Braving early Cubs baseball -- on the cheap

April, 8, 2014
Apr 8
11:11
AM CT
Greenberg By Jon Greenberg
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Welcome to the first edition of "Gettin' In," a regularly sporadic guide to getting into our city's baseball stadiums at a dirt cheap price.

Of course, the cheapest way to see a Cubs or White Sox game is to go for free. Make friends with season-ticket holders. Call that uncle from the CBOE.

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If you don't know a season-ticket holder, look for Cubs fans with haunted eyes and muttering lips as they mentally calculate how much money they're wasting to feed Tom Ricketts' ego trip, I mean careful stewardship of a historic franchise.

Season-ticket holders still make money back on their investment by selling weekend games to rubes, but early season weekday series against the defending wild card champion Pittsburgh Pirates are a tougher sell.

I checked out SeatGeek.com, a secondary ticket aggregator/middleman, and I found a bounty of deals. For instance, as of Tuesday morning, there were 32 tickets for the series opener under $6. As dedicated StubHub users know, the Cubs implemented a $6 scalping floor last year to avoid those embarrassing "Cubs tickets are $1" stories. Optics and such. They also started a rule that you have to sell your tickets six hours before the game. It used to be three. Hey, the Cubs have tickets to sell, too.

But other scalpers don't have to follow those rules and they have plenty of inventory, along with StubHub.

For Tuesday, the sub-$6 tickets are in terrace reserved and the upper deck. But you could probably sneak down low by distracting one of the surly ushers. Have a friend hum a Glenn Miller tune and when they start to snap those bony fingers, make a break for the empty seats down close.

Or, spend a few more bucks, you cheapskate. You gotta know where to look, and SeatGeek is very helpful with a map of sellers marked by "deal scores."

The wealthy seat-owners of Section 19 seems to have some eager sellers. That's right behind home plate toward the Cubs dugout. On Tuesday, as the six-hour window was ready to close, there were two seats in row 9 going for $28. On Wednesday, you can sit in row 6 of section 19, that's right behind the plate, for $33. Those are $120 seats, folks.

Thursday, a day game, offers a slew of $20-something field box seats among other deals.

Prices will spike as the weather gets warmer, but this should be a banner buyers' seasons. Get ready for deals of the century for this party of the century.

Jon Greenberg

Columnist, ESPNChicago.com
Jon Greenberg is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com. He has lived and worked in Chicago since 2003, and is a graduate of Ohio University and the University of Chicago.

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