Individual Tickets On Sale Saturday

I love shopping.

In fact, my third favorite day of the year isn’t a holiday, a birthday or anniversary.

 It’s Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday shopping season. For years, my best friend and I have established a routine.

On the morning of Thanksgiving Day, we peruse all of the ads in the paper and create our lists: gifts we have to buy for others, things we want for ourselves, the best deals… There is a tremendous amount of planning and our tactical skills really get put into play.

After Thanksgiving dinner, we go to bed early, only to wake up in the middle of the night in order to be at the stores before 3am to ensure that we score the best deals.

What does this have to do with baseball?

Well, in less than 48 hours, individual tickets for the 2010 Brewers season will go on sale to the general public. Although here at Miller Park, we officially call this day “Arctic Tailgate,” in my mind, it’s Blue Saturday. Sure, fans have had the opportunity to purchase Season Tickets, Holiday 4-Packs, 9-Packs, etc., but many have been waiting since the 2010 Schedule came out last September to cherry-pick the games of their choice.

Much like me going through the ads for the best deals on Thanksgiving Day, fans all across Wisconsin are circling and highlighting their Brewers schedules, looking for the best match-ups, the date nights, the group outings, the tailgates, the bobble head games… all the games they HAVE. TO. HAVE.

And much like me getting up at 3am to get the best deals on Black Friday, the fans are savvy. Even savvier than me; so savvy in fact, that they’re already camped out, eagerly awaiting Saturday morning when the Ticket Windows spring to life at 9am.

What’s it like at Miller Park right now? To really gauge the mood, I decided to take a trip over to our Ticket Operations Department, where I sat down briefly with Chad Olson, the Manager of Ticket Operations; Tom Carter, the Manager of Ticket Fulfillment and Distribution; and Jessica Brown, the Manager of Ticket Services and Technology.

If the fans are the shoppers on Black Friday, they’re the harried retailers, preparing for the big day. Although, I do have to say, Chad, Tom and Jess were holding up pretty well for being so close to chaos.

“My main responsibility is to make sure the staff is trained and up-to-date with all of the new promotions and changes at Miller Park for the 2010 Season. Once we have the orientation and get the staff up to speed, then we just have to make sure we staff the windows and phone center for the big day. We’ll have about 40 people on hand,” Chad said.

The Ticket Operations Staff will be there before 8am on Saturday and Chad will focus on being available to help them with any questions they may have or issues that may arise.

“We are very creative with how we sell tickets and with the marketing side of things,” Chad said.

“It is a fun challenge. There aren’t too many teams in baseball that do things the way we do to get to where we get attendance-wise. There is a lot of communication, a lot of everyone being on the same page and knowing about all of the information that is out there. My main focus is the staff being up to speed and giving them the tools to succeed.”

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Chad Olson (left) and Tom Carter stand inside the quiet ticket windows, which will be bustling come Saturday.

Tom will also be focused on assisting staff, answering questions and solving problems on the big day, at which point his most difficult responsibilities will be behind him.

Since last December, Tom has been making sure that Season Ticket orders and packages have been filled and processed in advance of the on sale.

“We need to make sure all of our orders are fulfilled in the systems so that on Saturday, we have our best remaining inventory available for the public,” Tom said.

“This is a fast-paced area, a fast-paced time of the year. We need to stay on top of things. Every day there is something new coming at us and it is fun to be there and face that.”

For fans, it will be a party-like atmosphere at Miller Park on Saturday. To reward those who brave the cold, the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a free Klement’s hot dog, Pepsi, chips and a t-shirt come Saturday morning. Anyone who comes out to the ballpark will also receive a special ticket offer for half off the Marquee prices for the Minnesota Twins series in June.

As I mentioned before, there are already quite a few tents set up outside of Friday’s Front Row, so the party’s already started.

Just like on Black Friday, if you don’t want to stand in lines or brave the crowds (or cold), you can choose to stay home and shop online in your jammies.

Jessica Brown will be focused on web sales.

“Right now, we are just making sure that everything is going to go smoothly for the web, that the phone center and windows have everything that they need to fulfill orders and that all the inventory is ready to go on sale,” she said.

“On Saturday, I will definitely be watching the web sales and I’ll probably be pulling reports for upper management every 15 minutes to see how we’re doing. I’ll also be walking around making sure everything is going well.”

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Jess Brown makes sure everything is ready for Saturday.

There will also be a limited number of tickets for Opening Day, Monday, April 5 vs. the Colorado Rockies, at the Arctic Tailgate. Each fan will be limited to a maximum of four tickets for Opening Day, based on availability.

Jess, Tom and Chad predicted that in addition to the allure of the Opening Day tickets, some of the most popular games for Saturday’s on sale will be during Spring Madness (April 26-28 vs. the Pirates) and the 5-County, 5-Day Celebration (May 10-12 vs. the Braves and May 14-15 vs. the Phillies), in addition to the six bobble head dates and all weekends during the summer.

I decided to put their theories to the test and talk to some of the fans who are currently camped out (literally) outside the ballpark.


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Tents wrap around the ballpark as fans eagerly await Arctic Tailgate ’10.

My first encounter was with Matt, A.J. and Chris, a trio from Milwaukee who arrived last night. They all have 20-Game Plans already and they’re hoping to score some Opening Day tickets, too, but they said they’re hanging out in the 25-degree weather just for fun. This is the third year that they’ve been doing this, so they must know what they’re talking about.

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Matt, A.J. and Chris play bags outside Miller Park to keep warm.

While most campers brought your typical tent, one housing project caught my eye:

P1000034.JPGKyle and Kory from Lake Geneva and Milwaukee are also 20-Game Plan holders and have been doing this for three years. This year, they decided to build their own shack out of cardboard and wood. Like Matt, AJ and Chris, they’re hoping to score Opening Day tickets, but above all, they’re in it for the camaraderie and fun.

And that’s really what being a Brewers fan is all about. Coming out to Miller Park and having a good time. Socializing with other Brewers fans. Tailgating, even in sub-freezing temperatures. Getting ramped up for the 2010 Season and scoring the best seats for the best games.

I hope to see you all out at Miller Park on Saturday, February 27 when tickets go on sale at 9am. If you can’t make it out, or don’t want to brave the cold, just log on to brewers.com and get a head start on your “shopping.”

So if Black Friday is my third favorite day of the year and Arctic Tailgate is the second, what is my first?

Opening Day, of course! The good news is that it’s just 38 days away.

 

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

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