Tulsa’s BOK Center : The Day of Purgatory for an Tulsa Oilers Fan

First off, let me say, I do not blame the Oilers for the BOK Center problems. In fact, they are the only reason I am breaking my boycott of the center at all. That, and because as long as I’m paying for a center I didn’t vote for; the least I can do is see what I bought.

The 2008-2009 season opening is scheduled for Saturday Oct. 25. I have known about the game ever since it was announced. After some procrastinating and honestly being too busy to stop, on my part, which included missing the free tickets from U.S. Cellular (doh); I decided to do some searching to buy tickets.

First I went to the Tulsaoilers.com site. It has a fresh new look, and interesting features, like the listening to the game link, as well as the fans center. Overall, it was ok, but most of the links were not intuitive.

The ticket center led me away from the Oilers site and to the Tickets.com site. On Tickets.com, you can buy your tickets; but you can’t choose your seats, or even the section; only the prices are available.

To make matters worse, there isn’t even a seating chart to let you know what the heck your buying! After choosing how many tickets you want and what prices your willing to cough up (much, much, much more than last season btw) the screen tells you there is a huge processing “convenience” fee. A “CONVENIENCE FEE!” for what? Using the crappy website to buy tickets I can’t choose in a section I don’t know!

After my blood pressure returns to normal, I try the BOK Center site directly. The site is also slow, and uneasy to navigate. However, when you finally do get to the buying tickets part (after four links to links) you are shunted to the same Tickets.com come crap in a cool new BOK Center wrapper. The BOK Center has the same “convenience fee”, the same lack of choices, and the same layout down to the buttons as Tickets.com. Did they think we wouldn’t notice??

Again, re-calming, I attempted to reach a human at the BOK Center to see if the box office would be staffed during my normal lunch hour. I tried for over 20 minutes to get to a human. No answer at any number, direct line, non-direct line, option 1, 2, 3, 0 ,9 ,5; nothing helped.

Evermore frustrated, I called the local ticket dealers. Reasors passed me around three stores till someone said “our computer system is down for that.” The Oilers center in mid-town won’t sell tickets. Finally, Homeland will sell tickets but also charges a $9.00 per ticket fee. IS THIS HOCKEY OR BUYING AIRLINE TICKETS!!!

In a last ditch effort, I decide to drive all the way downtown. I didn’t know what “convenience fees” are using for the Arby’s Box Office, or even if there was good parking in the middle of the day. As I said before; I don’t blame the Oilers, I am a fan.
So, I get downtown, I stand in line; of which there are only two. That’s right, two-lines for the single largest venue in Tulsa; TWO LINES!!! While I am waiting the person operating my line, (1 of 2) walks away. Four minutes later, I find that the section that I want is not available for this game; BOK isn’t selling cheap seats (cheap at $10.00 per seat – not that cheap). However, they are willing to sell me seats twice the price. Begrudgingly I bought the tickets. Again, a fee was attached. Two dollars per ticket, to have the privilege of paying for a center that I am already paying for.

Recap the costs:

30 mins on-line
30 mins on the phone
45 mins in traffic
15 mins in line (FYI- 20 min free parking limit in front of the center)
20 Miles round trip
$2.00 fee per ticket ( I got five tickets, hockey is a family affair )

Fees: $10.00
Tickets: $100.00
Time Cost: 120 mins (all of my lunch hour, plus some; luckily my boss understands)

Basically, I will need to work late to make up the time one day, and late again another five days to re-coup the costs; if we don’t eat, drink, or breath while at the game.

After all the frustration, this may be the last time I see a live Oilers game. But I will always be watching online.

Will someone remind me why we have this center in the first place?

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