As a lifelong Dodger fan, I have always dreamt of the day that I could make enough money to comfortably purchase season tickets, attend every home game possible, and eat enough Dodger Dogs to have my own E60 feature. Finally, leading up to the 2010 season, I reached a point in my life when my friends and I began to make enough money at our jobs that we could all afford to split a season ticket package. I had 8 friends interested in splitting season tickets so the cost of the season tickets was a fraction of what it would normally be. Perfect.
The 8 of us purchased four seats behind the 3rd base dugout. Each of us chooses roughly 20 games each to attend. In order to divide the games up fairly, we met up multiple times before the start of the season to sort out the schedule.
Months before the season began, each of us handpicked games based on our presumed schedule and desire to attend specific games. What made this process so exciting was being able to handpick the games I wanted to see before the season even began. This gave me the opportunity to prepare my trash talking months in advance and line up friends to go with. Unfortunately coordinating with everyone and then managing everything offline on a spreadsheet was extremely time-consuming. We all hated that process and found it difficult to manage with 8 different people. We all wanted a way to manage or even split our season tickets and have our game schedule and tickets immediately accessible.
For the first two years, I couldn’t have enjoyed the amenities of being a season ticket holder more. I always made sure to grab at least 6 games against the Giants to increase my chances of seeing Kershaw take MadBum deep, games against the Tigers because if Verlander is on the hill I might find Kate Upton in the crowd and muster up the courage to ask her to marry me, and games against the Marlins to watch Giancarlo Stanton eat baseballs.
However, as the years went on, it became tough to consistently find time to sort out the game schedule and even attend the games I choose. We were no longer 20-somethings, each of us had increased responsibilities, and it became increasingly difficult to keep up with everyone’s schedules. Often our season tickets would go unused, and the season ticket package became a financial liability.
We had always been able to afford the season tickets because we split the tickets 8 ways, but over the course of a few years, we were down to 5 people splitting the tickets. The costs were overwhelming, and none of us had the time to attend all of the games or to manage our ticket splits offline. Instead of picking out games to attend as a group, I began picking out the games in the highest demand to sell at the highest prices on the secondary market.
Eventually, I landed a girlfriend that enjoyed Dodger Dogs, yelling at players like A-Rod, and marveled at Kershaw’s dominance as much as I do. While we used my season seats the majority of the time we went to the ballpark, we frequently sold my seats behind the 3rd base dugout, and bought seats in centerfield for the same game for a fraction of the cost. I was happy because I was technically getting paid to watch the Dodgers play, and I think my girlfriend was happy because she got to look at Joc Pederson all game.
2015 was a pivotal year and it came to the point where I was selling more than half of my season tickets to afford them, managing and coordinating with everyone became a chore and they lost their aura. Prior to the start of the 2016 season, I sold my share of the season tickets because I found it too difficult to stay organized, and I found it wasteful to be paying for games that I would not be able to attend. I loved the seats, I loved the games, I love the Dodgers, but I am no longer able to attend 40 plus games per season. It became increasingly difficult to find a large group of people amongst my friends that were willing to split season tickets to make the cost affordable, and I am sad to say that I am no longer a season ticket holder because of it.