Editor’s Note: For the remainder of June we will be counting down our 10 favorite columns as we celebrate summer vacation. Coming in at number 7 on our countdown is a column from January 5, 2015.
Last week I mentioned that I wanted to dig up my ticket stub from the 1984 Citrus Bowl that I attended with my mother, grandmother and cousin.
I have pretty much every ticket stub from every sporting event I have ever attended, so I knew that if I dug deep enough I would most likely find it.
Sure enough in the wee hours of the morning Saturday I found the long lost ticket stub and a few others in a shoe box under my bed.
As luck would have it, the shoe box was not the first place I looked for the ticket stub. I searched countless plastic totes in my quest to unearth the 30-year-old relic.
And while it took several days to find the ticket stub, and while I probably should have checked under the bed first, I did discover many other lost treasures which made the entire search quite successful.
Of course the main find, and the entire motivation for the search, was the 1984 Citrus Bowl ticket.
Some fun facts about that particular ticket stub is that an end zone seat at the1984 Citrus Bowl was only $18. I doubt that one could even get parking at a bowl game nowadays for $18 let alone a ticket to the game.
By comparison the cheapest ticket to attend the 2014 version of the Citrus Bowl was $45 and went up and up from there. Tickets for the National Championship game this year are averaging around $1700.
Economists will say that with inflation and other factors the $18 back then is comparable to today’s prices but something tells me it is still more expensive to attend a bowl game today than it was back then based on the epic growth that college football has gone through the past three decades.
While I was certainly pleased that I was able to find the ticket stub, thanks to the world of EBay and ticket stub collectors, I could have saved myself the trouble of digging through all of those plastic totes and just purchased a ticket from the game.
I never once considered the idea of purchasing a ticket online and quite frankly am surprised that there is a market for such things.
As mentioned before there are three items that I try to get as a memento whenever I attend a game. Those items are a ticket stub, game program, and souvenir cup.
Each of these items are tangible extensions of my memories of attending the game and I collect them for my pleasure without worrying about what I can sell them for later.
Apparently though there is an entire industry based on selling programs, ticket stubs, and souvenir cups to anyone with an internet browser who is willing to pay the shipping and processing.
I get that if you lost a ticket stub for a game you attended as a youngster you may want to replace the item to help maintain a tangible piece to go with your memories of the game, but a larger segment appears to be buying ticket stubs for games that they did not attend.
Big sellers in the ticket stub business appear to be from marquee games.
Want to pretend you witnessed one of Nolan Ryan’s no hitters despite not even being born yet when the game took place? There is a ticket stub online for that.
Want to add a Super Bowl ticket to your collection despite never setting foot in one? Click, click and it is yours.
Have you always wanted to pretend that you were there the night Kirk Gibson hit that big home run in the World Series? You know what to do.
Want to show your American pride by purchasing Olympic tickets from years gone by? You get the idea.
In this way people are purchasing other people’s memories since they did not go to the games that they are buying the ticket stubs from.
I suppose if someone wants to spend the money to own a ticket stub it is entirely their business, but in all of the years I have collected ticket stubs I have never once thought about trying to make a profit on them.
Every ticket stub in my collection is from a game that I physically attended. From professional football, baseball, hockey, basketball and various college sports, each ticket stub represents a seat that I occupied to witness that particular game with my own eyes.
Some of the ticket stubs are water logged reflecting that I battled through rain to see that particular game. Others are slightly bent from being stuffed in my pocket while I watched the game.
While I certainly do not need to own the ticket stub to prove that I was at the game, selling that ticket stub to someone else just seems like it would cheapen the experience and make me party to a fraud.
I certainly could be over thinking the whole buying and selling of ticket stubs, and may change my opinion at some future point, but for now the ticket stubs shall remain with their rightful owner.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of plastic totes to stuff back into my closet.
Copyright 2015 R. Anderson