All that, though, boils down to the team — a team that frustrated and angered fans, a team that lost its way and its playoff spot and its manager, all in historic fashion.
“September of 2011 really soured me,” said Joe Simeone, who shared a full-season package with three others. “To watch that team fall apart killed me. It killed me. It wasn’t watching them fall apart, it was watching them almost not try.”
In 2012, he sold 18 of his allotment of 20 tickets. He couldn’t bear to watch the team.
But Simeone was lucky in that he was able to sell his unused tickets. Most fans weren’t able to, and that financial hit was a significant reason people are not renewing their packages. They simply can’t afford to eat dozens of tickets worth thousands of dollars.
“It got to the point where you couldn’t give them away,” Ferraguto said. “It was for a lot of years, ‘Oh you guys have season tickets!’ and then it became, ‘Oh you poor [chumps], stuck with season tickets.’”
When Ferraguto first got seats 15 rows behind third base, they were $12 per game. Now they’re $94. And that $15,000 bill at Christmastime doesn’t exactly sit well.
Ferraguto loved being there in the good years, and even in the lean years. “You felt like you were a part of the community,” he said. But after 2011, after the firing of manager Terry Francona, and certainly after 2012, things have changed.
All of the season ticket-holders we spoke to expressed some disappointment at giving up their seats, whether they were among that number since the ’80s or for a single year. Most of them will still go to games, purchase tickets from StubHub or at the box office, and will suffer through inflated prices and little inventory when the team returns to the postseason.
“I was selling tickets for 30 cents on the dollar,” said Alex, who had tickets above Canvas Alley but requested anonymity. “I know that there’s going to be that lack in the ticket market right now where you’re going to be able to get in for a lot less than the poor guy selling the ticket bought them for.”
Last year, that was him. It won’t be anymore.
There is sadness in that decision. Many of the season ticket-holders expected to have them until they died. Or longer. David Lionetti of Aberdeen, N.J., who had tickets since 2004, referred to them as a family heirloom.
That’s no longer the case.
“It was disappointing in that it’s like the end of an era,” said Simeone, 67, who had the tickets since 2004. “I’ve been a baseball fan since I was 3 years old. I have four grandchildren, and I thought often about passing it down, but it just didn’t mean as much to me to do it anymore after ’11 and ’12.”