Published: Jan 18, 2011 9:57 PM EST
Updated: Jan 18, 2011 6:14 PM EST

WINK News has learned:   Lee co. government employees get first dibs at Boston Red Sox spring training tickets.  It's part of a program called  Early Bird Sales, and some members of the general public are not pleased about it.

We learned the red sox and lee county have  had a deal for several years, to offer county employees, first shot at buying tickets for spring training games.

We saw the e-mail that went out to 2-thousand county employees last decem ber first.  It offered them one week to buy up to 8 tickets.    Every game was available, except the yankees, mets and cardinals.
    The general public could not buy tickets until january eighth...a month later.

   Some people we talked with, were angry.    One coyunty resident said:   this is how government works, it takes advantage of the people, and gives favors to those like county workers.   He said it's just plain wrong.
   Red sox fan elton galloway disagreed.  He said:   he'd rather see couty workers buy tickets, than scalpers who would jack up the prices for re-sale.

   Commissioner brian bigelow as not aware of the practice.  He told us:     it looks like a sweet-haert deal, and he can see why people are not too keen on it.

   The red sox say the tickets sold to county employees, represent only a fraction of those available.
The team says:  it's just a way to say:  thank you, to lee county and its government workers.