Photo: Werner Kunz
Last week, the Boston Red Sox played a three-game series against the Oakland A’s and a three-game set against the Baltimore Orioles. And like the 720 games before these, the Red Sox reported all six games as “sellouts.”But were they?
Here is the attendance for all six games:
- Monday vs Oakland — 37,359
- Tuesday vs Oakland — 37,225
- Wednesday vs Oakland — 37,434
- Friday vs Baltimore — 37,223
- Saturday vs Baltimore — 37,581
- Sunday vs Baltimore — 37,394
Amazingly, all six games were reported as “sellouts,” despite five of the games being reported below Fenway’s capacity of 37,495.
So why the discrepancy? Turns out it is a matter of semantics.
While most fans would consider a “sellout” as “selling all tickets.” It turns out the Red Sox can also count tickets they give away for free. According to the Boston Globe, that was 800 tickets on Wednesday. So even though the Red Sox didn’t sell those tickets, the the total number of tickets distributed exceeded capacity.
Why is this important? The Sox are now closing in on the all-time record for consecutive sellouts in the four major North American professional sports leagues, which is 744 set by the Portland Trail Blazers. And if the Sox do break the record, it is worth noting that it took thousands of free tickets to get there.
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