The Cubs announced a partnership with MasterCard Thursday that will allow fans an entry to the Virtual Waiting Room before next Friday’s regular season ticket on-sale. Additional, fans actually able to make it through the “VWR” will pay a 20 percent premium on any tickets purchased.

Many Cubs fans are already feeling alienated after last season’s miserable performance, a lackluster offseason and yet another ticket price hike, but Cubs brass doesn’t feel the Inaugural MasterCard ® First Chance Pre-Sale, which launches Monday and ends shortly before Friday’s general regular season ticket on-sale, will further disenchant its fan base. Fans using a MasterCard to purchase their tickets will only pay 15 percent.

“People often say Cubs fans will buy anything, and we’re going to test that more than ever with this promotion,” said Cubs President Crane Kenney. “But with that 5 percent discount you get by using a MasterCard, marquee bleacher tickets will only be about $70 before fees. That’s one hell of a bargain if you ask me.”

Those fans not willing to pay 15 percent or 20 percent extra for their tickets between Monday and Thursday will be forced to slug it out with scores of other fans and ticket scalpers during Friday’s annual on-sale, which already leaves many fans frustrated and forced to pay outrageous prices from scalpers just minutes after all key games are sold out.

“Yeah, well, them’s the breaks,” said Kenney. “The Cubs don’t make all the rules, we just tend to profit handsomely off them.”

Idea submitted on Facebook by Kristin Woodke and via email by Jeremy Barewin