Friday, July 14, 2006

Angels in the Ticketing Office

With single season tickets becoming available this weekend I had to make one of the biggest decisions of 2006; Upgrade to better seats and pay more, stay in the same seats I've had for the past four seasons and pay more or downgrade to lesser seats and pay less.

These were my choices or so I thought, until talking with Oakland Raiders Ticketing Rep. Clayton Casey. The first thing I told Clayton, while complimenting him on a classic football name, was that when this call ends I want to be able to say I'm happy with the choice I've made. Most people would've probably given me a sales pitch to relieve any concerns but Clayton seemed sensitive to my dilemma and smartly walked me through my options. Instead of feeding me the "How Much You Wanna Spend?" car salesman line, he asked what I had in mind? Then proceeded to address the pricing changes immediately.

Maybe its because Casey is a true Raiders fan that he comes across as genuinely wanting to get you the best seat that fits your needs. I mean, how often does a salesperson give the pros and cons of purchasing a product? I know the guy who sold me my car didn't reveal its tendency to lose power rapidly on steep uphill grades. But Casey was first to point out the risk of jumbotron viewing limitations due to the upper level overhang.

Or maybe assisting fans with season tickets is like herding cattle, just point them in the right direction and they'll go. Especially when the clock for good season tickets is winding down and you haven't made up your mind about your seats. I'll tell you one crazy option I didn't even mention to Casey, and that was getting tickets only for games I thought might be more competitive. But I knew I'd only be kidding myself now and kicking myself later come that first non-ticket Sunday. Besides, I know what its like to bond with your seating section, they become like family and it makes the Coliseum feel more like a second home.

With so many thoughts rapidly running through my head, I chose to go with moving down to the second level and paying the same amount that my old seat/new price would be. The final problem I had was in choice of what row to choose? The choice was between rows 6 and 14. Most people would think the closer the better, even when I asked Clayton he suggested closer but did emphasize that his was a personal choice and in no way reflected what he thought I should do. Instead Clayton put it nicely by reminding me that they would be my seats and had to meet my satisfaction. Smart Clayton, now I can't file any complaint due to promises of uninterrupted glee on Sundays, not that I would anyway.

Here though is where Clayton proved his worth along with what I'd describe as divine intervention. Knowing that the seats in row 14 were further away from the field with a bit of overhang, I asked about stadium televisions and obstructed viewing. Clayton confirmed that rows 1-5 do get some walking traffic in front but that ushers will be inforcing new guidelines to minimize such traffic. Also, a televsion is in the vicinity of the seats I'd chosen. Any fan whose ever walked by those seats with televisions nearby knows the value of such a seat; Priceless. I chose being further away also because of my experience with seating. Rule of thumb is the higher up you are the more field you see.

And so with what I'd term, Angelic Assistance, I landed what I hope to be perfect season tickets for ME:

Section 225
Aisle Seats
Middle of Overhang
Partial Weather Proofing
Television in Vicinity
Slightly angled North Endzone Viewing
BBQ Vendor directly downstairs
North Parking Lot downstairs
Bart Ramp Access Upstairs

I Am Ready For Some Football NOW!

I write this entry into my blog because today I found myself giddy with anticipation of the Oakland Raiders season to begin. For those who are unsure of purchasing tickets or have never purchased tickets, I'd suggest you not wait and call now before single season game tickets go on the market. The only other suggestion I'd give is that you purchase season tickets. As I said earlier, your section becomes your family and with family you watch each others backs by making sure everybody in the house is comfortable and enjoys themselves. To make this possible you can call 1-800-RAIDERS. As for Clayton Casey, the man who has a gift for getting you just what you need, key in extension 3241; and tell Clayton Wes says thanks again.

He may not be able to get back that overpriced extended automobile warranty you foolishly purchased, but he'll make sure your visit to Network Coliseum is worth buying the vehicle that got you there.

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