The Red Sox, whose home games are always sold out, reserve some tickets for last minute purchase: At Sold-Out Fenway, a Way in for Patient Fans .
"For every home contest, whether a weekday game in April or a Game 7 in October, the Red Sox set aside some tickets for fans who did not plan ahead. There may be a few dozen seats available, there may be a few hundred. The point is, they are available, every game, for those who waited too long but are willing to wait a bit longer.
Starting five hours before the scheduled first pitch, fans can line up on the sidewalk near Gate E, around the corner from hectic Yawkey Way. There is a red-and-white sign reading “Game Day Ticket Sales,” and there are a pair of green roll-up doors. Two hours before the game, the doors are raised and tickets are sold at face value. "
"“To us, it’s part of a long-term strategy,” said Ron Bumgarner, the team’s vice president for ticketing. “We do not want every fan at Fenway Park to be a season-ticket holder with 81 games. We want as many different people in Red Sox Nation as possible to be able to come to the games.”
Such a system comes with strict rules, and several copies of them are pasted near Gate E. First, five hours is deemed the perfect amount of wait time — too short to spend the night (which used to be allowed, but created the predictable unruliness) but long enough to make it a bit of a chore.
Second, fans must stay in line and cannot save spaces for other fans. In other words, no sitting across the street at the Cask ’n Flagon, or under the center-field stands at the Bleacher Bar, draining beverages while a buddy reserves a spot until the last minute.
Third, once the tickets are purchased — only one per person — fans must enter the ballpark. That means no scalping the ticket to the highest bidder, a temptation for big games."