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The Fine Print
Rick Reilly
June 11, 2007
HONESTLY, YOU must have bought, accepted or scalped 500 pro sports tickets in your life, right? And in using those tickets, you legally agreed to the fine print on the back, right? And every time, before you walked in, you actually read what you'd agreed to, right? Wrong. You'd be surprised what it actually says back there.
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June 11, 2007

The Fine Print

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HONESTLY, YOU must have bought, accepted or scalped 500 pro sports tickets in your life, right? And in using those tickets, you legally agreed to the fine print on the back, right? And every time, before you walked in, you actually read what you'd agreed to, right? Wrong. You'd be surprised what it actually says back there.

NOTICE: Bearer of this ticket shall not hold stadium authority, team or participants liable for any injury, death, heartburn, mysterious stains on pants, earaches from nonstop blaring P.A. music or nausea from footlongs that started cooking when Abner Doubleday was a Little Leaguer. Stadium authority and team reserve the right to charge five dollars for a bottle of water and to remove the cap from the bottle in the event that bearer might suddenly go completely Ron Artest and heave the cap at a player from the third deck and actually hit him. (And if bearer could, shouldn't he be playing centerfield?)

ADDITIONALLY: Speculation about how much a thrown water bottle cap would hurt and about how many weapons ticket bearer could conceal in his pocket that would fly a lot better and do more damage than the cap will not be tolerated. Nor will complaints that stadium authority/team doesn't actually remove cap for safety reasons anyway, but removes it so that when bearer kicks over bottle, water will run out and bearer will have to buy another for an additional five dollars.

BE ADVISED: Bearer agrees implicitly and unalterably that even though he paid $125 for a box seat, it does not mean he can walk straight to that seat unaccompanied. Use of this ticket requires bearer to be escorted by stadium usher, who is entitled to block bearer's way and demand to see the ticket with a you-can't-afford-to-be-down-here look and then sniff when he sees bearer is in the right section. Bearer is then required to walk behind usher until usher dusts off a seat made to fit Kate Moss's butt after a two-month tofu binge. Having wedged into that seat, bearer is expected to tip usher for locating the seat, which any sighted person could have found at midnight in Ray-Bans during an eclipse. Bearer should not expect, however, that when two beer-leaking loudmouths take the seats behind him and start burping and spilling and telling dirty jokes with bearer's wife/girlfriend in the punch line that the usher will be anywhere within four city blocks to do anything about it.

IN ADDITION: Be assured that stadium authority/team owner has not only overcharged bearer for this seat and for his wilted nachos and lukewarm diet soda and for the ridiculous and downright criminal "seat tax," but that owner is also at this moment seated at Morton's cutting a 21-ounce porterhouse and a sweetheart deal with the mayor to get bearer and all his friends and residents of the six-county metroplex to pony up for a new $600 million stadium built with tax dollars even though current stadium is only 15 years old and absolutely fine except that the owner doesn't get enough luxury box, concession and parking fees. And even though that new stadium built by bearers will have fewer seats and will force current season-ticket holders to locations farther from the action if they are not cronies of the owner or a city council member, be assured that owner will raise ticket prices.

RAINOUT POLICY: With purchase of this ticket, bearer accepts that even when the double doppler is telling team owner that a five-state storm is approaching (one that will dump enough water to float an ark at second base), owner will not cancel game until the numbers are worn flat on bearer's Visa card with purchases of parking, beer, rain jackets and his kid's fourth helmet-full-of-ice-cream.

PLEASE NOTE: Stadium authority, team and participants are able to do all this because bearer and other concretebrains like him keep buying tickets like this one without as much as a single "Ouch!"

TALK BACK
If you have a comment for Rick Reilly, send it to reilly@siletters.com.

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