There’s Nothing Wrong with Sports Bigamy

by

Last weekend my buddy Sean and I went to pick our seats for our Warriors season tickets. (I have to admit, even as a die-hard Spurs fan: games at Oracle are way more fun than games at the AT&T Center.) In the process, I picked up a very useful piece of information: how Craigslist ticket scams work.

Turns out that the process of forwarding tickets to a friend, buyer, etc., is all controlled through the Warriors website. As a ticket holder, you can log on and do stuff like print your tickets in case your forget your paper copy, but it’s also the only way you can forward tickets to another email address. The trick is, as soon as you forward tickets to someone, the paper version that you received before the season immediately becomes invalid.

So if I understood the sales guy right, getting tickets forwarded to you from the Warriors automated service — and not from a personal email account — is the safest way to buy tickets off Craigslist. (The sales rep, of course, said that no one should ever buy tickets off Craigslist.)

The scam is that someone could sell their paper ticket in advance, send it to the buyer, and then forward the tickets to another email address the scammer has set up. Only the forwarded tickets will work at the door. And the guy that shows up with legitimate, glossy season tickets won’t be able to get in. This apparently happened a lot during last year’s playoffs.

As for our seats, they were almost a disaster: We arrived early at Select-a-Seat day to see what was available. Open seats are marked with white covers, we’re told. Walking through a curtain leading on the upper deck — center court, a view of the entire arena — we were both wondering how far we could stretch our salaries to get us closer to the court. To our horror, the seats were a sea of blue. Only a few dozen white seats. None in the lower bowl. None in the first five rows of the upper deck.

“This suuuuuuucks,” Sean muttered as we circled the arena. It got so bad that we started looking at decent single seats that were reasonably close together — maybe just a row apart or something.

What saved us was when we looked at the prices and targeted some cheap corner seats. Turns out, you can get a pretty nice view of the court from one of the corners, about nine rows back (Section 205, if you ever go to Oracle). The seats were actually affordable — as much as nosebleeds at a Spurs game — and we found out that this summer there will be an Upgrade Day when we can see what opens up after some current ticket holders opt not to renew.

So all was not lost. We’re officially season ticket holders and, God willing, locked in for playoff tickets this year. And as a nice little bonus, we got to watch West Virginia beat Duke on the Jumbotron as we filled out paperwork. Count it.

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