More than 90,000 people showed up to Montreal’s Olympic Stadium this past weekend to watch the Toronto Blue Jays face off against the New York Mets.
Unfortunately, some of those baseball fans didn’t end up watching much, if anything.
Father and son Greg and Graeme Blake showed up to Friday night’s baseball game an hour early so that they could pick up tickets they bought online. The elder Blake, Greg, had come in from New Brunswick for the game.
But as the pair exited at Pie-IX Metro station, they came face-to-face with a line so long it snaked back into the station.
The queue was for the will-call lineup: for people who bought tickets online.
“You had to get in that line in order to get your tickets,” Graeme said.
There were between 1,000 and 2,000 people in line. The Blakes waited for more than 90 minutes without advancing before throwing in the towel.
“We were just sort of disappointed because it was such a wonderful thing to see baseball back,” Graeme said.
Ticketing system frozen in 1990s
Other baseball fans chose to abandon the tickets they bought online and purchase new ones once the witnessed the enormous lineup.
“There was a pretty short lineup actually to the proper box office to buy new tickets,” said Eric Andrew-Gee. He and his friends lost $22 apiece but got into the game at the bottom of the third inning.
“It sounds kind of extravagant but we just decided in the spur of the moment, rather than packing it in and go home, we’d make a play to see the game,” Andrew-Gee said.
Michel Labrecque, president of Montreal’s Olympic Park, said it was as if the ticketing system was frozen in the 1990s.
“I was there and it was not great. We are in 2014… People buy tickets on the Internet and you need to have an e-ticket,” Labrecque said.
He apologized for the snafu and said all the fans who either couldn’t watch the game, or who bought new tickets, would be refunded.