Yesterday I wrote about some of the background that led to my bidding 1,060,500 Starpoints to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before game 7 of the World Series.
Some people on the internet took offense that I would spend “$10,000” or “$25,000” on the experience.
Here are my thoughts.
I earned these points by doing things like opening hundreds of credit cards over the years and taking advantage of offers that come and go, like buying hundreds of thousands of dollar coins from the US mint that I promptly deposited back into my account while banking the Starpoints.
I don’t sell my points. That’s against the terms of the programs and it’s risky.
Despite traveling in first class many times per year, I accumulate points at a faster rate than I can burn them. Even after this bid and spending 7 figures of miles annually, I still have 7 figures of Starpoints and 8 figures of total miles. And we still have 9 Fairmont accounts that come with a lifetime of free suites, massages, and scotch that I got for free thanks to DansDeals readers taking advantage of that deal. (Thank you!) What I’m trying to say is that I won’t have to stay home because of this bid.
So if the points mostly cost my time to earn, how do you assign a value to what you spend?
Daniel Eleff cashed in 1.06 million Starwood Starpoints for right to throw 1st pitch at Game 7. Points = 30+ nights at St. Regis New York.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 2, 2016
Starwood SPG member Daniel Eleff redeemed 1,060,500 pts to throw 1st pitch tonight. Equals over a month at St. Regis New York. #WorldSeries
— Matthew Rocco (@MatthewRocco) November 2, 2016
Sure, I could have stayed at the S. Regis NY or Bal Harbour for a month with the points. (Boring!) But it’s there that I’d determine value and that I’d rather spend $159 instead of 30-35K Starpoints.
But on a once-in-a-lifetime experience like stealing 2nd base or throwing out a first pitch in game 7 of the World Series?
I don’t see that as a value based decision.
Others were aghast that I spend so much on this but didn’t spend more on the Antarctica cruise bid. The difference is that the Antarctica cruise can be purchased with money, and I think that getting there is only going to get more mainstream over time. As it had a fixed value as the auction got pricier, the value proposition evaporated. It may be a once in a lifetime experience as well, but tens of thousands of people visit Antarctica annually. I do still hope to go there, but there was nothing time sensitive about Antarctica. And besides, the cruise line was not very accommodating anyway.
There have only been 38 Game 7s in history. How many people have thrown out a first pitch at Game 7 of the World Series? How many of those people threw it out while watching their favorite team playing at home?
I’d venture to say that’s a very, very low number. Probably in the single digits and way less than the hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of people who have stepped foot on Antarctica. Fans just aren’t given opportunities like that, it goes to former players and celebrities who may not even care about the team.
And with Starwood going away, their MLB partnership or the Moments auctions may go away as well.
The auction also generated a nice amount of press about DansDeals, which was a nice bonus.
And what better way is there to spend your 8th anniversary than on the field of the 7th game of the fall classic?
At any rate, the experience also came with 2 seats just 2 rows behind the Cubs dugout. I was sitting next to die-hard fans who had ponied up north of $10,000 per ticket! In the row in front of us was the Ricketts family and Rahm Emanuel.
Thanks to Indians season ticket holder and all-around nice guy, Chaim Goldstein, I was able to get seats upstairs to all the home World Series games at face value. I would never value those seats at the $20,000 it would have cost to get them on Stubhub. But sitting so close to the field for an amazing roller coaster of a game is a completely different experience than sitting upstairs.
Besides for my wife and me, I was also able to bring JJ and my grandfather onto the field and they didn’t even need tickets, they got to stay in the ballpark for the rest of the game!
As I was bidding higher I did 2nd guess myself at times, but somehow it felt like divine providence. This was the place where G-d put me with the ability to earn all of these miles in Cleveland. And now there was an auction that could only be paid for in Starpoints for an experience as a lifelong Indians fan that I’d cherish forever.
It wasn’t a question of how could I justify going for it. It was a question of how could I justify not going for it.