Colorado Rockies' World Series Ticketing System Fails Spectacularly

Reader Jennifer would like to see the Colorado Rockies kick some Boston Red Sox butt in the World Series. Sadly, the ticketing system has melted under the pressure and she was unable to get her tickets—and she’s not the only one.

From NBC 9:

Amid an angry crowd chanting “We want tickets,” Rockies spokesperson Jay Alves announced World Series ticket sales have been suspended Monday.

Alves says virtually all the tickets are still available, due to a computer system malfunction. He says only several hundred tickets were sold.

“Right now we’re shutting the system down …. We expect to be online at some point,” Alves said.

According to Alves, the Colorado Rockies will announce new plans to sell the tickets at some point later Monday afternoon. He says the Web site received 8.5 million hits in the first 90 minutes the system was up and running.

Fans booed as Alves made the announcement outside Coors Field.

“We’re as frustrated and disappointed as they are,” Alves said of the fans.

Hundreds of Rockies fans have been emailing NBC9 to complain about not being able to buy tickets. There are 60,000 tickets up for sale, and they’re only available on-line with no backup plan in case of server meltdown. Whoops.

World Series ticket sales suspended [NBC9]
(Photo:Jeffrey Beall)

Comments

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  1. GiselleBeardchen says:

    They should contact the Patriots organization–maybe they could help Nazi them into the right hands.

  2. hc5duke says:

    Some time back in September…

    engineer: Hey this system can only handle x number of simultaneous purchases. If we have millions of people wanting tickets, our system might implode.
    exec: So why should I care?
    engineer: What if we make it to the world series?
    [pause]
    [both laugh hysterically]
    exec: *snort* good one.

  3. azntg says:

    Just watch, once the systems come back up… all the tickets have disappeared! Wait a minute, who has ‘em? Getcha tickets ‘ere! A bargain basement price of $1.23 million!

    I wish the Rockies the best of luck on this game!

  4. Bay State Darren says:

    They’re worried so much about getting tickets to watch their team lose? [Just kidding w/you a little, Rockies fans who read Consumerist. But seriously: Go Red Sox!!!]

  5. Frank Grimes says:

    Rockies WS Fever…good they all figured out they have a team in late September. Take a page from the RS…they did an automated drawing for a chance to buy tickets. All you had to do was submit your information and you were notified if you could buy the 2 of the 12 tickets thay had available (there weren’t many of them). Hopefully the WS will play out in the same fashion.

  6. Buran says:

    Apparently, their computers are dinosaurs too.

  7. MountainRooster says:

    The system is bogus and mlb may be partially to blame as well. The Rockies rely on Paciolan to sell the tickets but you have to have an account established with a secure mlb site that won’t load ([secure.mlb.com]) The rockies website does not bother to explain you must be registered.

    There was problems yesterday with an online sale to season ticket holders as well.

  8. Bay State Darren says:

    They should be like us Nation members and realize tickets are harder to obtain than the Holy Grail. Except we have to do that even for regular season games. God, it’s fun having a 39,000 seat ballpark, especially in the post-season. [And once again: Go Red Sox!!!!!]

  9. MountainRooster says:

    @Bay State Darren:
    Don’t get too excited about your 39k ballpark. The Rockies AVERAGED 55,000 attendance in 1993 setting a record of 4,483,350 for the season which remains unbroken by any team.

  10. Bay State Darren says:

    @MountainRooster: Actually, I was referring to this being a small number of seats, hence the part about: “tickets are harder to obtain than the Holy Grail”.

    [Ditto on my above post-script.]

  11. MountainRooster says:

    @Bay State Darren: gotcha.

  12. Critcol says:

    @MountainRooster:

    They set the record in pre-Strike baseball, and since baseball attendance has returned to and surpassed pre-Strike levels, if Denver people wanted to see the Rockies they’d be breaking that record every year.

    But since the Rockies haven’t broken that record, I guess people aren’t selling out 81 consecutive home games, like say, the Boston Red Sox do.

    But hey, you guys have a bigger stadium and a smaller fanbase.

    [full disclosure: live in Cambridge Mass and looking forward to the Rockies’ meltdown in the face of Josh Beckett]

  13. MountainRooster says:

    @Critcol: That number was hit in a Mile High Stadium which could seat 80227 fans with the temporary bleachers. Coors Field only seats 50445 after they squezed in 100 extra seats. According to espn Boston averaged 36,675 during the regular season and the Rox averaged 28,978 ([sports.espn.go.com]).

  14. Eric says:

    I live in Denver, and when I couldn’t get on the website I was sad.

  15. willray411 says:

    I’m personally not interested in watching the rockies play in the world series, but they should sell the tickets in colorado ticket offices instead of giving all the scalpers a chance at getting the tickets. Now people who want to go to the game have to pay over 1000% face value for a ticket.

  16. karmaghost says:

    My experience with computerized ticket sales is less than stellar. At our university, they sold student season football tickets for the first time online this summer. Typically, a USPS mail was sent to the student’s home and they were expected to reply back by mail if they wanted tickets. It was first come, first served like the Ticketmaster system was this year. However, people complained about the snail-mail method because some people would be away on vacation when the letter came and would miss out on tickets. Instead, this year people had to deal with online queues that lasted over an hour and had to wait by their computers continuously, because the confirmation page that popped up after the queue ended required a response within 2 minutes or they would lose their spot in line.

    The situation turned into one similar to the Hanna Montana ticket scandal that’s going on right now; people who had no intention of going to the games bought tickets and sold them for ridiculous amounts of money. A $192 season ticket package was going on sale on eBay for $2000+. Now people are proposing different methods to combat this new problem, but I see no relief in the future if Ticketmaster is involved.

  17. karmaghost says:

    @karmaghost: Can I just add that the difference between the snail-mail method and the internet method was that despite the long online queues, the snail-mail method only seemed to elicit a response from those who were really serious about getting tickets for personal use; don’t ask me why, there just hasn’t been problems such as the ones we’ve seen this season in the past. Also, Ticketmaster’s systems/servers were clearly overloaded; when 50,000+ tickets sell out in about an hour, you can imagine how many people are actually trying to get them at one time.

  18. smarty says:

    Yeah, 8.5 millions hits is more like an attack than fans trying to buy tix. Leave it to the Consumerist to use a headline to make it seem like it was the Rockies fault.

  19. tadowguy says:

    @Smarty:

    How is 8.5 million hits an attack? There’s easily that many baseball fans in Colorado + Boston and many asked friends and family to try as well. “Hits” also counts each time I hit reload on my browser, so I personally contributed to about 300 of them.

  20. smarty says:

    @tadowguy: 8,499,700 more to go.

  21. keainansen says:

    So the re-sale occured yesterday and I finally got through and I selected the tickets I wanted, put down my CC info, hit submit, hit confirm. The page said congrats. Then it froze. Tried to get back on the site and I was back at the beginning of the wait line, no more tickets left. So I thought, maybe there I would get a confirmation or something. Nothing yet.

    Tried to get a hold of the ticket agency but on the website theres 1 phone number and its automated. Called it and waited to talk to a person, after 25 minutes the line just went dead. Horrible customer service. I couldn’t find anywhere on their site that had an e-mail or a personal phone contact for a front office member.

    Thats not the way to run a business.

    I waisted 3 hours on day 1, 3 hours yesterday, I understand that not everyone gets tickets but what more could I have done? It’s ridiculous. Now, some scalper got the tickets and is re-selling them for $1500 a piece.

    Thats why bush league small market teams shouldn’t be able to get to the World Series, they can’t handle anything because they weren’t at all prepared to handle anything. It was apparent when their ticket system killed itself on day 1. I’d be surprised if the ball park will even be open tonight.

  22. gunboats says:

    @keainansen: “I’d be surprised if the the ball park will even be open tonight.”

    It probably won’t be; the series opens tonight in the greatest park in the world, Fenway.

  23. jtrain88 says:

    Thinking about making the trip to Denver from KC for the series to watch the World Series since it may never be back in Kansas City in my lifetime. I was online and had all my friends online, even my mom who said she will never do another favor for me. I spent two days in the virtual waiting room. That sucked. Why cant they just use Ticketmaster? Yeah the fees suck but its the only game in town. Garth Brooks moved 140K tix in 1 hour at the new sprint center. At least when they are sold out they tell you they are sold out and you dont have to waste a day waiting for some old crusty Rockies executive to come out and tell you they dont know how to handle the traffic. What a joke. Maybe I’ll try ebay, not Stub Hub that site is awful. Anyone have extra tix?