Cubs selling 60 $10 tickets to all home games via lottery

Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:

The Cubs will offer 60 $10 tickets to every 2018 home game via an online lottery, borrowing a page from the theater business, the team announced Wednesday.

Seats will be in the terrace reserved section of Wrigley Field’s lower deck.

The Cubs previously have sold postseason tickets via lottery but never regular-season tickets — and never reduced-price tickets.

“With the team’s continued success, Cubs tickets have become harder than ever to get,” team business president Crane Kenney said in a statement. “(This) program helps address the cost and limited availability of Cubs tickets.”

Registration at (or via the MLB Ballpark app) opens 48 hours before games and closes 24 hours before first pitch. But for the home opener Monday against the Pirates, fans can register immediately and through 1:20 p.m. Sunday. There is no fee to enter.

Selected fans will get an email notification a minimum of 12 hours before game time and can buy up to four tickets.

Other sports teams have sold discounted “rush” tickets. The NHL’s Lightning, for instance, sell $20 standing-room-only tickets to students within an hour before puck drop.

The White Sox have several discounted-ticket promotions throughout the season, including $5 tickets in the upper deck and $15 on the lower level for “Family Sunday” games. The Orioles have a “Kids Cheer Free” that allows kids 9 and younger in at no cost with their parents.

The Cubs’ “rush” regular-season discounted ticket lottery open to all fans is rare for a professional sports team.

Daily discount ticketing is rooted in the live theater business. The first TKTS booth opened in New York City in 1973, offering low-cost admission to events that day. And some productions offered same-day, so-called “rush” tickets to students in the late 1970s.

But according to Playbill, the true rush-ticket phenomenon began with the rock-opera “Rent” in 1996. With regular ticket prices too expensive for many younger fans, for whom the show was particularly appealing, the producers began offering cheaper $20 tickets on a first-come, first-served basis.

But when the rush lines were getting too long, the producers created a lottery. More recently, “Hamilton” has had great success with its online lottery — 44 $10 tickets sold daily for the Chicago production.

Why 60 tickets for $10 each? The Cubs are playing off Wrigley Field’s address — 1060 W. Addison St.

To promote the announcement, the Cubs on Wednesday morning set up Wrigley Field seats in front of the Picasso statue in Daley Plaza.