Sunday, November 18, 2018

Home and Home

On Friday November 9th I attended a Boston Celtics Utah Jazz game in Salt Lake City. Last night, the Jazz came to Boston.  I decided to juxtapose last week's experience with what I would encounter in Boston.  So,with the help of my stub hub app, and patience, I was able to do just that.

It is difficult for persons not aware of sports costs (and that would include me up until a week ago) to get their heads around what a ticket to an NBA game can run.  When I was in Utah, I figured the cost was affected by the numbers who wanted to boo Gordon Hayward, a former Utah player who had left the team to play for the Celtics.  But in Boston, with so many events going on during any one day in the city, I was surprised to see what it sets you back to attend a game live, when the games are--every single one of them--on television.

In Boston yesterday at Fenway Park was THE GAME, Harvard vs. Yale which I did not attend. Today in Fenway is an Irish Curling game that has been hyped since the summer. The theaters and museums all had their aficionados and attendees.  How much could a ticket to a basketball game during the regular season fetch with all the competition for spectator dollars?

When I first went on line I was aghast because to sit on the moon, it cost over 100 dollars.  These prices had to come down, no?  We are talking top of the arena, closer to heaven than the court.  So I waited it out.  It got to 5 pm for a 730 start, still about 100 clams to sit not only on the moon but behind the basket.  I decided to drive to school, and then check out the costs. If it came down I would buy a ticket and then take the subway to North Station.  At 615, still a bunch of dough.  I took the subway down without a ticket.  I arrived in a madhouse of an arena and walked up to the ticket window.  He had some single tickets for 300 bucks a piece. I love sports, but that was not going to happen even for the journalistic value and research potential of juxtaposing going to a game against Utah in a home and home series.

I took out my phone. Ah, technology. I played with my stubhub app. Someone who was holding a ticket for 80 bucks and could not go to the game, had to be thinking it was better to reduce the price than eat the ticket. And so it was, twenty minutes before game time, I spotted a seat that dropped a bunch in price--it was in the heavens but close to center court.  There were five seats in a row. I grabbed one.  A steal. With the stubhub cut, 80 dollars.  I thought I had a bargain until I thought about it some more.

But hey enjoy it, I figured.  Sure, that could feed a family of 6 for several days, but push that out of your mind.

I take the elevator to the heavens.  The scene in Boston was like the scene with Utah except at 45 as opposed 33 rpm.  The fans in Utah were, well, Jazzed--but in Boston they were jazzed maybe after three cups of coffee.  Longer to get through security in Boston. Security is more of a sham I have found at sporting events than a reality.  In London at Wimbledon, at the US OPEN, at Utah, in Boston, at Fenway, at a couple of NCAA venues, years back in Miami, I have gone through security without a peep and I have a six inch prosthetic in my hip that sets off the alarm at airports.  No problem.  Seems like it is for show.

I climb to my seat. Climb is the verb.  I am one row from the top.  I was high up in Utah as well; I think I am a little higher at Boston, and not quite at center court.  So the 79 dollar ticket I paid in Utah was just a bit better than the 80 plus dollar ticket I bought off stubhub for the Boston game. 

The fans are akin in terms of enthusiasm although here it seemed like more were into the beer than in Utah. Serendipitously, the two fans to my left were Utah Jazz followers. Each had their own Jazz jersey and cheered for their squad in a sea of Celtics admirers. Last week in Utah there were many more Boston fans among the majority Jazz fans, but I did have these two Utah folks adjacent to me.

The music, noise, intermission nonsense was about the same in Boston as it was in Utah. The pregame honor America which is a staple now of games, and particularly prevalent around Veterans day was what it was last week.  The pregame introductions-- blandly introducing the opponents and then a light show worthy of a rock music concert--introducing the home team was about the same. The players, all making millions of dollars, jumping and chest bumping seemed more choreographed than genuine. Gee, these guys play 82 games, are they really, "up" for a game in November when the season stretches to March?

Both the Celtics and Jazz had played other teams the night before. The Celtics winning a thriller against Toronto, and the Jazz losing to Philadelphia.  Well, the Celtics played soporifically and the Jazz played with intensity.  Just like the previous week, the Celtics could not drop a bar of soap in a bathtub, while the Jazz players could not miss. Gordon Hayward was booed incessantly in Utah, and by the end of the game last night he could have been booed by Celtic fans because of another stinkaroo. The guy behind me was really giving Hayward a hard time. However, given how high up we were, the guy would lose his voice box before Hayward could hear a syllable from this particular zealot.

So just like last week, the Celtics disappointed its fans, while the Jazz fans went home happy.  Post game was different though. First, I went to pick up my wool hat that I had placed below my seat and found it was soaked by beer that had been toppled over by someone. Just great. 40 degrees out and I have a wet hat that smells like a Budweiser.  I leave the arena and figure I would stop somewhere to get a beer and dry off my hat.  There must be a dozen taverns around the Garden that I have frequented on one occasion or another. Every single one of them was packed and in some cases there were lines to get in. Now, I know this was a Saturday night in downtown Boston and not all the revelers were there from the game, but regardless it was hopeless to think I would get in before my hat would dry. 

So, I popped back on the subway to get my car.

On balance, I think if you had not told me where I was on both occasions, and had removed all direct indications of the location like the announcer shouting for Utah versus Boston, I still would have been able to tell you that I was in one place as opposed to the other. However, the distinctions were not that great. And, I will opine as a sports fan my entire life, the experience was not worth the dough.  Highly overpriced to sit on the moon, and I imagine to pay 300 to sit closer even more of an absurd cost.  Stay at home. Drink a beer as opposed to have someone fill your chapeau with one. Not listen to inane music and bogusly choreographed introductions.  For a regular season game, here or there, it was not worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment