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Yankees Mobile Ticketing: Pride. Power. Prohibiting.

Yesterday, I tried to get last minute mobile tickets to attend last night’s Yankee game. I could not get the tickets. The reason why is stupid.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
“Take your phone out and put it in the basket. Now use it to enter the stadium because bunt you!”
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Much has been discussed about the Yankees’ brave, downright heroic method of combating fraud and thievery by eliminating print-at-home paper tickets. I’m sure this problem has been plaguing other teams and their fans across the country. For now, let’s forget about how other teams allow their fans to get into their stadiums and focus on our beloved New York Yankees and the process I went through yesterday with the new mobile ticketing policy.

A friend of mine had tickets to last night’s game against the Orioles. Due to a busy day at work, she was not be able to go to the game. These things happen. Such is life. Rather than let these tickets go to waste, she offered them up for grabs and I happily accepted them. Despite this team being mediocre, I still really love going to Yankee Stadium and watching some baseball in person. Plus, it was Brett Gardner Souvenir Cup night. I am a noted Brett Gardner fan. He is fun. Baseball is fun. What I was about to go through was not.

The only way for me to get these tickets was for her to transfer them from her Ticketmaster account to mine. This should be a simple process. Mind you, sending PDF files via e-mail or direct/instant message is also very simple, but I digress. I have done this before. While it can being annoying, it has worked. Yesterday, it did not work. If it did, I would have been at Yankee Stadium with my Brett Gardner Souvenir Cup watching them beat the Orioles instead of writing this article.

While trying to accept the tickets on my laptop, it would not let me log into my account. The “continue” button would not, in fact, let me continue. You also get to read this on the left side of the page while wondering why it is not letting you continue.

also visit yabkees.butts/mobile

I tried my smart phone’s browser since I needed it to show my tickets anyway. When I clicked on the Accept Tickets button, it told me that there was a server error. Gasp. It’s almost as if sometimes technology doesn’t always work according to plan. It’d sure be nice to have more other options.

At this point, I’m reluctant to even care about attending the game because, let’s face it, it’s not like the Yankees have been a fun team to watch lately. Missing out on a Nathan Eovaldi start wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Out of morbid curiosity, I decided to press onward to see if the issue could actually be resolved. You know, just in case it came up in the future. Or perhaps if I felt like writing a rant describing why this system is pretty terrible, in case it didn’t. Here we are.

The next step was to call Ticketmaster’s customer service, which is what you always want to have to do with something as simple as attending a sporting event. After ten to fifteen minutes dealing with trademark automated services just to try and reach a representative, I finally got to speak to someone. Then, after waiting another five to ten minutes while being transferred to the correct department, we were in business.

The person I talked to about my issues was very courteous, polite, and nice. I wish I got her name so I could thank her for her help in this article. I want to mention this because I’m going to go over the steps taken to resolve the issue. I harbor no ill will towards her at all. I’m upset at the system, not the person trying to help me deal with it.

  1. Reset Ticketmaster account password
  2. Put me on hold
  3. Have friend cancel first ticket offer and send another
  4. Put me on hold
  5. Ask if I was having problems with my internet access
  6. Put me on hold
  7. Ask which event I was attending
  8. Put me on hold
  9. Inform me that the window to accept the tickets had been closed and that the only way to go would be to use my friend’s Ticketmaster account & password rather than my own

There you have it. Good times, right? I’m not quite sure why step seven was not step one. If it were, it would have saved us both a lot of time and effort, especially if step nine was the case from the beginning of all of this. Speaking of that, let’s go over step nine, as it is the most relevant and informative step in this entire clusterbunt.

After going through a long process, I was told that there’s a certain point at which the Yankees close the window allowed for accepting tickets, to which I asked “So if I get offered tickets two to three hours in advance, I’m essentially screwed?” The answer was yes, and I was told that it’s best to offer tickets a day or so in advance.

Just to confirm, I made sure that this was a Yankees policy more than a Ticketmaster policy, and she said that was correct. This could be Ticketmaster trying to cover their own behinds. However, I’m inclined to believe them because this is what is on the screen when you try and accept tickets on your smart phone.

I sent this PDF file from my phone to my computer. AMAZING, AMIRITE? IF ONLY I COULD DO THIS WITH TICKETS!!!

When I asked about the time the offer expires, she again reiterated that this was a Yankees policy. This sets a horrible precedent for both fans wanting to go to a game at the last minute and season ticket holders whose lives interfere with their plans at the last minute. What makes it worse is that this problem is easily fixed by, oh I don’t know, allowing PDF tickets to be printed out and accepted at the stadium like they used to be.

This shouldn’t be complicated. Technology has made it to the point where it’s far less complicated to acquire baseball tickets, and yet somehow I wound up not going to the game last night. I’m not an expert on running a business, but when the product you’re trying to sell isn’t all the great, making fans go through hoops to try and enjoy that product seems like a pretty bad bunting decision. Constantly going through hoops is not fun. (See Superman 64 for the Nintendo 64 to understand why.)

Listen, I love this team. No matter how bad they are, I love going to watch my Yankees play. I went when they were really bad and I went when they were really good. I also like Yankee Stadium III a lot. I like the very visual walk around, I like the Yankee Museum inside, and I like the food there as well. No, it will never be Yankee Stadium II to me because you never forget your first home. I also really don’t care if they buy or sell this coming trade deadline. Them going for it, as silly/stupid a decision as that would be, is not going to deter me from attending Yankee games in person.

It’s the kind of aardvark bunting bullshit I went through today that’s going to make me want to not go anymore.

I would never become a Mets fan, but let’s get one thing straight; I love watching live baseball. It is my favorite sport. I will go to any game or stadium whenever possible. Citi Field is a literal twenty-five minute walk/five minute bus ride from my house. I can see the place from my bus stop. I can get into that ballpark via a PDF ticket with no hassle whatsoever, then go grab a turkey, mozzarella, and gravy sandwich from Mama’s of Corona. In terms of distance and ease, it is so much more convenient for me to watch live baseball there rather than Yankee Stadium. Yet I wind up at Yankee Stadium more.

That is going to change if nothing is done about this. I fully understand that the days of walking up to the ticket window and asking for cheap seats are over, being that “cheap seats” now mean $60 or more each. I also fully understand that sometimes there are tech issues and that servers go down. This was not one of those cases.

I could not get last-minute tickets from a friend last night due to an atrocious policy by the Yankees to confront an idiotic, non-existent problem. At this moment, I have never felt more unwelcome as a Yankee fan in my entire life, and I finally visited Fenway Park earlier this year. At this moment, I’m reminded of when Obi-Wan Kenobi told Han Solo, “Who’s the more foolish, the fool, or the fool who follows him?” Ah well. I’ll most likely be at Star Wars Night.

Now that we’re several months into the season, has anyone else had any similar problems or issues with this? Has anyone had any positive experiences with this system? Please let us know in the comments.