Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Ticket Increase Fiasco


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Image courtesy of Flickr user JeremyCai
It appears as though the Blue Jays aren’t winning over very many fans these days.

After the infamous Boston Red Sox ticket stunt, Jerseygate, and other numerous public relations blunders, the most recent development seems to have irked quite a few fans of both the faithful and fairweather kind.

Unearthed by Drunk Jays Fans earlier today, the latest debacle surrounds the purposed ticket increases for certain season ticket holders and possible single game tickets as well. Initial knee-jerk reactions have been pretty harsh, so before we get our panties in a knot, let’s stop and consider the following:

99.2 percent of season ticket prices will remain the same in 2010. That’s less than one percent of ticket holders that are affected by this increase, about 24 people in total. Frankly, if more fans aren’t coming out to the ballpark (as all numbers indicated in 2009) then you have to charge more for tickets if you want to make more money.

It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but single game ticket prices are almost certainly going to go up in price. If you take a look at the 2010 Rogers Centre seating map, they have done away with the separate pricing for the field level sections in 113 and 130, and they are now all one price.

The Toronto Star featured an article on how one fan in particular will see a 56 percent increase in the price of his season tickets. I’m not really feeling that empathetic in this situation because if you’re willing to pay over $3000 dollars to see your favourite team, then you should be willing to pay $6000. And if not, then just downgrade your tickets to a different section. Not to mention that this guy is a lawyer - come on, he can obviously afford the increase.

After this past year’s lackluster season, I would love to see the Toronto Blue Jays lower their ticket prices. Unfortunately, sports business doesn't work that way – ticket prices are not reflective on the team's performance. Lowering or freezing ticket prices benefits fans in the long term, however bumping up prices increases the revenue which hopefully leads to more team payroll and eventually a winning team.

A couple bucks more at the ticket booth might seem like a lot, but if it’s for the greater good of this team and the future of the franchise, frankly ... I’ll give a toonie now if it will bring a playoff run later.

6 comments:

  1. The following are the attendance numbers for the Jays. Despite the fact that for the majority of these years the Jays were entirely out of it, fans came out in bigger numbers steadily through the last 4 years. Incredible when you think about it, so I'm not sure how they justify a ticket increase. A Salary decrease to players would be a better measure. Oh, hi Mr.Wells, what's in your wallet?

    2008 - 2,399,786 total ; 29,626 average
    2007 - 2,360,648 total ; 29,143 average
    2006 - 2,302,182 total ; 29,422 average
    2005 - 1,977,949 total ; 24,724 average
    2004 - 1,900,041 total ; 23,457 average
    2003 - 1,799,458 total ; 22,219 average
    2002 - 1,636,904 total ; 20,209 average
    2001 - 1,895,236 total ; 23,690 average
    2000 - 1,819,919 total ; 21,058 average

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  2. Those weren't true numbers. Paul Godfrey inflated the attendence numbers to make it look like he was doing a good job. I was at games where the announced attendence was 30,000, but there were more likely 15,000 fans actually at the game.

    The attendence numbers for 2009, were the real numbers and probably a closer representation to the actual attendence from 2006 through 2008.

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  3. I'm all for more expensive tickets if it keeps the fake umps out of the games.

    I hope increased prices also means a more competitive team though.

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  4. Mat, those are actually half decent attendance numbers for a team that hasn't made the playoffs in the last 16 years. When it comes to sports in TO, it's still one of the cheapest tickets in town and they play more home games than any other sport.

    Peter D, although this is very unlikely but maybe they sold 30,000 tickets but only 15,000 showed up? It's hard to say, especially across 80 home games.

    HLF, here here! If I never have to see the fake umps ever again, it will be the greatest thing ever. Those guys should be banished to the top row of the 500's. Let's see how entertaining they are up in the nosebleeds!

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  5. Those ump, as much as I detest them, pay for premium seating, so at least they are helping in that regard. But if I never saw them again I'd be pretty ok with it.

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  6. Mattt, they were paying for the Action seats yes, but only so they could get camera time and draw attention away from the game and onto then.

    Now if the Melonheads were sitting behind plate, I'd be all for that.

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