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Get your World Series tickets!

Oops. Too late if you are a White Sox fan:

Gone are the days of diehards pitching tents outside the ticket window; White Sox World Series tickets were sold exclusively online or by phone for the first time.

Those who got through at noon were entered in a queue of 130,000 users. "Several thousand" assorted seats for each of four possible home games, priced between $125 and $185, were gone in 18 minutes, said team spokeswoman Katie Kirby.

18 minutes! Wow. And if the ticket servers could have handled the traffic that was shut down due to congestion, it might have been more like 1.8 minutes.

Of course, you can rely on those skilled or lucky enough to grab what they could in the internet queue, but the price is pretty steep.

Ticket reseller StubHub! sold a pair of seats six rows behind home plate for $7,500 each, according to spokesman Sean Pate. The least expensive seat on StubHub.com was $515 in the far reaches of the upper deck.

"We've sold 12 times as many tickets for this year's World Series as we did for the Red Sox and Cardinals last year," Pate said.

He estimated 10,000 tickets were probably made available Tuesday for each of the games at U.S. Cellular Field. That could be as many as four games or as few as two.

Most of the rest of the tickets were presumably allocated to season ticket holders, corporate insiders, and other friends of Jerry (Reinsdorf, the owner). And those with a little savvy and a bit of dough could jump the queue on Monday by purchasing a classic tie-in:

Before the Internet and phone sale, more than 1,000 season tickets for 2006 had been sold Monday and even more on Tuesday. These purchases entitled the buyers to tickets for this World Series--a marketing plan that allowed current demand for tickets to fill next year's seats.

"Season ticket-holders are valuable customers who make the commitment in advance, they fill the seats in April and September," Kirby said. "We saw this as an opportunity to give those folks a reward now for committing to next year."

I love the marketing language: "give those folks a reward" ... for letting us extract their consumer surplus!! Still, there may have been a profit opportunity here. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have bought two season tickets, six or seven rows behind home plate.