Last night, I attended my first White Sox game without having a physical ticket. I purchased a Ballpark Pass (averages out to about $4 a game for 22 games) last week so I could hit some weekday games. Figured I would buy at least 10 tickets to end the year, mostly $7 seats, so why not roll the dice on the pass? To use the pass, you set up an app on your smartphone (Ballpark – which, if you don’t have this app on your phone, you should get it at least when you are attending games) and download your tickets at the gate. It’s simple, it’s convenient, but it’s killing history.
At the start of this year, the Sox decided to stop printing tickets for season ticket holders. After some emails, we had two options – print your own tickets at home or pay an extra $20 to get your tickets printed by the Sox. I opted for option 2, since I collect the tickets. Since the ’12 season, I have a ticket for every game I have been to. When I did my 50 games for under $500, I framed up those tickets next to a poster with all the pictures I had taken that season. So that is why I was so bummed that we didn’t get, what other season ticket holders refer to as “the box”. Weeks before the season would start a box would come in the mail with your booklet of tickets. It was a beaut. You see all the tickets, usually with a fine stock, in their glory. But those days are over.
Usually in the morning after a game, I take out the ticket from the night before and put it on my night stand. Sometimes multiple tickets if it’s a Monday and we just had a home stand. But this am, I had nothing to remove. I was faced with the reality that I didn’t have a physical reminder of the game I attended last night. While nothing historic happened last night, what will the people do that attend the next perfect game and have no ticket stub because a club decides they’d rather save that money? It sucks that a new generation is growing up with printouts as tickets. There is no way they are saving that ink jet printout that will get ruined in time.
I know some parks that have a machine that kids can get a physical tickets from the game. I would suggest that to the Sox going forward. I have bags of tickets from years past, including my first Sox game. Bo Jackson’s second game as a White Sox, second home run of the comeback, 09/20/91. We sat behind home, WAY up. My mom almost didn’t make it. Game went into extras, a young Sammy Sosa won the game with a walk off. It is a great reminder, a great souvenir, one you don’t grow out of.