Sneaking into Scottrade: a shameful 7-year anniversary
I had sneaked into three World Series Games, a Wimbledon final and “Game of the Century” in college football. I would keep sneaking into the Super Bowl. But at the Scottrade Center on that date seven years ago, everything went wrong.
My brother and I had tickets to a sold-out Saturday night Blues-Sabers game. Bruce, my friend in Mizzou, was from Buffalo and wanted to see his hometown team as well.
I gave him my ticket and told him to come in and head for a set of exit-only gates in front of section 108. I had done the same a year earlier, with another friend, before a game against Chicago. It had worked perfectly.
I went to those same doors and stayed outside to wait for Bruce. He arrived shortly after and opened them. I entered. We turned to go up a nearby staircase, but a security guard was standing on the first step. He grabbed me by the shoulder.
I yelled at Bruce, “Run!” He could have slipped out of the guard’s other hand and sprinted up the stairs. At least one of us would have.
The guard said, “Stop there. Bruce froze on the first step.
The guard pushed open the door and pushed me out. He made Bruce hand over his ticket, then shoved him out too. We crossed the street with our heads down.
“Dude, I’m so sorry,” I said. “I want you to know: I’m totally ashamed of myself.”
“No, don’t worry about it, I agreed to do it. Let’s just grab a few tickets and enjoy the game.
The game started, the scalpers got desperate to offload their inventory, and they lowered their prices. We bought two standing tickets, but sat in the row of our original tickets, next to Connor. It didn’t occur to me that we should have sat anywhere else – until I saw that same security guard walking up the stairs to our seats.
“You should be fine,” I whispered to Bruce. “We have legitimate tickets. Guess he kept your previous ticket and decided to check this line? I do not understand.
“You’re out of your game, Trev.”
The guard approached our seats and said to follow him. We did, in the lobby, where two more guards and a supervisor surrounded us.
They took us to the police room, which contained a small holding cell. From the escalator, I could see the lower level lobby. If we ran as soon as we reached the bottom we could climb a small maintenance staircase that led to a door that would lead us outside. But we hadn’t done anything wrong – at least not since we were first arrested and punished accordingly.
We arrived at the police room. “Guys,” I said before anyone else could speak, “I admit it: we tried to sneak in before. But then we bought legal tickets. I showed them to the supervisor, whom I recognized when I was working there He didn’t seem to recognize me.
“You were told not to come back tonight,” the supervisor said.
“No sir, that’s not true. We were never told we couldn’t come back.
Fortunately, the original guard spoke up: “He’s right. I said something like, ‘Have a good night, guys.’ “
“Well, look, here’s the deal,” the supervisor said. “Go now, don’t try to come back, and we won’t involve the cops.”
Part of me was proud of my old colleagues (I had worked at the Scottrade Center as a usher and ticket taker for two years in high school). They were the first to foil one of my sneaky attempts. They closed the doors and followed by checking the seat on the confiscated ticket. They deserved more credit than I gave them.
But I sat quietly, scowling, as Bruce and I watched the rest of the game at a bar across the street.
I had let it down. I was pissed off at myself. I had become careless. I didn’t tell Bruce to look around before opening the door for me. I forgot that the security guard had Bruce’s ticket and would know how to check this seat. I thought my knowledge of the arena would make it an easy ride, and I hadn’t bothered to bring my A-Game.
I needed to find my A-Game – fast. Getting caught in a regular season hockey game by arena security was one thing. But getting caught in the Super Bowl two weeks later by Homeland Security would be another.
If you liked this story, you’ll love my book, Ticketless: How To Sneak Into The Super Bowl And Everything (Almost) Held My Life Together. It is available on Amazon, HERE.