Thursday, February 24, 2011

Peace of mind before my final season as a season ticket holder.

Tim over at Tales from Aisle 424 has written a couple posts in relation to season ticket holder renewal rate this year over the last few days.  His estimations were, quite frankly, pretty shocking.  His numbers were based on the very few snippets of information that he has gathered from various reports over the last month or so.

Someone from the Cubs responded to his estimations to try to tell him that he was way off when he said that 10% of the season ticket holders didn't renew this season.  I don't know, I think I believe Tim a bit more than someone from the Cubs ticket office. 

Honestly, of all the season ticket holders that I know from last season, over half of them didn't renew this year.  So in my book, the renewal rate must have been under 50%. 

The truth is, if the Cubs wouldn't have rushed my decision this past fall, I wouldn't have renew this year either.

Yes, this is my final year as a season ticket holder.  I suppose that I could change my mind, but this is the first time I've ever gone into a season thinking that.  And for some reason, it gives me some peace of mind knowing this is my last season of doing this, especially with absolutely no expectations of this team being any good this year.  I like the idea of going to the games for once last go around, with nothing at stake, to be outside watching my favorite sport and my favorite team and just maybe there won't be as many morons in the stands to ruin it all for me. 

Yes, I'll still go to Cubs games after 2012...but I won't go to very many games and I won't get to sit in "my seats".  In a way, I guess it is better this way that I did renew this season.  I feel like I can get my house in order before the final day comes, so to speak. 

I continue to wonder if there are some other alternatives to flatly giving up my season tickets...sell half my package to someone else who is currently on the waiting list...keep the entire package and put all the tickets up on StubHub...but that just doesn't seem right.  The specter of knowing that I'll never have this opportunity again once made it difficult even consider doing this.  I'm older, married, have a couple kids, and the realization that I'm not very likely to ever move back to Chicago have all made the decision very easy now. 

I never got my package because I thought the Cubs were finally going to turn things around or were heading in the right direction.  I got it because it was a dream of mine.  It was strange...on a day in late January in 2003 I heard an advertisement on the radio for Cubs season ticket packages.  Just for the hell of it, I sent an e-mail to the Cubs ticket office asking about different plans.  They sent me the information.  I responded back with my phone number after which a ticket agent called me almost immediately.  I found a plan that I could afford at the time, and because my work obligations were so small during that period, I was able to buy a weekday afternoon package and go to most of the games. 

And then there was the 2003 season.  What a trip!  It was supposed to be just a one year thing, but after 2003 I started feeling that I could never give up my tickets.  The Cubs had ups and downs...I had ups and downs.  There were a couple of years where I almost decided to give up my tickets...especially after the 2005 season.  But I hung on until now.

I look forward to watching a lot of games this year.  In fact, I'm thinking that I will probably go to more games this year than any of my previous 8 years as a season ticket holder.  For the most part, this team is likable.  There are a number of young players on it who, I think, will play hard.  They may not be very good, but it's baseball.  I will enjoy every pitch.

This spring training season has been extremely quiet to this point.  Outside of Zambrano declaring to the world that he has cured his anger, not much is happening.  No one has gotten hurt.  No one is making declarations that the Cubs will go all the way this year.  No manager is coming in and giving ridiculous false hope to everyone.

This quiet spring gives me time to realize how much fun it has been to go to all these games during the last 8 years, but it is time to move on with other priorities.  It will be a shame to not be able to take my son to games in "my seats", but my family never had season tickets when I was growing up and we still went to games.  It was baseball.  It was the Cubs.  And I loved it.  The same will be true with my son.

So I can't wait for this season to start.  And I look forward to the end.