The toughest ticket in sports just got a tiny bit easier.
Beginning Monday, you can register for the lottery to buy practice-round tickets for the 2012 Masters at the Masters.com website, but the real surprise is that a limited number of daily tournament tickets will be available to the public through the site as well. It is the first time in 47 years that daily tickets will be offered to the public, according to tournament officials.
“Moving the entire application process to our official Tournament website is a safe and convenient way for those wishing to apply for daily Practice Round tickets,” Masters chairman Billy Payne said in a statement. “We are also pleased to provide a limited number of tickets for the individual Tournament Round days, which, up until now, have only been allocated to our Series Badge holders.”
The price of a one-day practice round ticket for the 2012 Masters at Masters.com is $50 (an increase from the current rate of $36 for Monday and Tuesday practice round, and $41 for Wednesday, which includes the Par-3 Tournament); daily tickets to the tournament will be $75.
It's difficult to overstate how hard these tickets are to obtain. Although the face value of a Masters ticket is a relative bargain at $200 for all four days, the four-day badge can sell for more than $3,000 on the secondary market. One-day badges can cost more than $400 on the secondary market. One reason demand for Masters tickets is so high is that the tickets have been literally impossible for tournament newcomers to purchase directly in the last 40 years.
The list of patrons who regularly receive applications for Series Badges, which grant Thursday-Sunday admittance, has been closed since 1971, according to tournament officials. A waiting list was then established, closed in 1978, re-opened briefly in 2000, and has now been exhausted through the reallocation of attrited tickets, officials said in a statement.
Tournament officials could not provide the number of applications for practice rounds tickets, nor the number awarded for 2011.
Daily tournament ticket applications must be submitted by June 30. The deadline for practice-round ticket applications is July 30. To apply for 2012 Masters tickets, visit the tournament web site here.