October 21, 2005

Electronic tickets make lousy World Series souvenirs

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Here's one problem the 1959 Chicago
White Sox never faced -- some fans who were lucky enough to buy
seats to this year's World Series were disappointed to learn
they would receive electronic tickets.

The White Sox, who begin their first World Series since
1959 on Saturday, are fielding complaints from fans who want to
trade in their paper e-tickets for traditional card stock ones
that can be framed as souvenirs.

When you live in Chicago, home of the two Major League
Baseball franchises that have waited the longest for a World
Series championship, a Fall Classic here is a
once-in-a-lifetime event.

Tickets are gold, and Internet auction sites list prices as
high as $10,000 a seat for the tickets that originally sold for
no more than $185.

Those who managed to score seats through the team's
official online sale on Tuesday were e-mailed "virtual" tickets
that can be printed from a home computer, similar to the
e-tickets that many airlines now issue.

At least one fan brought his folded paper ticket to the
ballpark on Thursday to ask whether he could trade it in for a
"real" one, but a White Sox staffer said once the tickets are
printed they are official documents and cannot be replaced.

A White Sox spokeswoman later said the ball club has found
a solution -- fans can use the paper tickets to get in to the
game, and then bring them to the box office in November after
the series ends and exchange them for souvenir tickets.

The White Sox, who haven't won a World Series since 1917,
take on the Houston Astros in the best-of-seven championship
beginning here on Saturday. The cross-town rival Chicago Cubs
last won a World Series in 1908.