Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saratoga online Tickets-too little, too late

I complained about NYRA's Saratoga ticket procedures a few days ago.
On Friday, 7/24/09, NYRA announced that grandstand seating with admission included can be purchased online through Ticketmaster.

Clubhouse seating is not available as they are long gone through the archaic "mail in" Reserved seating application seating lottery that NYRA makes fans go through. I took a quick gander on Ticketmaster to see what seats were left. Travers Stakes Day Tickets (8/29/09) are not even offered on the site. Two tickets for the 8th of August to watch the Whitney Stakes were available in Section Y, the farthest seats from the finish line. On the Alabama Stakes day (8/22/09), the bests seats available are in Section X, not much better.

Let's hope NYRA comes up with an online system that is available from Day One allowing everyone a transparent fair chance to secure both clubhouse and grandstand seating.


Power Cap said...

Arlington has the system NYRA should model theirs after. The other day I decided to go to Arlington for the Million. I jumped there website and boom ordered tickets to the million two mins later. NYRA misses out on this whole entire spur of the moment market, it is vital for an entertainment venue to appeal to spur of the moment people.

Anonymous said...

Though in some ways, the current system is not dissimilar from a sports team system. People who want to buy tickets for a lot of dates, or who have a history of buying tickets (similar to season ticket holders) get first crack. Then, when their requests are met, individual "game" ("race day") tickets are made available to the general public.

I got the opportunity to renew my Rangers' tickets or buy a partial plan in June; tickets for individual games, available to the general public, aren't available until September, a few weeks before the season starts, and frequently, a number of games, especially special events (like a retirement game, equivalent, say, to the Travers) are already sold out.

Not an exact parallel, I know, but comparable, I think. And personally, I'd do anything to avoid the rapacious TicketMaster fees.

Teresa said...

Oops, that previous comment was from me.

SaratogaSpa said...

Thanks for the comments. I understand what the Rangers, Knicks, etc do with their ticket procedures, but NYRA's is much more drawn out and complicated, particularly the procedure of mailing in checks and waiting to see what you get.

ljk said...

Not everyone has to mail in a check and then wait "to see what you get". NYRA handles "season tickets" very different from the Rangers. The Rangers will sell you a season ticket or put you on a waiting list. At Saratoga, some people ("Members") are allowed to purchase and renew season tickets. Others (lowly non members) are relegated to the lottery. Here's the way NYRA explained it in an email to me:

"A certain number of seats are set aside for the “Advanced Reservation Program”. Members purchase the same number of seats for each day of the Saratoga meeting. They are similar to seasonal ticket holders in other sports who annually renew their seats. The areas designated for the “Advanced Reservation Program” sections are ‘E’, ‘F’, ‘G’, ‘H’, ‘J’, 2/3 of section ‘K’ and 2/3 of section ‘L’ (section ‘I’ does not exist). As seats become available through attrition, renewing members are given the opportunity to move closer to the finish line. New members are randomly selected from applications submitted in the “Saratoga Reserved Seating Lottery”. As these seats are extremely popular among our existing members only four to six seats come available each year (no waiting list is kept). While everyone else may purchase seats “in advance” those who are NOT members of our “Advanced Reservation Program” do not have access to those seats assigned to this program."

SaratogaSpa said...

ljk--Thanks for the details. As a business owner, I also order tickets under the business every year for every day of the meet, that I distribute to clients , etc.

Despite this NYRA has never put me on the advanced system and I remain a Lowly non member customer.