Like many blogs, I have an “About this Blog” page for my site that gives some of my background and explains what the theme is behind my posts.
Occasionally I get comments on this page, and a little while back, someone wrote about a point that I had not thought of in a long time: How we got tickets for WWF cards back in 1980s.
“Or even try to buy tickets to an event was a mystery (my parents were immigrants, had no credit card),” my commenter wrote. “I would have killed to go to WM3 as many others I knew, too. But again, the whole process was a lot tougher than the modern era, where the machinery of the process is much more efficient and widespread.”
These days you can find out on many of the wrestling websites what the passwords are for advanced tickets for WWE shows in major markets. I can know exactly when to buy tickets for cards at my hometown arena, the TD Garden here in Boston, or other big stadiums across the country.
Back in 1989, when I was going to monthly Saturday night WWF shows at the old Boston Garden, I grabbed tickets for me and my friends the first the Monday after the prior house show by waiting in line at the Garden box office. I would sometimes be there when the box office opened just to get center balcony tickets, which as I’ve explained many times in my blog were my favorite seats at the old Garden.
I went to college at Northeastern University in Boston, but I still lived at home and took the commuter rail in each day. My train went to North Station, which the locals in Boston know is directly below the TD Garden and the old Boston Garden.
Sometimes I charged the WWF tickets on my credit card, which depending on how many people were going, put me back 200 bucks on a $1,000 credit limit in those days. When that happened, I immediately started hounding people to buck up what they owed me.
Other times, I walked over to the box office with a wad of cash, which sounds really stupid in hindsight given how nasty and probably unsafe North Station and box office area used to be.
And when the big moment came, there I was negotiating with some hack behind the window over the closest balcony row I could get. Talk about a great job: Those old guys seriously made a career out of doing face-to-face ticket sales. In the room behind the tickets windows, it kind of looked like the scene in Martin Scorsese’s movie Casino when the mob’s front man came into the cash room to illegally take a share of the casino’s profit back to the bosses. I doubt many people are staffing box offices these days at arenas like they did back then.
And when the purchase was over, I walked away with anywhere from four to 12 tickets in hand, stuffed into a book bag or my pocket while I headed to school. No electronic ticketing back then.
It felt so cool to have the actual tickets, knowing that in about four weeks you’d be back at the Garden on a Saturday sitting up in the balcony, looking down on the ring.
It was a routine I did every month, but also a routine that disappeared into the haze of wrestling history.