Monday, September 11, 2006

A Tale of Two (Bowl) Games

In the 2005/6 college bowl season. It was the best of games. It was the worst of games.

Now that Football season has started for real it's time to start making plans for the post season.

As an occasional LSU alumni (and perennial Saints hopeful, but that is another subject). I was excited by their showing in 2003, and assumed the inevitable repeat in 2004. I decided to cover my bets and get tickets to two college bowl games. The Sugar Bowl and The Orange Bowl are two of the 3 oldest college bowl games (only the Rose Bowl is older). Both bowls required a two year commitment. We ended up going to the National Championship Orange Bowl game in 2004/5. I was looking forward to the 2005/6 games. I have always wanted to spend a few days on the beach in January so I was hoping LSU would end up in the Orange Bowl.
Because of Katrina the Sugar Bowl was moved to the Georgia Dome. We were sort of in Atlanta, so we hoped to receive tickets to that game, in place of the tickets we had already purchased and paid for. That was not to be. The Sugar Bowl ended up with fewer general public tickets for the Georgia Dome than the Superdome. I think they gave a large block of tickets to the Peach Bowl in order to secure the use of the stadium..

Since I was in Atlanta a lot of the time, I was looking forward to attending the game. Communications, however, were a mess. The Sugar Bowl staff relocated to Atlanta, but were generally unreachable. Ticketmaster handled the ticket sales but they could find no record of my tickets in their computers or offer any information. Eventually I received a letter, forwarded from my closed office, with an offer allow a some ticket holders to purchase tickets. Unfortunately the date sales were to begin had already passed and when I called (the same day I got the letter) they had all been sold.

I wonder why they chose to send a letter? They must have known it would likely be lost. Throughout this same time I regularly checked the Sugar Bowl web site, which contained little information other than the notice the game was relocated. Eventually I got a refund for the tickets I wouldn't be sent. Oddly the refund came from Ticketmaster, who previously had never heard of me.

I hear we will be offered the opportunity to purchase Sugar Bowl Tickets again this year.

On The Other Hand dealing with the Orange Bowl staff is a pleasure. I can call them at any time and they actually return phone calls, that in itself is enough for a Customer Service Award. When I first got tickets in 2003 they ran a very professional lottery for new purchasers. They gave out numbers and then had several rounds of drawings, to decide who would win the opportunity to purchase tickets.

After I got slightly reoriented, I called told the Orange Bowl about my situation. They FedEx'ed me my tickets and all of the other stuff. I was even able to upgrade my seats over the phone by simply calling up and asking what seats were available. They would have let me purchase more seats or move anywhere I wanted. There was no service charge, other than the cost differential of the face value of the tickets. I can keep these seats as long as I want, all I have to do is keep buying them every year.

For a while it looked like a good possibility that LSU would go to one of the bowls in 2005, but as luck would have it, LSU ended up in neither game.

We went to the Orange Bowl last year and are planning to go again this year.


Mike E said...

Congrats on that hot-damn Saints game! Right On to the Underdog. Long odds pay sweet...

Anonymous said...

Well as a Saints fan I am looking forward for the first game in the dome. They did well last weekend.Maybe this year?