Image: YouTube

Golden Warriors fan Trevor Laub had a wonderful grift going at the team’s arena that allowed him to sneak courtside for games. And then last week, he revealed it to all the damn YouTubers.

The gist is simple, as Laub explains it in a 23-minute YouTube video. He would buy the cheapest available ticket: an “In the Building Pass,” which doesn’t actually get you a seat in the bowl area with a view of the game. In theory it exists so you can show up and follow the games on TVs in the club area, which sounds far worse than watching from the comfort of your sofa, unless you really enjoy the live sounds of richer people enjoying the game. It is the cheapest way to literally get “in the building,” which was all Laub needed for his scheme.

Before the games, Laub checked Ticketmaster to see which courtside seats were still for sale. He then used some rudimentary image editing to modify that ticket so that it listed that vacant courtside seat instead of the actual depressing seat in the club area. A screenshot of that fake ticket was all he needed for the second phase of his scam.

To get in the building, he used the barcode from the actual ticket he purchased; once inside, he walked down to the courtside section, presented a screenshot of the completely made-up ticket that listed a vacant seat, and then sat down to enjoy the games. (As Laub tells it, there was no second round of barcode scanning at the actual seat. Maybe wealthy ticket holders find the practice offensive.)

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Laub’s video diary provides a more detailed explanation of the scheme, along with footage from several home games he attended. In sum, he said he attended 32 games last season, 29 of them courtside. In the description of the video, he pays tribute to the mystery person who made it all possible: “shout out to the REAL MVP the rich mf’er who had season tickets to the 2 seats i sat in every game and only showed up to like 4 games the entire season I APPRECIATE YOU!”

“I’ve just been a Warriors fan since damn near birth, and they’ve really priced out all the real fans,” said Laub, who estimated that each courtside visit came out to around $3. “It’s all tech gurus and all that type of stuff are all the type of people that get good seats at Oracle [Arena] now. And I just came up with a plan that I thought a real fan, a real Warriors fan would be able to do to sit in good seats and enjoy themselves.”

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Why give up a deal that sweet by revealing the scam to the public? In a follow-up video, Laub said that he recently moved to Los Angeles and thus won’t be able to root for his Warriors at home very often. Why not stay quiet and try and design a similar scheme at Lakers or Clippers games? It doesn’t appear that the venue offers an In the Building Pass, although this same method might have worked to upgrade regular nosebleed tickets, depending on security practices.

There was likely more juice left for Laub to squeeze, one way or another. He does seem pretty excited about the YouTube views, though.

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H/t to Mike