My wife and I are big pro football fans. After watching the New England Patriots on TV for years, we wondered what it would be like to attend a game in person. How hard could it be?
I call the team's ticket office and am greeted by a recorded voice that tells me all the games are sold out. Not taking no from a machine, I bypass the voice mail system and reach an actual person. "The tickets went on sale in May. They sold out in a day," I am told. "We are only affiliated with TicketMaster and I know they are sold out."
I try TicketMaster. My hopes soar as the agent sounds positive, but alas no tickets. "You could try calling the stadium," he suggests. I tell him, "They gave me your number." He chuckles.
Then I try Best for Less, an agency that has 50-yard line seats - only they are $250 despite a face value of $60. Cheap $26 seats are $100. I'm shocked. The agent asks, "Give me a price range - you just want to get in or be comfortable?" I feel like I'm wasting the man's time.
I commence asking friends, neighbors, my plumber, how to get tickets. No leads. In desperation, I try to win a Patriots away-game package offered during a sports radio talk show. I don't win but receive a brochure trumpeting major-league vacations. Tampa in December, sounds good. For roughly three times the ticket agency top-seat price, we can spend the weekend in Florida and see the Patriots. Excited by the prospect, we agree to be spontaneous. Our smiles fade, however, when we discover how terrible the seats are. We surrender to not seeing the Patriots this year. Instead, we'll watch from our living room, occupying the best seats in the house.