Online ticket seller StubHub is seeing a huge demand for Masters Tournament badges. (April 4, 2011 / WRDW-TV)
News 12 at 11 o'clock / Monday, April 4, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It's considered the hottest ticket in town, but for the past couple of years brokers say the demand for a Masters badge has been down. This year, brokers like StubHub say that's not the case.
As the crowd of patrons marched onto the course Monday, they were armed with cameras and badges, ready to be a part of golf history.
"It was spectacular," Lou Hoenig of New York said. "I have watched the Masters on television for 30 to 40 years and I felt like I was walking on the footsteps of many many years of golf history."
For the first time, Lou and Barbara, his wife of 53 years, watched the golfers in person.
"We are celebrating my wife's 75th birthday and I surprised her with a gift for the Masters," Lou said.
You would think a badge is Lou's birthday gift not Barbara's.
"It was not my birthday and it was some place I really wanted to go so we combined the two," Lou said.
But the trip for two from New York was for the love of the game, something StubHub says they're seeing in record numbers.
"It's one of those things that fans put on their bucket list and what we're seeing this year is that even up from last year and all previous years in StubHub history," Joellen Ferrer of StubHub said.
The most popular tickets, the Par 3 tournament, which are running around $600 and the 4-day tournament pass, averaging a whopping $3,500.
"They are paying that and that is higher than last year," Ferrer said. "Fans are realizing that they have more discretionary income."
But it's not just first time patron's like the Hoenig's this year, Ferrer said.
"We also are seeing a lot of people are coming on the corporate side and coming to different hospitality locations," she said.
StubHub said they saw the same type of demand increase during the Super Bowl earlier this year.