What are they thinking?

I started going to rock concerts in the early 70's. Back in those Prehistoric days of *gasp* no Internet, the deal for getting tickets was simple: you camped out at the box office at the venue for three days and whoever was there first got the front row center seats. Simplicity itself, really.

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago when I wanted to get Neil Young tickets for his gig later this month at the new venue opening up by Staples Center, the Nokia Theatre. I had to go online to buy tickets (they weren't being sold at regular Ticketmaster outlets), register with the loathsome Ticketbastard and jump through hoops just to end up with shitty seats anyway. The less said about trying to call in for them, the better. Grrrrrrr......

I feel the pain of Colorado Rockies fans trying to get World Series tickets. The team announced Wednesday that all World Series tickets for the three potential games at Coors Field will be sold online. Not a big deal, right? Well, this is one of my pet peeves: I see this with the music industry all the time and their mantra of "Give us time, physical forms of the music won't be around, it'll be all digital downloads".

What the boneheads in the music business and the Rockies ticket office don't seem to realize --or more likely, they do, but just don't care-- is that not everyone that wants tickets (or a new album by a favorite band) has access to a freaking computer. I know, I know, the idea that some people aren't connected and computer savvy, that's so.....last millennium. However, it's true! :shock: Even the most optimistic of studies indicate that about 1/3 of Americans don't have Internet access, nor do they want it.


I'm simply baffled why the Rockies would do this. I'm pretty sure I know the business reason --no revenue sharing with third parties, no banks of employees they'd have to pay to distribute tickets face-to-face etc.-- but the statement from the team that selling by only the Internet would be "fairer" is just absurd. Not only does it cut out people without Net access, but it's been shown over and over that ticket bots run by scalpers scoop up a healthy chunk of tickets for hot-ticket events.

The final absurdity of the Rockies ticket policy is when the tickets go on sale: Monday at 10:00 am, Mountain time. Hmmm...so you force people to buy online, then schedule the sale when most people are at work. Genius! Now, sure, there's a lot of people that will be sitting in their cubicles frantically hitting the Reload button hoping to get a shot at tickets, but if I were a die-hard Rockies fan who had been showing up before their great late season run attracted all the bandwagon hoppers but had to be in a meeting on Monday morning, I'd be livid. Why not schedule the sale for Saturday or Sunday?

People, and especially people in groups, never fail to utterly baffle me with their thinking. --Jim Allen

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