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Beating the (Chicago) Bull(s) at Their Own Game

2 March 2010 No Comment

The Bulls and many other teams would have you believe that their group rates are the way to save money. As I prepared to go to the game tonight on a cheap, pre-bought $10 ticket, I could not help but think at how people are duped into shelling out money for sports tickets regardless of how much teams ask.

Case in point, I bought a “group” ticket for $23 for Friday night’s Bulls game. Part of my evening on Friday night included chatting with the Bulls ticket manager. With the understanding that all teams have $10 seats, I asked Mr. Ticket Manager, “Why do the Bulls charge $40 for their cheapest seats?” – knowing even the Los Angeles Lakers only charge $35 for similar seats. The ticket manager, whose name will be withheld in order to protect his innocence and nonsense, responded that the Bulls almost always sell out. This is a kind way of saying the Bulls (and any other sports team) will charge as much as people are willing to pay. Fine, as a business principle, the strategy makes sense. But as an individual sports fan, this is why you can never depend on the team to set the market value for your tickets. This is why the secondary ticket market exists. The team’s business model depends on uninformed fans to pay whatever the box office charges.

Tonight, on my cheap, pre-bought $10 ticket, I was able to sit in $60 seats in the lower rows of the upper deck. More proof, as most of you know that you can almost always get more than what you paid for.

The Bulls were already missing Joakim Noah and Luol Deng due to injury when Derrick Rose fell to the court holding his right knee in pain. Rose ended up returning to the game but could not contain the Atlanta Hawks who won convincingly 116-92.

Tips & Tricks at the United Center
1) Once again I parked for free a few blocks from the United Center. This time I had to park on N. Hoyne Ave. between Washington Blvd. and Warren Blvd.
2) As I wrote earlier, I bought several $10 tickets for Bulls games at the start of the season. I do this because it takes a lot of work to buy a ticket for less than $10 (read get one for free or $5). Plus you can sit anywhere you want in the lower rows of the upper deck – face value for those seats is $60 for tonight’s game (or $70 for premium games).

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