Facing Torture in the Pit of Despair

Arizona Diamondbacks’ seat relocation is an awful lot like the water-powered torture machine built by Count Rugen in the movie The Princess Bride. That machine was built to rob men of years of their life. It came with a lever that would allow the torturer to select how many years they wanted to take away from their victim.

The torture machine utilized by the Diamondbacks for seat relocation is powered by the calendar. Season ticket holders are strapped into the device when they begin filling out the forms notifying the team that they would like to change seat locations. On the surface the forms look relatively painless but as you begin to delve into them in more detail they become diabolical in nature.

The form requires you to identify three possible seat locations you would prefer to your current seats. There is no way to know what seats may be available or if your preferences are even feasible. The odd thing is those preferences really don’t mean anything and are more or less ignored since the season ticket holder goes down to the stadium to choose their seats and the form has long since been turned in making it a memory game where you try to remember what those three seat locations were in the first place.

torture_pbThe forms had to be turned in by September 30 and along with it your season ticket account must be current and up-to-date from a payment perspective to even get into the seat relocation game. Once the forms have been turned in, that is when the torture begins.

The season ticket office accumulates all of the forms and develops a master seat relocation list that will tell them how many people actually want to change seats. They will then create a schedule of Select-A-Seat appointments based on priority number and notify groups of season ticket holders when they will be required to come to Chase Field to begin the process.

This is really when the torture begins. You have no way of knowing how many season ticket holders from last year have renewed their tickets and there is no way to know how many of those returning want to change their seats. With each passing day, the torturer clicks another day on Rugen’s diabolical machine and removes a year from your life.

After what seemed like an eternity I received an email from the Arizona Diamondbacks notifying me of when my Select-A-Seat appointment was scheduled. This year the date of destiny is October 28 at 2 PM. I am to bring my appointment card to Chase Field and enter in Gate E.

At the appointed time all of the season ticket holders will be given a short introduction to the process then sent out into the stadium in a mad dash to select their seats for the upcoming season. It is a lot like musical chairs.

Available seats will have a paper attached to them. You can walk around for a predefined time then when the music stops you must select your seat. If two people want the same seat, the season ticket holder with the lowest priority number wins.

This ends up being the longest half hour of your life as you try to protect your desired seats while trying to make all the other season ticket holders think the seats are the worst in the stadium so they will look elsewhere.

If you are successful, joy and happiness abound and there is dancing and singing with liberal high-fives given to everyone within earshot. If you are not successful, well then you end up much like Wesley in the Princess Bride. You are “mostly dead” and your friends carry you out of the stadium and search the village for Miracle Max.


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