It's the end of an era.
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Over the last decade, getting a Cubs ticket wristband has been an annual ritual for the ticket-buying public. There was one year -- 2004, if memory serves, right after the near-miss in the 2003 playoffs -- where there was a 90-minute wait just to get wristbands; that year, many people reported sitting in the dreaded Virtual Waiting Room until after 5 p.m., a nearly seven-hour wait, just to get in to buy tickets.
I've told this story before, but it bears repeating here. I think it was also 2004 when I ran into a friend of mine in the bleachers in late April. He was still wearing his ticket wristband. I asked why. Without missing a beat, he replied, "They haven't called my number yet."
No such thing is likely to happen this year. The Cubs have already announced that this will be the final year of wristband ticket sales at Wrigley. Last year, they barely needed them at all; the ticket windows were open to all buyers, wristband or no, less than an hour after tickets went on sale (the photo above was taken from the CubWorld webcam sometime in the late morning on that day). Next year, when Wrigley will (presumably) be under renovation, there won't be any box office sales at all on the first day.
There will be this year, though, and here's the winning Cubs ticket wristband number:
The winning number of the random drawing for the first fan to purchase 2O13 Cubs regular season single game tickets at Wrigley Field is: 12511. All other wristband numbers will follow the winning number. Fans with wristbands 12511 through 175O9 should come to the Captain Morgan Club starting at 7 a.m. CST Friday morning.
If you're buying single-game tickets, it's my view that you won't have any trouble getting all the games you want. I'll open a thread here for ticket sales tales Friday morning. There's also the premium-price presale that starts at noon CT Wednesday, if you are so inclined.