Meadowlands Miracle - Box Office GA at 8:45 pm! - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-19-2005, 07:56 PM   #1
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Meadowlands Miracle - Box Office GA at 8:45 pm!

I already posted this story in a thread about ticket drops, but I kinda think it deserves its own thread as a "fan experience" - it certainly was that! I am still in shock from what happened to my friend and I yesterday. Sorry for the length here but I just have to tell some people this story!

We didn’t have tickets to the 5/18 show at Continental Airlines Arena, but wanted to get GA through either the TM drop or box office drop. Monday night I was able to pull up 5/17 GA on TM, but I couldn’t go that day. I kept trying for the 5/18 ones all day 5/17 on TM, figuring that they’d come up in the evening, but they didn’t. Nor did they come up the next morning (day of show). So off we set on the drive from Philly up to the Meadowlands, arriving about 3 pm, making a few phone calls to TM on the way to make sure we weren’t missing a drop. The TM guy told me they wouldn’t be turning sales over to the arena box office until 5, which was different than the 3 pm figure the box office had given me the day before.

When we arrived, CAA security were handing out numbered wristbands to people who wanted to wait for the ticket drop at the box office, so we each got a wristband. These became very important later. Security basically told us that they wouldn’t start selling any tickets until much later – I think they said it had been 7 or 7:30 the night before. This was disappointing news, especially given that several of our friends had gotten GAs from the box office at Philly around 3 pm the previous Saturday. We then went around back to try to meet the band, since they had shown up around 3:30 on 5/17, but unfortunately for us they had already arrived around 2 to do their Good Morning America interview with Diane Sawyer. We waited a good while but they never came out. A little later I ran into njelevation06, who I knew just barely from a UPenn connection. He hadn’t realized that I was such a huge fan or was on interference, so it was nice to talk some U2 with him.

As 6 pm approached there was still no sign of tickets at the box office. We watched the GA lines go in since the entrance to the floor was right next to the box office, in the same lobby (we were waiting outside, across the street from the box office, next to the GA people). Finally, around 6:45, after all the people in GA lines had been let in, a phalanx of security came out to the line of people waiting for tickets, which numbered maybe 75. Some sort of security chief told us very adamantly (you might say belligerently) that there were no GA available, only seats. We knew the GA could still come later, but decided to take a chance on seats.

Security attempted to line us up, and started taking in groups of five at a time, in numbered order according to our wristbands. I couldn’t believe the security around this process. Just to get into the box office we had to be escorted through the patdown security that people with tickets were going through (exponentially more scrutiny than the Chicago shows, BTW). When we got into the box office, there was one window open selling tickets, and there was a security guard on each side of the window! One of these guards had a pair of scissors that he used to snip off your wristband as you approached the window. Just as I saw that he was going to ask to cut my wristband, I turned to my friend who was behind me in line and wondered if she might want to go back outside to avoid getting her wristband cut, in case we decided to come back for GAs. She and another guy in line who we had been talking with decided on that strategy and headed back outside. That was one of the best decisions of the night – it turned out to be crucial that she kept her wristband. When I got to the window, after they cut my wristband, they told me there were only $167 tickets available. That was out of our price range, so I went back outside. After about another half hour of waiting (by this time all sorts of new people had shown up who didn’t have wristbands, as they had stopped giving them out), my friend got to go back in for a second wave of tickets because she still had the wristband. Once again, they only had $167 tickets, so she came back out before they could cut her wristband. When that wave of tickets sold out, security suggested that everyone leave, but said people could stay if they wanted, so we did, along with some of the others. Around 8-8:15 security came out and said they had 4 $97 tickets, and a long argument (in which we weren’t involved) ensued about who should get them. Security finally decided—and the “losers” protested so much that security found them someone selling tickets for face value on the street! I couldn’t believe that because they are so stringent on prohibiting resale on site at the Meadowlands.

After that incident security insisted that there would be no more tickets, but still we stuck around with maybe 30 others. Only 3 besides my friend still had wristbands. Finally around 8:35 we decided to give up on the box office and head for the outer parking lots to try to scrounge some cheap seats from anyone selling. We got about 30 yards away when for some reason we stopped to look back (good move). To our surprise, we saw yellow-jacketed security man #932 (our friendly guide for much of the evening) returning to our group, so we hustled back over there and my still-wristbanded friend went up by the other three still-wristbanded people to hear what he was saying. A couple minutes later she signaled me to come over. #932 turned us over to an apparently higher-ranking colleague, who escorted us around the side of the pat-down area, through some bushes, and moved a barricade to get us into the box office! He marched the five of us up to the window and was asking me how many more people were outside (I never learned their fate – any of you on here?) They sold tickets—not sure what kind—to the first three people. Then my friend went up to the window and said she wanted the lowest-priced tickets. The teller said he could do it, but when she asked where they were he didn’t say anything, just executed the transaction. Next thing I know, my friend is turning around with this astonished look on her face, holding out the tickets toward me—they say GA!!!!!!!!!!!! GA from the box office at 8:45!!!!!!! How unreal is that? Since the box office was right next to the GA entrance, we just made a U-turn into that line, got wristbanded, and were almost immediately on the floor—completely stunned! We maneuvered our way fairly easily to just about 10 rows back of the tip of the Ellipse, almost dead center, where we had a great view of Bono’s entrance, Love and Peace, and Yahweh among others.

In the span of ten minutes, we went from walking toward the parking lot to the middle of the GA floor! The big unanswered question is whether there was really an ultra-last minute GA drop, or whether they just created some GA for us on the spot. (All the tickets sold that night were printed on New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority ticket stock rather than TM stock – is that typical for box office drops?) It would be even greater if the latter were true, but whatever the case it was an unforgettable U2 moment. The band obliged with a truly amazing show, but this post is already too long for me to go on about that. Suffice to say we felt like about the most fortunate fans in the house—except for The Bank Robbers! A huge thanks to #932 and the other CAA security who went the extra mile for fans in line—and especially to the guy in the box office if he created GAs just for us!
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Old 05-19-2005, 08:08 PM   #2
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Amazing story kikehisy, glad I was able to see you along the way! Your heart must have been pounding, what a way to start a U2 show.
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Old 05-19-2005, 08:10 PM   #3
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Let's establish this as the record for the latest official purchase of a GA ticket before a show
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:42 PM   #4
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Great story! Just goes to show when you are nice to the security people and patient, faith will be rewared!
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Old 05-22-2005, 09:45 AM   #5
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great story. thats amazing
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