THE WORLD SERIES: ATHLETICS vs DODGERS : THAT’S THE TICKET : Overwhelming Demand for World Series Seats in L.A. Sends Prices Sky-High

Times Staff Writer

Overwhelming demand in Los Angeles for World Series tickets has driven the cost of some of the best seats to more than 10 times list price.

Choice field boxes costing $50 are being sold for $750, Southland ticket brokers said Thursday. The least expensive seats--for the outfield pavilions or the top deck of Dodger Stadium--were going for $100. The list price for reserved, general admission and bleacher tickets is $40.

The best-of-seven series begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday with the Dodgers playing host to the Oakland Athletics at Dodger Stadium.


“I’ve never seen anything like it. The demand is overwhelming,” said Harris Rosner, owner of VIP Tickets in Sherman Oaks. “Everyone wants to be at the games. It’s mass hysteria. This is as big as the seventh game of a Laker playoff game. And what’s so amazing about that is that you only have 17,505 at the Forum and 56,000 at Dodger Stadium. You have four times as many seats and the demand is bigger.”

Murrays Ticket Agency stayed open all night Wednesday after the Dodgers won their first National League pennant since 1981 to handle the demand for World Series tickets.

Some of the Dodgers 27,000 season tickets-holders got the first chance to purchase playoff and World Series tickets.

A Dodger spokesman said 41,000 tickets went to season-ticket holders. Season-ticket holders before 1978 were able to purchase the same number of seats for the postseason and also had the option to buy an equal number of tickets for every game, which includes about 14,000 seats.

Season-ticket holders since 1978 are either on one of two programs. Some had the chance to purchase tickets for all playoff and series games. But as the season-ticket holders increased, more recent buyers were offered tickets for only 1 playoff and World Series game.

The remainder of the tickets were sold in a post-card lottery last summer, with the winners entitled to buy seats for 1 playoff or World Series game as determined by the club. Dodger spokesman Mike Williams said 2,500-3,000 tickets per game went to winners of the lottery.


The remaining tickets are sold to the Athletics, the other Major League teams, the Commissioner’s Office, National and American League officials, the Umpires Assn., TV and radio sponsors and the media.

The Dodgers also sold 450 tickets for each game Thursday by phone through Ticketmaster and Ticketron. The tickets sold within 2 hours.

Meanwhile, a crowd of 100, many of whom had camped at the Dodger ticket offices were turned away empty-handed Thursday morning. The Dodgers, however, said they had previously announced that tickets would be available by phone sales only.

Many fans who waited all night told the Associated Press they felt cheated.

“You can tell the Dodgers they lost a lot of fans,” said Brooks Davis, 25, of Redlands.

Said Joey Newton, who had waited since 2 a.m.: “The whole season we sit there and support ‘em and then they do this to us.”

Said Williams of the Dodgers: “We try to get as many tickets as we can into the fans’ hands.”

It is illegal to sell tickets without a license at Dodger Stadium. Bob Solorza, head of security for the Dodgers, said the club hires 20 off-duty Los Angeles police officers to patrol the parking lot.


“We’ll concentrate on the professional scalper, the guys who sell tickets all year long,” he said. “We’ll arrest them and confiscate their tickets. If we see a guy who just got stuck with a couple of tickets, we’ll talk to them and take away their tickets, but they can get them back after the seventh inning.

“Based on prior playoff and World Series games we don’t expect much of a problem with scalping at the stadium.”

Jerry Adelman, owner of Murray’s Tickets which has offices throughout California, said his agency will handle a minimum of 1,000 tickets for each game.

Adelman, speaking from his San Francisco office, said the market in the Bay Area is about the same as in Southern California.

Brokers said the Dodgers tickets are in greater demand than for Bruce Springsteen concerts, where they sell front row tickets for $500.

“There’s no way in God’s Green Earth that we could prepare for this,” said Fred Ross, owner of Front Row Center Tickets in Westwood. “This is bigger than the Olympics.


“People will make incredible sacrifices to go to a Dodger World Series game. There’s no concert that’s comparable to a Dodger World Series game.”

How do the brokers acquire tickets?

Most say that season-ticket holders are their main suppliers.

One broker, who asked not to be identified, was buying choice box seats for $300. He offered a fan $75 for a seat in the bleachers.

“The season-ticket holders can sell a few of their seats for a few of the games and get all of their money back for the season tickets,” Adelman said. “We’re just a broker. We buy and sell and add a profit. The people who make the big profit are the ones that buy a $50 seat and sell it for $400. They’re making $350, and if we make $50 we’re happy. And I don’t blame ‘em. In real life this is the American way.”

Even the brokers, however, are surprised by the escalated fares.

Choice seats sold for $300 and “cheap” seats cost $75 when the Dodgers made their last World Series appearance in 1981 against the New York Yankees.

“In 1981, people thought the prices were outrageous,” said Ross of Front Row Center. “The bottom price is what surprises me. We had originally thought that we’d have a ticket under $100. But it’s just not happening. It’s really amazing. The city is bleeding Dodger blue.”

The top-priced World Series tickets, however, don’t come close to premium Super Bowl tickets, which sold for $1,500 to $2,000 last January.


“Super Bowl tickets are higher, but you’ve got to remember that it’s only one day,” Murrays’ Adelman said. “The World Series is like seven Super Bowls. The World Series is a much bigger event for a ticket broker. There are tickets that are more expensive, but you only sell them one time. Here, people buy them for 3 games at a time.”

When the Lakers met the Detroit Pistons in the NBA championship series in June, courtside tickets were being sold for as much as $1,500 with choice loge tickets costing $750.

Southland ticket agencies surveyed by The Times Thursday were selling World Series tickets for less, but they say the demand was greater.

Murrays was getting $500-$600 for good box seats with prime seating in the first few rows costing $750. Tickets started at $150 for seats in the top deck.

World Series tickets started at $100 at VIP Tickets in Sherman Oaks, with reserved seats running $125-$150 and field boxes costing $500-$600.