Friday, April 29, 2011

If people don't go to the game, offer cheaper beer.

I have, many times, griped about the frat party that is a baseball game at Wrigley Field.

Well, I have to say, so far this year, I have enjoyed the games I've gone to this season. There is a vastly different type of crowd attending the games so far. Most of the people at the games actually (get ready for this!!!) pay attention to the games!!!!

Well, this also happening at the same time as attendance has plummeted. Don't be fooled by the announced attendance numbers...the Cubs right now have empty seat rates not seen since the 2002 season.

While the Cubs are, to this point of the season, have averaging ticket sales in the low to mid 30k range so far this year, the organization is losing out on valuable concession sales (due to no-shows) and is suffering from low television ratings.

While the latter of those to things is much more contingent to having the team playing better, trying to get more people in the seats is something they do have some control over.

Unfortunately, instead of having some sort of promotion to attract kids or families, the Ricketts family is going to try to bring in the sort of fans that have ended up causing some of the biggest problems over the last few years.

Starting on May 10th, the Cubs are going to offer $3 beers in the bleachers for every Tuesday game.

I can't tell you how stupid this is.

Why not offer half price tickets for kids under 12 every Tuesday? Why not offer 1/2 price concessions to people in the upper deck. Why have a giveaway that doesn't include bobblehead leftovers from your minor league clubs (like the Castro and Colvin bobbleheads this season).

Half price beer in the part of the ballpark that has been the site of fights on an almost daily basis is a seriously bad idea.

In fact, $3 beer is probably a bad idea for a team whose ballpark is considered a giant beer garden.

The Ricketts family feeding the idea that all this 97 year old ballpark really has going for it is that people like to go there and's a big bar...a bar that is struggling a bit to get people to come in and order some libations.

I have an idea...why don't the set up some pool tables and dart boards out there as well. Hell, I'm sure the state would allow them to put in some video poker machines too.

Look, $3 beer is just a bad idea. Even the most screwed up team in baseball, the Dodgers, has realized this. They had a half price concession night at Dodger stadium on April 21st...and in the wake of the brutal beating that happened there on opening day, they decided, very wisely, to not include beer in that promotion.

How low can this organization go? This is yet another misstep by this ownership group which now appears to be panicking under the drastic drop in interest in their team. Does something need to be done about the drop in attendance? Yeah...probably...but offering cheap beer doesn't increase your fan base and does nothing to help the organization in the long run. And bringing families with kids to the park in the now will help them sell more beer in the future to responsible people as those kids grow up to love the Cubs, go to the ballpark...and those people who are kids now will in the future bring their kids to Wrigley while enjoying a couple of cold Budweisers at full price.