This is bound to be a somewhat controversial subject.
A week ago, the Cubs held an event at Wrigley Field in which a number of people -- from reports I got, there might have been several hundred -- who had numbers on the season-ticket wait-list, so they could choose from available seats. Several of these people emailed me to tell me about their experiences; some bought tickets. All of these people praised the process.
However, I also heard from three individuals with various experiences that can only be described as line-jumping. I am deliberately not using gender-specific pronouns (instead, I'll use the awkward "they") in this post so as to not personally identify anyone; also, I'm being somewhat vague as to exact spots on the waiting list.
One individual forwarded emails to me showing that they had signed up for the waiting list in August 2012, with a waiting-list number well north of 100,000. Yet, this person got called to the event and was able to purchase season tickets.
We've heard here from people whose numbers are higher than another correspondent, whose wait-list number was in the mid-20,000s before the wait-list event, and who claims to have now moved up about 7,000 spots, but still has not been able to buy tickets, while some with higher numbers have.
A third person told me they signed up for the list in 2007, and by 2010 was in the mid-40,000s, again, moving up about 7,000 spots last winter. This person called the Cubs ticket office last offseason and was able to buy a bleacher season ticket -- that's right, just by calling, no waiting list needed -- now, this individual has switched to season tickets in the bowl. Again in this case, I received forwarded emails showing the date signed up.
None of this seems quite right. I asked Cubs management for comment; they responded:
We stand by the integrity of our process. The Cubs Season Ticket Holder Waiting List has been, and continues to be, a clear and fair process to on-board new season ticket holders based on their waiting list number. Fans who have been on the list the longest will always be the first call to purchase season tickets.
And yet, I have three examples of times when fans apparently jumped the line. I grant you, that's three individuals out of thousands. Could there be other such instances? I honestly don't know. But I thought you would like to discuss this issue.