09/24/2004: As I've said...
this is not the year to be a Cardinals Fan in Exile. For one thing, we miss the joys of standing in line for days to get standing-room tickets for the postseason. By way of reference, when the writer says "this morning" he means Wednesday morning, September 22.
Busch Stadium's exterior resembled a Hooverville this morning. Thousands of people, some having been in place for days, were in line for postseason tickets (Division and LCS only), which went on sale this morning at 8 a.m. They brought food and drink, slept in tents and on folding chairs. As the sun rose, they packed their things away and lugged their couches and such to their position in whereever their particular line had woven itself, to begin the long wait to get to the ticket window.
I was a part of the festival this morning; here is an account:
3:30 a.m. - I took my place the line around the northwest side of the stadium, which by that time had made its way down Walnut Street to 9th. The couch group mentioned in the linked article was four groups in front of me (I was #374 in that particular line), and were among the only ones awake.
3:40 a.m. - The group behind me arrived, and immediately began celebrating one woman's birthday by giving out cake to anyone awake nearby (it was good).
8:00 a.m. - As the cheers erupted from a window on the other side of the stadium, signifying that sales were beginning, a guy from the group in front of me whipped out his laptop. He logged onto the Cardinals website to try and buy his tickets online, immediately being dumped into the "Virtual Waiting Room."
8:20 a.m. - A guy from the group behind me showed back up after scouting out the celebratory crowd around the ticket window. He informed us that a) we were fifteen "columns" away from the window, and b) a man had been trying to sign credit card receipts for, then giving $100 bills out of an envelope to, each of several people at the front of the line -- something that drew the ire of people in line behind the group of people in question. Sparks flew, and the man had to be escorted away with his group.
9:00 a.m. - Rumors began circulating about the identity of the man giving out so much money; supposedly he was a scalper that offered twelve homeless people $20 plus food to wait in the front of the line for several days, then having them by the maximum allowable number of tickets (12 per person per game). He was rumored to have made off with around $30,000 in tickets. Meanwhile, the laptop guy was still in the Virtual Waiting Room.
12:40 p.m. - The window was within sight.
1:00 p.m. - I jubilantly made my way to the window, only to find out that the first two games of both the Division and LC series were standing-room-only. At that point, though, I was just happy to finally be there.
1:10 p.m. - On my way back to the car, with my wallet still stinging, I walked past a man who'd just walked away from one of the other lines (there were three) with his tickets. I asked him what time he'd arrived at the stadium, and he said 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Wow, did I luck out, I thought.
Hopefully... in the end, it'll all be worth it.
Len on 09.24.04 @ 09:15 AM CST