Dan Shaughnessy

$100 to hang around a Warriors game but not actually see it live? I’ll pass

Stephen Curry and the Warriors put on a great show at Oracle Arena — but some fans in the building can only see it on TV.
Stephen Curry and the Warriors put on a great show at Oracle Arena — but some fans in the building can only see it on TV. (ezra shaw/Getty)

Just when you think we have reached the height of absurdity regarding sports saturation and “event people” who will do absolutely anything to be part of a major sports experience, we learn of something that on the surface seems so mind-numbingly stupid, it defies all logic.

Say hello to the “In The Building Pass” currently being offered to fans of the Golden State Warriors.

For a mere $100 per month, Warriors fans who’ve been unable to score tickets can buy an “In The Building Pass,” which gives them access to all regular-season home games. For that $100, they gain entry to Oracle Arena and are invited to watch the game from Club 200 level TVs. They’re eligible for giveaways, like if it happens to be Draymond Green bobblehead night. They can use the concourse bathrooms, buy beers for $15-$17, and maybe score a bottle of water for $6.50. They can watch all the beautiful ticketed people file in and out of the arena.

But that’s it. There is no access to the actual arena. Not even standing room.


That’s right, Warrior fans. Your “In The Building Pass” prohibits you from entering the bowl. You will never see Stephen Curry in the flesh. You can watch him on the Club 200 level TVs and maybe you will hear the crowd roar when he drains a 3-pointer.

Wow. This is a new one. The Warriors are selling monthly game-day packages that allow you to do everything the other fans do . . . other than actually watch the game live.

This feels like paying $100 per month for the privilege of driving to Logan Airport, parking for $50, standing in line for a half-hour where you will be strip-searched and humiliated by TSA, then buying some bad food and gazing at the duty-free stuff that you can’t buy on the long walk to Gate E-10. Finally, you get to watch happy travelers board a plane bound for Madrid.


After the aircraft of happy passengers pulls away from the gate, you can check the Delta monitors to see when another lifts off for Spain.

But you cannot go to Spain yourself.

That’s for the people with the real tickets.

I called Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy to ask him how John Henry and Friends got beaten to the punch with this concept. Certainly, desperate Red Sox fans would be willing to pay for the privilege of using the Fenway bathrooms and buying overpriced Sam Adams while “listening” to fan reaction from the bowels of ancient Fenway.

“I don’t know much about it, but I read about it,’’ said Kennedy.

What about the concept of selling access to your ballpark, but not allowing those fans to actually watch the game live?

“We have not contemplated that product,’’ said Kennedy. “But I salute them for trying to do everything to get young people into their venue. I assume they’re trying to attract young fans who can’t afford tickets. They want to create a vibe, a buzz, an energy, and an atmosphere, and that’s a good thing.’’

It’s genius, and it makes me wonder what’s next. On nights when Davio’s is booked, might Steve DiFillippo sell $3 passes to folks willing to stand out front and smell food they cannot eat? Might the bosses at the Boston Opera House offer a $2 ticket for folks to loiter in the lobby and watch a performance of “Hamilton” on closed-circuit TV?


A Warriors employee told me that the “In the Building Pass” program is approaching 100 subscribers thus far. The Warriors plan to cap the offering at 200 passes per month.

I checked with Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca to see if the Green Team might get in on this action. The Celtics are a hot ticket. Would folks pay just to hang out in the Garden lobby and say they were there when the Celts played the Sixers?

“I think it is a creative idea to give fans an additional option for an in-arena meeting place to experience games together,’’ said Pags. “[Team president] Rich Gotham is exploring options here in context of Garden renovation to access feasibility.’’


Coming soon: In The Building Pass, Garden-style.

Not me. If I can’t watch in person, you’ll find me across the street at The Fours, thank you very much.

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @dan_shaughnessy.