A trip to the College World Series has long been on Jeff Glauber's bucket list.
For his 50th birthday, Glauber, his wife and three baseball-playing sons will make the 1,200-mile trip from their home in the Philadelphia suburb of Doylestown. They plan to attend four midweek games at this year's CWS, which runs from June 15 to 26.
There is one rub. When he purchased their tickets during the sale to the public on April 13, he could not buy five tickets together.
The NCAA and College World Series of Omaha Inc. limits buyers during the public sale to four reserved-seat tickets at a time. Kathryn Morrissey, executive director of CWS of Omaha Inc., said the rule is in place to prevent individuals from buying up large blocks of tickets and possibly scalping them.
“That number has served us well in order to try to distribute tickets as widely as we can,” Morrissey said. “We know that it's tough in a situation like this, and we've continually evaluated the policy.
“If we would raise the limit to six, then we wouldn't be able to accommodate that family of seven. If it's eight, then what about that family of nine? Unfortunately, there is no ideal number.”
Glauber calls the four-ticket limit “anti-family” and has started a petition at Change.org asking for the NCAA to change its policy. On Monday, the petition achieved 50 signatures.
“I'm hoping that we can get this rule changed for the future,” he said in a telephone interview. “Baseball is a family activity, and the rule they have in place now is not right for families.”
The majority of the reserved seats at TD Ameritrade Park are sold as season tickets, but the NCAA does hold out a portion for sale to the public. This year, there were 881 reserved-seat tickets available for each of the first four games and the first two games of the CWS championship series, and 1,079 tickets each for games five through 12.
Glauber, who turns 50 on June 18, purchased tickets, in blocks of two and three, for games played on June 19, 20 and 21.
“We are making the trip to Omaha and we're being forced to sit apart, in different sections in some cases,” Glauber said. “To me, the policy is anti-family. It's ridiculous that we're coming all that way and we're being forced to sit apart.”
Glauber's sons are ages 16, 13 and 10 years old. He said he contacted CWS of Omaha Inc. officials after purchasing tickets and was told there was nothing that could be done to accommodate his request to get five seats together.
Morrissey said Glauber was told he could purchase five tickets together in the upper bowl as they were still available.
“We offered to help him,” Morrissey said, “but he declined.”
Glauber said he doesn't believe his family should have to sit in the upper bowl just so that they can be together.
“I don't want to sit in the upper bowl,” he said. “We're coming 1,200 miles for an event that we've always wanted to see. We already have tickets in the lower bowl. We shouldn't be forced to sit in the upper deck just so we can sit together.”
Morrissey said she empathizes with Glauber, but the policy is in place to allow the greatest access to available tickets for the public.
“We did our research, and four seems to be the standard number that a lot of events use,” she said. “We know that won't accommodate everyone, but it provides a lot of fans the opportunity to purchase tickets.
“When I think of sporting events, I can't think of one that is more fan-friendly than the CWS. We go out of way to accommodate families.”
Glauber would disagree.
“Baseball is a family sport,” he said. “To have to split your family up to attend the games is ludicrous.”
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