CLEVELAND - Remember when we saw an unprecedented outpouring of Chicago Cubs fans coming east to Cleveland to attend the 2016 World Series?
It could be happening again.
As Progressive Field gears up to host Game 5 of the American League Division Series between the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees on Wednesday night, it's becoming evident that there will be a sizable migration of fans coming here from the Big Apple.
Of course, tickets have been sold out for the series since before it began, but the Tribe has aligned itself with StubHub for fans who want to make secondary purchases. And business is apparently picking up as we look ahead to Wednesday.
WKYC Channel 3's Chris Tye reached out to StubHub and found out the following from Jessica Erskine, the company's head of U.S. Consumer Communications:
"For tomorrow night’s game, StubHub has seen about 16% of sales come from New York state (as well an additional 10% total coming from Connecticut (4%), Pennsylvania (3%), and New Jersey (3%) combined). Comparing that to Game 2, StubHub saw about 7% of sales come from New York (and about 7% from Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey)."
"In do or die matchups, we do tend to see that buyers are more willing to travel due to the dramatic nature of these games. New York is obviously a large market and there is a lot of interest in this game as it’s the only game 5 we’ve had."
According to StubHub, there are just under 3,000 tickets available for the game on their site.
By comparison, StubHub reported to Sports Illustrated that 60% of 2016 World Series Game 7 ticket purchases came from the Chicago area.
Once again, this brings up the emotional topic of why fans are choosing to jettison their Indians playoff tickets to buyers with loyalties from the opposing team, just for the sake of making some extra cash. The cheapest prices on StubHub for Game 5 start at $80 for standing room only, while some diamond box seats are going for as much as $7,000 a piece.
Why make the investment to buy Indians season tickets in the first place if you are not going to support them in the games that matter the most?
The answer from some fans is that they have a right to sell their tickets and don't need anyone telling them what to do.
Sometimes you wonder why the Tribe should fight so hard to get home-field advantage in the playoffs if this is how things are going to go in series-deciding games.
So when you look to the row next to you at the park or watch the game on television and you see an outpouring of pinstripes and Aaron Judge jerseys, just think of the line from The Godfather: It's not personal, it's strictly business.
But also take some comfort in knowing that you are a true Cleveland Indians fan.
By the way, for any fan who re-sells Indians postseason tickets on a secondary site other than StubHub – and for the fan who purchases those tickets – you are subject to have your tickets revoked or the tickets’ bar codes canceled.
ALSO: The Indians have announced that a "very limited" amount of tickets for a potential American League Championship Series matchup with the Houston Astros will go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m., prior to Game 5 of the ALDS later that night.
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