I promised you some info on the season-ticket holder relocation event, and thanks to our old friend Jessica -- who attended Monday's event with her new season-ticket partner, here it is:
First, you go up to the Batters Eye in center field where they check you in. I had a little scare when the woman could not find my name. Eventually she did, it was apparently very out of order on the list. After getting the details: no leaving single seats, no taking more than four, etc., they let you roam. I would say there were maybe 2O season ticket holders in my 2 p.m. group along with (I assume) people they are sharing with. I had in fact gotten there very early and been able to look at the park through the knothole so I had some idea of what was available. When my new partner and I went in we looked at some seats that looked good from below but had post obstruction, then we looked at some right behind home plate that had no obstruction but I hate seeing batters through the netting. I was almost ready to give up because I do love my seats, the people I sit near and I have been there so long with lots of memories, when one of the ushers suggested we look at a pair right near a pole. Since it was in row 7 it had no obstruction so we decided to take them. I think my new partner was very relieved. The check-out was easy. My ticket rep was actually right next to the guy who processed me. The whole process probably took five minutes. From what I could tell, people mostly went for field boxes and a few snagged club boxes. Many of them seemed to be "regulars" and perhaps they come every year to incrementally upgrade. One other odd thing was that seats with partial plans were supposed to be marked in white but I did not see any. Perhaps the ones who came earlier leaped for a "downgrade". It was hard for me to count a significant number of seats available in all sections but there seemed to be large amounts in the upper deck and terrace reserve outfield seats. In both there was at least one section where the majority of seats were available. Also since I don't think I saw any empties in upper deck reserved I am guessing they were not even tagged yet considering there is little chance people going the first day who almost surely have better seats would be interested. There were many of the expensive seats in the first two rows available, but not a ton in the club boxes, many more in field boxes, and a fair amount in terrace boxes. I would estimate the areas with huge swaths of empties was an upper deck box outfield section, that I would estimate was roughly 437. Also there were tons in the terrace reserve corners especially around section 2O2. So the big news is: after 25 years in section 2O9 I moved. I am now in section 215, row 7, seats 5 & 6. It's on the third base line, nearer home plate, the first row behind the terrace boxes. While almost everyone would consider them much better seats it was tough for me to move. There were seats right behind the plate available but as I said I don't like sitting behind the netting. I really love the perspective of my old seats but of course these are far closer to the action with zero obstruction. The small downside is that I am no longer dead center in the row, so I'll have to get up now and then to let someone by. I will be siting two seats away from very pissed people who will be right behind a post.
For a much better idea of how the seats that are available are marked, and how many are available, click here for a larger version of the photo at the top of this post (showing more seats), click here for a panoramic version showing the entire ballpark (you can also see they're doing some work in the bleachers, and on the scoreboard), and click here for the view from Jessica's new seats.