Winter Classic Tickets in High Demand in the Hub

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Winter Classic Tickets in High Demand in the Hub The 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park has quickly become one of the hottest tickets in the history of Boston sports.

Out of the three Winter Classics held so far, the historic event set for Friday at Fenway has dwarfed the other games in Buffalo (2008) and Chicago (2009) in terms of demand for access to tickets.

According to Don Renzulli, the executive vice president of events for the NHL, the number of entries into the lottery for tickets to the 2010 Winter Classic was up over 70,000 from 2009.

"I would say it's greater. From what we are hearing, especially from the Bruins and Red Sox, the phone is ringing off the hook," Renzulli told USA Today on Nov. 16. "Everyone is playing an angle trying to get tickets. We had more than 307,000 people sign up for our lottery for tickets. [That's up more than 70,000 from last year.] There is a lot of buzz up there. We were there last week and we met with the city, fire and police officials and they are saying this is the biggest thing that has come to Boston outside of Game 7 of the World Series."

There ended up being more than 310,000 entries into the lottery by the time it ended. In addition to the lottery, both the Bruins and Flyers season ticket holders were given the option to buy tickets, and according to one Bruins ticket office member, those sold out in a hurry as well.

Between the lottery, season ticket holder sales and corporate tickets, the Winter Classic will have a sold-out crowd of 40,000 on hand for the game on Friday. Though the game has sold out, it doesn’t mean fans have stopped trying to get in. There are always contests giving away tickets, and ticket broker agencies and scalpers who will gladly let you mortgage away next month’s utility bills to get into Fenway Park on Friday.

While prices are dropping a bit due to possible rain and a slight chance the game could be postponed until Saturday if it were to rain, it is still difficult to find anything for face value.

Take a peek on Craigslist.com and on average, prices are still above face value. But on the streets, Bruins tickets are selling for prices not seen since the old Boston Garden was standing and Bruins vice president Cam Neely was lacing them up.

"I haven’t seen anything like this since the late 80s or early 90s, when Neely and Bourque played and the team was always a Cup contender," one scalper told NESN.com recently. "I got $400 for crummy grandstand seats in right field. Its unbelievable people are paying the prices they’re paying. It’s like the Beatles reunited and George Harrison and John Lennon came back from the dead or something. They are definitely paying top dollar."

As this scalper pointed out, the fact that clear sight lines are limited due to this being a baseball park hasn’t stopped the demand.

"I think it’s like one of those events like I said, an historic concert, the World Series or the Super Bowl, where you go just to say you were there and to take in the environment," the scalper said. "It’s more about the event and the magnitude or hype surrounding it."

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NESN.com's James Murphy will be answering one Winter Classic question each day leading up to the event.

Tuesday, Dec. 28: Will the elements be a factor on New Year’s Day?

Wednesday, Dec. 30: Which celebrities/NHL legends are playing in the charity game on Jan. 2?

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