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1. Literally, a front-row seat next to a boxing ring (thought to be the best place to watch the match). Wow, you got ringside seats to that fight? They must have cost thousands!
2. By extension, a place in close proximity to a certain situation or event. I unexpectedly had a ringside seat when a fight broke out at the bar. Living near this forest my whole life, I've had a ringside seat to witness the change in the population of birds.
a ringside seat/view
if you have a ringside seat, you are in a good position to watch what is happening at an event If there's going to be a confrontation between management and the unions, I'd like a ringside seat.
A place providing a close view of something, as in We lived right next door, so we had ringside seats for their quarrels. This term presumably came from boxing, where it denotes the seats just outside the boxing ring. [c. 1860]