In today’s Wall Street Journal there is an article on what Major League Baseball is doing to fill seats. It mentions all the different programs teams are implementing to reward season ticket holders. It’s about time!
The article discusses all the perks and upgrades that teams are giving season ticket holders. For example they are offering special entrances, early entrance, meet-n-greets, seat upgrades, and exclusive ticket buying opportunities.
Is it just me or does it seem that MLB is now scrambling to fill seats? In the past few weeks I have read about more teams and their empty seats then I ever have. It’s not like they didn’t know there might be a problem this season. Why does it seem they are now rushing out these programs? Selling for the next season begins in the fall as soon as the previous season ends. Shouldn’t teams have been offering these programs during the winter?
The New York Yankees finally woke up and announced that they were discounting those overpriced premium seats that are right behind home plate. They have cut the price in half. What’s sad is that half price is still huge money. They are also giving some of the season ticket holders a few of these great seats. I wondered how long the Yankees could handle the embarrassment of empty seats behind home plate.
My uncle recently went to a Yankees game in the new stadium. He told me that a regular beer is $9.00. He also felt obligated to give the seller a tip. So the final cost of a beer was $10.00. What is the non-recession price of a beer?
So, MLB is addressing the season ticket holder issue. Season tickets represent about 40% to 50% of all seats. What are they doing to fill the other 50%?
The article mentions that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has rolled out a league wide program offering discounted tickets. Some of these tickets will go for $5.50 or less. I think this is a good thing. Baseball has become out of reach for the average fan.
The game was called “America’s Pastime” because everybody at one time could see a live game. But in recent years that has not been true. The league needs to market back to its roots. Get fans excited to go to a game. Make it affordable to buy tickets. Give them a reasonable price for a hot dog and a beer. Remember: each team has 80 regular season home games in stadiums that have 30,000 to 50,000+ capacities. With average baseball fans counting every penny they have, who is going to fill all those seats?