Sunday, March 30, 2014

sweet suite?

The scalpers are out there now.  I walked to Madison Square Garden at around 11 and before I crossed 7th Avenue a fellow asked me if I needed any tickets.  The short-hand is "need any".  When I crossed to Penn Station there was an army of fellows asking if I "needed any."  I have a sense that the scalpers are having some trouble today. Could be wrong with Connecticut playing and the loyalists only a short train ride away, but the Garden is a big place, and I have to think there are tickets the scalpers are hoping will be hotcakes, but are likely to be seen as cold toast.

I went through MSG Security to see if there were any tickets left at the box office. This was more out of curiosity than a strong desire to get in.  With the weather iffy I'm likely to try and get an earlier plane to Boston.  I have to write up my notes from this sweet sixteen weekend, and attend to assorted other university tasks before I head to Minneapolis on Wednesday and then Dallas.  I am not a world traveller but it seems that way these past few months. There is a conference in Minneapolis and I have a paper there about this research project.  The wisdom of having coupled the twin cities conference with the Dallas final four was derived from the 22 year old head that this 64 year old professor occasionally hauls along.  A young man opened a door for me today as I walked gingerly down some steps. Respecting his elders.

Good boy.


The MSG lobby at noon was remarkably empty. I thought there would be more of a crowd.  Almost nobody there. The doors looked open and the security very much in place.  There were more scalpers outside than there were patrons inside. Only one window was dedicated to the game.   The box office attendant looked up when I arrived semi-pleased that he had something to do. I asked for the price and location of the cheapest single ticket for today's Elite Eight game.

The price was 100 dollars.  The scalpers on Friday were getting 500 for someone sitting on the moon. These seats, the fellow told me, were not on the moon. In fact, they were relatively high up but not all the way north and in newly constructed suites that ring the circumference of the arena. The 100 dollar ticket got me a suite seat behind the hoop. For 150 I could get a suite seat on center court.

"A suite?" I said.

He told me yes, these were indeed suite seats located in an enclosed space. There were no amenities like the corporate suites that are purchased by big companies for the better part of a fortune.  These were just enclosed areas within which there were approximately 18 seats. I, if I purchased a ticket, would have one of the 18 seats in the enclosed space.

I passed.  My primary reason was, as mentioned, less to do with the value of the seat and more to do with my need to make sure I did not get stuck at LaGuardia overnight with flight delays because of weather.

But the more I thought about it, the less attractive the 100 dollar suite seats seem to be. Never mind that they are behind the hoop;  there are only 18 people that I would be with.  There is something about going to a game in a stadium and listening to the roaring masses that would be lost in the suite.  On a freezing cold day I am sure sitting in a football suite is not bad, and I have twice been to Fenway Park in a corporate suite, both occasions were quite nice. At Fenway however, a suite does allow you to watch as if you are in a living room, but you can also go out of the enclosed place and sit in what amounts to a box with the rest of the fans.

I will be pulling for MSU today because I just don't have a good emotional reaction to the UConn's men's team (I do like watching the women's team).  But I think I will save the 100 dollars, watch the game on the tube, get back to Boston in time to put my pajamas on and maybe even do a quick work out.  I don't think the suite experience in the Garden will be as sweet.

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