionally well! Nestor, you have always espoused your love of Os baseball; well, now is the time to get aboard Team Angelos, or more specifically Buck and his boys – they are playing lights out!! You seem to be very silent of late!

  31. Charlie Says:

    To all idiots like “bill” and “dave hittinger”,
    This student night ticket issue was independently brought to Drew’s attention by several different listeners and Drew tried to contact the O’s to get a simple answer on what the student night ticket policy is/was. As one of those whom contacted Drew, I had sought an answer myself and only received an “all available tickets were sold”. The sad reality is that it has been a week and the O’s have yet to answer a very simple question. To those that continue to defend an organization that continually pi..es upon the fans, you are simply lemmings. This is not an issue of drinking, bad behavior or whether the O’s are winning or not; it is a matter of simply providing a student night ticket policy that is made public and straight forward enough for all to understand.

  32. bill Says:

    If you are intelligent enough to place a phone call instead of rummaging around in DF’s underwear you would have the answer…roughly 3,000 seats were initailly allocated sections 368-388 rows 13-25, then 1-12 were opened up to accomodate more students and finally 360-364 as well…..unreal the stooges that post…(DF: Bill, it’s amazing how you don’t get it, yet you post this drivel here because you don’t like me. There is ONLY one issue here, chief. Just one. The Orioles have not made the policy PUBLIC. That’s all. There isn’t a sign up at the ticket window telling folks “the rules”. There’s nothing on their website telling people “the rules”. Nothing. Zero. People were showing up and being turned away and NO ONE KNEW WHY. It was only when I started sniffing around on behalf of THEIR fans that people started wondering what, exactly, are the rules. You can keep on posting your anti-Drew stuff…that’s cool. But when you don’t actually grasp the facts, someone’s going to have put out a buffoon alert for you.)

  33. bill Says:

    Because a “sign” is not posted? Everyone runs thier business in their own way and if they want to sell beer for $8 a pop, they can….if you don’t like it, don’t drink it…You insult and take shots and yell at callers and constantly make fun of the players…thats the way you run your business….If I was the Orioles I wouldn’t respond to e-mails either from a source that obviously can’t stand them. (DF: Yeah, lots of people spend $2,400 on two season tickets on a team they can’t stand. I bought 2 season tickets last year. Did you? You should work for the circus. You have the clown part down pretty well.)

  34. Bo in Towson Says:

    Drew, I’m amazed at how many people like your pal “Bill” make a fool out of themselves time and time again and keep coming back for more. And you, my friend, are a web genius, because every single time they reply and you add a little comment at the bottom, you’re smart enough to know that gets them to come back one more time because you know, obviously, they just have to check back to see if “DF” wrote something else about them. More clicks=more money for WNST. You have “Bill” right where you want him. Listening and reading every single day, like a good little boy. Keep up the good work my friend, nice playing in the 2-man tournament this weekend. (DF: Bo, please don’t give away all of our secrets! LOL)

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