When did ticket bots become a thing, why are they here, why can’t we stop them, and WHY DO THEY HAVE TO RUIN IT FOR ALL OF US?! If people can invent smartphones, blue-tooth devices, robot vacuums, and drones that deliver packages, why can’t someone figure out how to stop bots, scammers, and gougers from buying up every single available ticket and screwing the rest of us over?
Let’s take a step back. This rant comes after myself and several friends (and Facebook users who have posted all over various groups) tried without success to purchase Savannah Bananas baseball tickets. This also comes after many more people nationwide (heck, worldwide), tried to purchase those coveted tickets to see the one-and-only Taylor Swift earlier in 2023.
Is it supposed to be this hard? Gone are the days of standing in line at the box office to purchase tickets to a live event, or even waiting on the phone for your turn to buy. Now our only option, especially for larger events, is to go online (Lord help us if it’s through Ticketmaster, which it probably is), waiting in a forever-long queue, and hoping by the time you get through there are still tickets available once you reach the checkout page. Even more than that, now you pretty much have to have a presale code to even stand a chance.
Who knew it could be such a frustrating and exhausting experience to even try to take your family to a silly baseball game? Not even a major league (or even minor league) game at that. If you’re not familiar with The Savannah Bananas, just do a quick Google or YouTube search. They’re taking the Internet by storm with their silly antics, choreographed dances, impressive flips, surprise superstar appearances, and (ahem) attractive players (can I say that without sounding creepy?). Oh, and their baseball games. After going viral a few years ago, their social media following has exploded, and therefore so has their demand for tickets. Soon after, they started taking their games on the road to give more cities a chance to experience their games, which led to a greater increase in ticket demand.
Here’s the thing, though. I am from Savannah where the Bananas are from. Before the Bananas had 7.8M+ TikTok followers and played at Grayson Stadium in downtown Savannah, the stadium was home to New York Mets’ Minor League team the Savannah Sand Gnats until 2015. I grew up going to Sand Gnats games and even worked for them one season in college doing the on-field promotions (which was one of my favorite jobs and the best summer ever). We were all sad to see them leave, but excited (albeit confused) when we learned they’d be replaced by the Savannah Bananas league. Little did we know a new type of circus would be coming to town. (Seriously, they call themselves a baseball circus.)
After going to a few games and seeing the fun they brought to our city, Savannah embraced the Bananas as its new hometown baseball league, never knowing what was to come. Fast forward to TikTok bringing them global fame and now none of us OGs can get tickets (easily, at least) to see them. I’ve managed to go to a game or two the past two summers, and this year when I was invited to be a member of their inaugural K-Club I quickly accepted. The K-Club was $59 and allowed guaranteed early access to purchase tickets plus an exclusive welcome package. But guess what? My time slot to purchase tickets rolled around, and I still couldn’t even buy tickets! Somehow bots or scammers still managed to ruin it for us, even the “exclusive” club members.
A baseball team I helped name by voting for my favorite of three team names from a Savannah news Internet poll I can’t even get tickets to go see. Just wild.
It’s all unfortunate and extremely maddening. Is it the Bananas’ fault? Is it their ticket site’s fault? Is it the Internet’s fault? Who is to blame, and why can’t anyone get it under control? This same thing happened to so many people who just wanted to go see Taylor Swift in concert in 2023, but after waiting hours online in the “waiting room,” they were left in disappointment and heartbreak. I was one of those millions of Taylor fans who set their alarm, made themselves OOO on Microsoft Teams for two hours, and waited in line on multiple Ticketmaster accounts while my friend was doing the same on her end, trying to buy tickets to see one of our favorite artists, only to make it to the checkout screen for all tickets to be sold out. Fortunately, she was luckier than I, and we were able to go see her without paying more than face value for an upper-level seat.
I’m not sure what the answer is, but there has to be one. There has to be a way to be able to buy tickets to something you or your kids are looking forward to going to without having an anxiety attack leading up to it wondering if you’re going to get a presale code, another while trying to get in the queue, and another while hopping you’re going to get to that checkout confirmation screen. It’s not fair to us, for the entertainers to be instantly turned into the bad guys for “letting it happen” when it’s really out of their hands, and to our kids who should be able to go to something as simple as a baseball game.
Beat it, bots. Go “like” Instagram pictures and send random DMs about fake followers, but leave the tickets to those who work hard to spend their money on events and experiences they want to attend to make lifelong memories with their friends and families. Stop ruining it for all of us, and ticket sites, stop letting it happen. Because this sh*t is bananas.