“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?

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