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Forget about switch seating during America's pastime

Saturday - 3/16/2013, 7:05am  ET

Del Waters, wtop.com

It was once baseball legend: The third base slide or the second base switch.

Many ballgame-goers were used to switching seats in the middle of the game. Some did it for a better view, others did it for better, closer seats. Now this popular practice could soon become a thing of the past.

Baseball owners have devised a high-tech way to profit from the painful first seat experience. It's called Mobile Seat Update, and if you're at a baseball game, here's how it will work:

At an appointed time you will receive a text or mobile alert from the ballpark, letting you know that better seats are available. You will then be offered the opportunity to purchase those seats.

Your new tickets will be sent to you via smartphone, and ushers will be standing by to check your new tickets while you head to your upgraded seats.

"Our fans have shown a growing demand for mobile ticketing opportunities and this collaboration with Experience will help further meet those expectations with a scalable, fan-friendly solution to personalize their ballpark experiences right from their personal devices," said Noah Garden, executive vice president of revenue for MLB Advanced Media, in a press release.

For baseball owners the incentives are obvious; they get new revenue for what may have been unsold or unused seats. Team management can also stem the flow of losses from generations who have filled the empty seats for free in the past.

So how much will this cost? Seats will sell for between $5 and $55 per seat in Atlanta, Oakland, Calif., Arizona and Minnesota, where the service will first go into place.

A steep price, some would say, for something that was free, just for the thrill of the theft.

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