Minnesota’s Version Of The 2-For-1 Sale – By Neal Coolong
Steelers Fever Exclusive Editorial
|The world of finance doesn’t make much sense to me. I was a journalism major, and I rarely ever went to class to boot. I took an accelerated macro economics class my senior year of high school solely because it was a morning class and I needed my afternoons off for baseball. I swear to this day the only reason I passed is because my teacher, Mr. Ringstad, went to the college I planned to attend.
I’m a red-blooded American capitalist. But fair is fair.
While I’m sure this is the same of most teams, and God forbid, including the Steelers, things in the world of money and profit often cloud the greater good.
SteelersBro actually got out of bed before 1 P.M. today in an effort to track down tickets to the Steelers/Vikings game December 18. Since this is one of the few times Pittsburgh plays our hated local team, we’re jumping at the chance to get seats in the Big Inflatable (the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome). Surprisingly, given the extreme fair-weathered reputation of Minnesota sports fans, there were very few individual seats remaining, and given the preseason game he and I attended in 2001 between Pittsburgh and Minnesota, we were going to have to battle a lot of Black and Gold faithful to get seats.
But, we Steelers fans and Vikings fans were given a lesson in professional sports finances.
“Why sell one when we can force them to buy two at twice the price?” Instead of settling for a few seats somewhere close to Saturn for the Steelers game, the only seats they are selling come with a ticket for the Vikings preseason game against the Chargers.
“Are they free?” SteelersBro asked.
“No,” replied the ticket agent, laughing. He wasn’t kidding. The purpose of a full-scale advertising campaign pubbing the preseason is about as laughable as Al Franken’s attempt to run for senate in this state, but now, not only do we have to put up with the over-dramatic commercials, implores from Vikings coach Mike Tice that Daunte Culpepper will play “at LEAST two quarters” and all the glitz and glamor of wide receivers who wear No. 11, I am now forced to pay for a seat to one of those games just to see my team play for their first regular season game at the Dome in over a decade.
Fuming mad over this (out of principle than anything else), I proceed to tell Anti-Steelers-Friend Chuck about it, in which he laughs, pointing out yet again that season-ticket holders like himself don’t have to do that.
But they do have to watch the Vikings play more than once next year, but that’s beside the point.
In college, it was far from easy to get seats to our basketball games. Students camped out, teachers took sick days and scalpers got rich. But every year, between the game at home and the game at our rival’s place, the visiting student body was always given x amount of tickets. It’s only fair.
Yes, I know the Vikings don’t exist in NCAA Division I (although they look like it most games), but the spirit of competition can’t be that far off. As a team, they understand fully the majority of those single game seats are going to be bought up by the fans of visitors. Any fan buying tickets for one specific game between inter-conference teams is going to be for the visitor. In doing that, you force the fan of the visiting team to not only pay essentially $105 for one ticket to one game, you’re masking that by “allowing” them the priviledge to watch the least rewarding game for the dollar in all of professional sports. It’s not even like this is a Packers game. Those are the event of the season in Minneapolis, and rightfully so. There’s not even close to the same buzz when Pittsburgh comes to town, and vice versa, presumably. You won’t read too many Eagles fan sites talking trash about their heated rivals in Kansas City. The point is these teams play so infrequently, why bother screwing over the visiting team’s fan base?
Am I wrong to place such naivety in a world of cutthroat competitors? Probably. But you wouldn’t be reading this column along with the 35,000 other visitors SteelersFever.com gets every month if fans weren’t avid about all aspects of football.
All I’m saying is when you watch the game from whatever part of the country you’re in on December 18, remember I’m in that crowd somewhere, cheering Pittsburgh to victory. And washing out the taste of that Chargers ticket I won’t be able to give away.