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The Second-to-Last Play at Shea

By Brian | February 27, 2008 | Share on Facebook

So I get this e-mail a couple of weeks ago from Citigroup, marketers of my Citi MasterCard. It says I have an opportunity to purchase advance tickets to Billy Joel’s “Last Play at Shea” concert on July 16th, which will be the last rock concert at Shea Stadium before they tear it down in favor of the new Citi Field, currently being built in the parking lot next door (funny how Citi’s name is all over everything here, right?)

Little did I know how valuable an e-mail that was…

At 9AM on Saturday (2/16), I logged on to 507tixx.com and put in my special password. Viola – I got right in and purchased four tickets on the field. They were a bit pricey ($110/ticket), but what the heck – it’ll be a special night, right? The last concert ever at Shea Stadium. History.

Well, not so much. It seems that Mets season ticket holders were allowed to buy tickets two days earlier, and then the rest of the stadium sold out in 48 minutes. Also, 507tixx.com had problems handling all the volume, and by 10AM on Saturday, a lot of angry, shut-out Billy Joel fans found 441 listings for tickets on StubHub, top asking price: $99,215. As a result, a second show was added on July 18th, making the show I bought tickets for the (somewhat less historic) Second-to-Last Play at Shea.

I’m of mixed emotions on this. On the one hand, I thought I was going to see history being made, and now there’s a little less of that. On the other hand, Joel has always been disgusted by scalpers, so I’m sure he’s no fan of StubHub either. Adding a second show definitely gave fans who weren’t able to buy tickets another chance to do so at (somewhat) reasonable prices. On the third hand (what? why can’t there be three hands?), history aside, if I knew there were two shows in the first place, I would definitely have tried for the Friday night show, avoiding the need to trek out to Queens on a Wednesday night (I live in New Jersey, so it’s a schlep – especially on a work night).

On the whole, I’m not really upset at all. I’ve always enjoyed his concerts, even the more recent ones, and this will still be a special night. Also, it’s not like there isn’t any history here. The July 16th show will make Joel the first (and last) musician ever to play New York’s four major sports venues: Shea Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Giants Stadium and Madison Square Garden. And the concert will be the night after the All-Star Game, which will take place across the river in Yankee Stadium, so we’ll get to hear Billy Joel’s take on that game first hand. All in all, it should be a great night…

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