September 30, 1948
The Cleveland Indians need a bigger ballpark.
That seems impossible for a team that has housed over 82,000 for a June doubleheader, but it appears to be the case involving the fans’ outpour for World Series ticket requests. According to Indians team president Bill Veeck, the organization has received approximately 2.5 million ticket requests in the first 48 hours since the ball club has begun accepting applications.
Beginning on Tuesday, fans could send requests for tickets to the potential series. So far, the Cleveland Indians have not officially clinched but they do hold a two-game lead over both New York and Boston with just three games to play. According to Veeck, over 200,000 fans have requested World Series tickets. Most have followed the original procedure and asked for four seats to each of the three games that would be at Cleveland Stadium.
The 2.5 million tickets requested are nearly equal to the Tribe’s season attendance through 74 home dates. Cleveland’s third full season in Municipal Stadium will set a new season attendance record for a major league baseball team. Yet it appears the Indians could seat another 2.5 million for the World Series if they had the seating.
It’s a stark contrast from when Veeck’s father was president of the Chicago Cubs in 1929. They were able to accommodate half the ticket requests. In 1932, during the depression, Chicago could not sell out their park for the World Series against the Yankees. Wrigley Field is less than half the size of Cleveland Stadium.
Unfortunately, over 2.3 million ticket requests will go unfilled. Veeck assures that bleacher seats will be available the day of the game for $1. He also understands that fans will turn to illegal scalpers, people who will resell the tickets at a marked up price.
While police have little time to concern themselves with misdemeanor crimes like ticket scalping at what is sure to be a major event, Veeck promises that any Indians season ticket holder caught selling their tickets for above face value will not be welcome to purchase tickets for the 1949 season.