August 13, 2013

Fan Accommodation

Saturday, we did something we haven’t done in years: decided in the mid-afternoon to make the drive out to Cincinnati for the 7:10 p.m. game. Even though we’re driving from Indianapolis, it used to be no big deal to make this kind of spontaneous trip, but a few years ago we started getting burned when games started selling out while we were in the middle of the 2-hour drive. #winningteamproblems

To avoid the whole scalper situation–or worse, the dreaded standing room only–I went to purchase tickets using my phone while my hubby drove. Buying tickets is painful on any device, so I won’t use this forum to bitch about that (though, honestly, how many CAPTCHAs does a person need to fill out??). I’ll just say that I eventually got through it with tickets in a section I’d never heard of. I believe it was 410WC.

Two things I later learned about section 410WC: first, the WC stands for “wheelchair.” I think the mobile interface could have been more clear on that. Second, it is an All-You-Can-Eat section. The mobile interface didn’t mention that part at all.

Regarding the wheelchair part, I understand that lots of people who don’t need wheelchairs sit in these seats all the time, and it’s just fine. I walked by dozens of able-bodied people in these seats while I was walking around the stadium and I didn’t judge them at all. That didn’t change the fact that I felt terrible about being one of them. I don’t even like to be a person sitting on a crowded bus; I couldn’t stand the idea of taking up a wheel chair accessible seat. So, we went over to fan accommodation to see if they could do anything for us.

“You paid extra for the All You Can Eat seats,” the woman said as she looked for reseating options. I think her name was Lisa.

It was only our second in-person game of the season. Funny (more like sad) how the popularity of the team has actually encouraged us to stay home more.

It was only our second in-person game of the season. Funny (more like sad) how the popularity of the team has actually encouraged us to stay home more.

“Yeah, about that: I didn’t mean to,” I told her. I didn’t go on to explain that I don’t see how I could ever really enjoy an AYCE section. I’m either going to end up feeling like I got taken advantage of, money-wise, or waddle out feeling bloated and full of self-loathing.

She presented us with a couple possibilities: a couple seats in the 400 level with the AYCE or upgrade to couple seats on the 100-level where you have to pay for your snacks like a chump. That’s the option we took, and since the only food the two of us ate the whole game was to share a bag of peanuts (and we brought home half of that), I think it was the right call.

So, while I give a big thumbs down to the Ticketmaster mobile interface (and frankly everything about Ticketmaster), I give an even bigger thumbs up to the Fan Accommodation folks at Great American Ball Park, who made it so we got to have this somewhat less distant view of a Reds win and who might just inspire us to make another impromptu visit soon.

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