CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Dozens of Indians fans showed up to the Progressive Field box office in the wee hours of Thursday morning to buy tickets to Cleveland's first World Series in 19 years, only to be told they were only being sold online.
"I got here at a quarter after two," said one man, who was already behind about six other people in line at that time. The man said that he and the other guests had to wait in the rain until 7 a.m., when they were finally allowed on the premises. Security guards brought them garbage bags to stay dry.
Some of the guests who waited for hours in the cold were eventually able to get tickets. Although the team told everyone in line around 9 a.m. that they would not be able to get tickets in person, the box office opened at 10, selling tickets to a few people before turning the rest of the line away after announcing a sell out around 10:30.
Guests had showed up early believing they would be allowed to buy tickets when the box office opened at 9 a.m.—a misunderstanding coming from the Indians website, which said that tickets for games could be purchased at the box office during regular hours. Fans who don't have credit cards showed up in person because it was their only option.
Some people said they went to the box office in person on Wednesday and were told they could buy in person Thursday morning; others said they called the box office yesterday and were told that, if they showed up at 10 a.m., they would be able to buy tickets in person.
"When we called yesterday, myself and another lady, and then the people [in line] down there, they told us that the window would be open at 10, that we could come down and there would be tickets available for us to buy," said Diane Duryea, who, like most people, stayed in line even after she was told she wouldn't be able to buy tickets in hope that the box office would eventually open.
"I can't imagine that they would go against their word," said Duryea. "It wasn't just me that was told that. It was other people, and it's on their website that postseason tickets are available online and at the box office. I take their word for it. I can't imagine the Indians are liars, that they wouldn't sell us tickets."
While Duryea waited on line, she and many others also tried to get tickets online on their phones or laptops. However, most were unsuccessful; online tickets sold out in just 12 minutes.
"I think online is bad because we'll be crowded with Cubs fans if they win the game," said Duryea, who believes that many of the online tickets are bought by bots who just resell them on websites like StubHub. "I have bought a lot of tickets through the years. I feel like they should have given some way to people who have been loyal fans to buy tickets."
The team did have a program where Indians Insiders and season ticket holders got a special code to try to get tickets a day ahead of the public. Many of the people in line, including Duryea, were Insiders who had tried to get them early, but were blocked out of the online system.
"I'm gonna sit here and cry if I can't get tickets," said Duryea. "I have traveled all over the country to watch baseball this year. I saw them in Texas. I traveled 3,500 miles to watch baseball this summer. I really love baseball, and I really want to see the Indians win the World Series."
Duryea was one of the lucky few who was able to get tickets. Others got there too late and missed out. Even more unlucky people had waited for hours, but got pushed to the back of the line in the shuffling and disorganization.
"We deserve tickets for waiting in line," said one woman.
Numerous verbal fights broke out, with a few guests being taken kicked out by police after people said they were cutting in line.
"This is the Dolans taking advantage of fans," said one guest.
"Are you going to sell the seats on StubHub?" screamed another.
Another man punched someone else waiting in line in the face after a fight about tickets before being taken away by police.
Indians personnel made it clear to fans that, from here on in, it is online only ticket sales for the World Series.
Cleveland celebrates first World Series berth since '97
AL champion Cleveland Indians arrive home
VIDEO: Cavs cheer from Ohio City restaurant as Indians become AL champions
DICK'S offers extended hours to sell AL championship gear
Andrew Miller's Moment: Cleveland reliever chosen MVP of ALCS
Lindor predicted Indians World Series trip two years ago
Here are a bunch of GIFs of the Indians celebrating their AL championship win
Ryan Merritt played Clash of Clans before starting Game 5
Download the Cleveland 19 News app.