The Twins have been in last place in the American League most of the season and interest in the mediocre team continues to fade with each month that passes. That means plenty of tickets at an affordable price.
One of my editors had the idea to test just how affordable tickets could be. His challenge: Buy a ticket to Wednesday afternoon’s game for $1. Yes, there are no zeros after that 1.
Clear blue skies and 80 degrees didn’t help my chances. Fans were eager to get outside and enjoy the day game after Tuesday night’s storm and long rain delay.
Scalpers scoffed at my offer before the noon hour.
They began paying more attention to me once the second inning rolled around, but still no bites.
“I need to get into the game, but I only have $1,” I pleaded to one scalper. His kind response was “there is no way you’re getting in for $1.”
My response: “What if I come back in the fifth inning?” He said: “There won’t be any tickets left.”
OK. I can handle rejection. I would wait it out a few more innings and try again. However, the later it got in the game the more impatient the scalpers got with me. Here are some of their responses:
“[No words, just shaking head in disgust.]”
One gentleman offered me a ticket for $10. Most afternoons I’d consider that a great deal. I even haggled one seller to drop his $84 face-value tickets behind the dugout to $20. Not good enough, though.
I was directed to the box office where I was told I could get a $1 ticket. The Twins representative kindly responded “We have $1 hotdogs.” The cheapest available ticket at the box office was $19. Students can get in for $5 on Wednesdays.
The seventh inning rolled around and I was getting desperate. I had to get creative. Then Lea from St. Paul sold me her ticket for $1 without hesitation. I took the $44 face-value ticket to the gate with a smile, but a big stop sign appeared after the ticket was scanned. The catch was that Lea had already used the ticket to watch six innings and Target Field does not allow re-entry.
Thankfully I had my Twins media credential stashed in my back pocket.
What I learned is that no matter how bad the Twins may be, scalpers would rather keep their pride then sell you a $1 ticket. But if you are patient and engaging with these men, you can get a great price on a few hours of entertainment in a great stadium. I broke down the strategy four years ago.
Finally, don’t fall for those “$1” Twins tickets ads on Craigslist. They are not real. But do watch my quest to buy a $1 ticket on Snapchat, username: startribune.