Thursday, April 8, 2010

How did this happen? More expensive than Yankees' tickets?

As reported by 300 other sites, the Cubs have the most expensive tickets prices in all of baseball this year.

I've posted here about the reality of the price increases this season.

But this reality is quite shocking.

And depressing.

Yes, the Cubs are charging more, on average, for a ticket than the Red Sox...and they are charging more than even the Yankees, who's fans rebelled last year after the eye popping price increases when they moved into their new stadium.

Look, we do know that Cubs have limitations as far as revenue streams...they have a nasty television contract that runs until the second coming.  They have to fight every time they want to put up an advertisement of any sort.  They have no video board.  And they have an aging stadium that is going to require a massive renovation.

Demand is still relatively high for tickets, but there is a point were people will stop coming.

Maybe it is just the economy, maybe it was the price increases this year, but I personally have noticed a change in ticket buying behavior this year.

I usually put some of my sets of tickets up for sale on places like StubHub...I also have a number of family and friends that I sell tickets to every season.

The tickets I'm trying to sell haven't been selling.  The people I usually can count on to buy tickets have started to balk at the price this year and have either taken a pass or reduced the number of games they want to go to.

And over at StubHub, all I've heard are crickets (and crickets tend to be able to get into the games for free, so they aren't going to buy any tickets).

Maybe things are different for other people...I do have a different ticket package this season, so there may be some adjustments I need to make in my thinking here.

But unchecked ticket increases can only go on for so long before the team starts to turn off people.

The average ticket price this season is supposedly $50 a seat.  If you multiply that by 40,000 seats, and then figure there are 81 games, that 's well over $150 million in revenue a season for just selling tickets (minus taxes and all, then you come up with a slightly smaller total).

So what are we as fans supposed to do?

Look, refusing to go to games isn't going to work.  People are going to go to games, for now.  But this team is making a mistake if they think they can keep doing this, especially with the current product they are putting on the field. The stadium needs a renovation...and it is going to be paid for by private money, so not spending at the ballpark isn't an option (else we start bringing up the PSL's!).  So we sit here and take it like (insert some politically incorrect term here). 

If prices are going to be forced to stay this high, then I'm going to have to rekindle my childhood fantasy that the Cubs put a third deck on the ballpark as a way to satisfy demand. Why do the Cubs have higher ticket prices than the Yankees?  They have 13,000 more seats to sell per game.

I don't know what to do about it...

But this is really sad.  We are paying the highest price in baseball for our tickets and we don't have a bullpen to show for it.