Blondie:.. How Celebrities Get Tickets to “Big Games”
Have you ever wondered who/how decides “who is a real celebrity… and gets VIP treatment” and who gets the “…and you think you are special why” treatment?. Here is how its done for Dodger games, especially BIG GAMES like The World Series.
… Nowhere are “celebrities” more a regular issue than LA / Hollywood. Everyone either is … used to be … or wants to be … ; so who gets what seats, if any? The Dodgers, or any organization only has X number of comp in any ballpark, arena, theater. Who gets them?
This is an article from a great subscription-only website that BobLee loves – The Athletic. Normally I would LINK you to the source but you can’t get to that site… so here. But you should oughta subscribe… here’s how . LINK
Oh… Famous Dodger Fan “The Lovely” Mary Hart and her husband Burt Sugarman own their two seats on the front row behind Home Plate… as does that little weasel Larry King.
Stein: Are you a celebrity and want tickets to the World Series? Here’s how it goes down
Special to The Athletic
By Joel Stein
I was sitting in the third to last row on the top deck of Dodger Stadium for Game 2 of the World Series and saw ESPN’s star NBA insider Ramona Shelburne two rows behind me. I wondered how many celebrities had asked for tickets? How many had been rejected, sent even further on the fringes than us? How does the poor Dodgers front office handle all of this? And why wasn’t Ramona Shelburne in front of me?
Every team deals with celebrities asking for tickets except the Jacksonville Jaguars, which I assume just keeps a seat empty in case comedian Lil Duval comes by. But Los Angeles is to celebrities what Jacksonville is for whatever it is Jacksonville makes. At the World Series game I attended, the video board tracked a lot of celebrities in the stands including Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, Mila Kunis, Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann, and Peyton Manning, who was booed for reasons I assume had to do with customer service at Nationwide Insurance since he retired before L.A. had a football team. Also because L.A. doesn’t care about its football teams.
I pictured a big board in a Dodgers’ exec’s office that held a map of the stadium with string leading to photos of celebrities with bar graphs underneath showing their Instagram followers, box office numbers and Q ratings. As they re-arranged the string, some exec would just say, “Give Danny Trejo whatever he wants!”
That board, I figured, kicked some celebrities out, and delivered seats for Game 2 attendees Henry Winkler, George Lopez, Aaron Rodgers, Tiger Woods, Nikki Sixx, Oscar de la Hoya, Louie Anderson, Fred Couples, Michael Pena, Robert Patrick, Ken Jeong and Justin Hartley.
(NOTE: I’ve heard of four people in that list…)
Unfortunately, the Dodgers wouldn’t tell me how they handle celebrity requests, probably because they feared it might lead to more celebrity requests. So I called some people who have worked in celebrity-ticket giving jobs and found out that the process is ugly.
The first thing, I was told, that the Dodgers’ public relations, marketing team, and executives consider is what tier the celebrity is in. Mark Wahlberg and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who were in attendance for Game 2, would get tickets if they asked the team for them. The more cachet you have the better, which is the main reason celebrities marry other celebrities. John Legend on his own is maybe a Loge 117. Chrissy Teigen at best is a Club Box. But together, they’re firmly in the Field 1-25 realm. Legend showed up alone for Game 2, which was a huge mistake.
However, the algorithm subtracts the number of tickets the celebrities request from their cachet. “You have to consider their posse. Some of them come with a whole crew,” said a publicist who has worked on events such as the Stanley Cup, Kentucky Derby, Wimbledon and the Super Bowl. When this publicist gave out tickets, she factored in how much attention the team would get from photos of them at the game and their own social media postings.
For Triple Crown races other than the Kentucky Derby, the publicist said execs reach out with VIP packages to any celebrities who will come: “Those guys are, ‘Please come and bet. Give us all your money.’”
You also get more cachet with the front office if you’re a proven fan of the team. Some celebrities such as Terry Crews, Trejo (who was at Game 2), morning radio deejay Big Boy and Animal from the Muppets (not at Game 2), taped video messages that ran on the stadium’s big screen demanding that people make some noise.
Brad Paisley got in by singing the national anthem. Kate Upton got engaged to Justin Verlander. John Fogerty wrote Centerfield, thereby saving baseball fans from ever having to hear the song Talkin’ Baseballagain. Kunis announced the starting lineup at a playoff game last year in a voice even sexier than Vin Scully’s.
Larry King and Mary Hart have seats in the first row behind home plate, and they’re in attendance all the time during the regular season wearing Dodgers outfits, one slightly better tailored than the other. They pay for those seats, and…
King paid for his son’s tickets—which were far away. Magic Johnson went even further in his quest to get seats and bought part of the Dodgers.
In fact, it seems as if many of the celebrities got tickets themselves for the World Series—mostly by paying. A talent agent told me that he didn’t feel any pressure to get World Series tickets. “All the clients wanted to see the Yankees,” the agent said of New York, which was knocked out in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.
“The celebrities we have are asking for other people. We get them but make them buy them. When you’re putting Arsenio Hall up there on the screen you have problems.” This agent had two tickets to Game 2 and didn’t know who to give them to, so he handed them to a junior person at the agency.
The celebrities who do buy tickets might have it worse than the Dodgers’ PR and marketing departments. I asked Jason Bateman, who has owned two season tickets for many years, how he was dealing with requests to go with him. “The woodwork surfacing from Dodger ‘fans’ in my life has been outrageous,” he said. “Let’s put it this way, I’m praying for seven games just so I can accommodate the bandwagoners.”
I got my tickets through a friend who got them through Major League Baseball. And I, too, paid for them. Though I didn’t feel like a celebrity. Though I felt more like one than Ramona Shelburne.