It’s safe to say no Major League Baseball team has ever fallen being one game to none in a postseason series as decisively as the Cincinnati Reds, who were no-hit by Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay in Game One of the National League Division Series Wednesday, October 6.
But the Reds enduring the second no-hitter in postseason history — Halladay allowed just one walk, on a full count in the fifth inning, in throwing his gem two days before the 54th anniversary of Don Larsen’s perfect game for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series — didn’t faze a fanbase still euphoric over the fashion in which the Reds reached the playoffs. And, those fans are eager to see a postseason game in the city for the first time in a generation.
The Reds will play the first playoff game in the city in almost exactly 15 years on Sunday, October 10, and tickets to Game Three of the NLDS are listed for several times their face value on StubHub. (The Reds have already sold out all possible Division Series and League Championship Series games.)
As of the overnight hours this morning, October 8, the cheapest seat on StubHub was a standing room only ticket priced at $168 — almost six times the face value of $30. An actual seat in the bleachers cost $199, once again almost six times the face value of $35.
In addition, as of this morning, Cincinnati-based broker 333seat.com had just 10 pairs of tickets for Game Three. The cheapest was a seat in Section 525, in the view level high above home plate, which was going for $231 — which is, that’s right, almost six times the list price of $40. StubHub has just 341 tickets for Game Three.
Such demand is particularly impressive given not only the fashion in which the Reds lost Game One but also the fact the team hasn’t had a sellout at 42,271-seat Great American Ball Park since Opening Day — back on Monday, April 5 — against the rival St. Louis Cardinals.
But clinching a division title on a walk-off home run — as the Reds did when Jay Bruce launched a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Reds a 3-2 win over the Houston Astros Tuesday, September 28 — has a way of sparking interest.
“[The Reds] played the Cardinals in August and we were neck and neck [for the NL Central lead] and we couldn’t sell out one of those games,” 333seat.com spokesman Jeff McDonald told TicketNews. “I don’t think anyone thought they were going to sell out the Division games. But the Jay Bruce home run all of a sudden turned things around, got everyone excited. The media really grabbed it and ran with it. You couldn’t ask for greater free publicity than what occurred that night.”
There is a particular urgency for the Game Three tickets since it is the only game the Reds are assured of playing at home in the best-of-five series. The Reds must win one of the next two games to force a Game Four on Monday, October 11 — the 15th anniversary of their last playoff game at home, a 6-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves in Game Two of the NLCS.
Reds fans who are keeping the faith the Reds will extend the series beyond the weekend can score a Game Four seat for less than half the price of a Game Three ducat: A view level seat for Game Four is going for just $112 at 333seat.com, which had just eight pairs of tickets listed as of this morning. A standing room seat for Game Four is listed for $75 at StubHub while a view level seat is $85. StubHub has more than 2,100 tickets available for Game Four.
Demand might keep dwindling if the Reds can come back and win the Division Series — thanks, again, to Bruce, whose dramatics inspired local businesses and fans to do whatever they had to do in order to see the playoffs return to Cincinnati.
“This is a unique situation, where we’re seeing ticket prices that would be higher for a Division [Series] than they would be for a League Championship,” McDonald said. “You’re talking to so many different businesses and they wanted to spend their budgets on sending their clients to these one or two games not with the thought that they would keep sending clients to games. We don’t see it as a sustainable demand, simply because of the way in which we got in.”