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Moses_Scurry
05-01-2002, 11:43 AM
This phrase was coined on Mack, Jurko, and Harry last night for people who don't sit in the seats their tickets are for. MacNeill basically went into a rant about how wrong it is, and that nobody should be allowed to do it. My question is, So What? If I buy a $12 ticket and the park is full, I will gladly sit in my own seat and enjoy it. But, when I see the empty seats with a better view down in the season ticketholder section, why not move?? The Sox are still getting my $12, plus they are getting the money from the person who actually has that seat.

voodoochile
05-01-2002, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by Moses_Scurry
This phrase was coined on Mack, Jurko, and Harry last night for people who don't sit in the seats their tickets are for. MacNeill basically went into a rant about how wrong it is, and that nobody should be allowed to do it. My question is, So What? If I buy a $12 ticket and the park is full, I will gladly sit in my own seat and enjoy it. But, when I see the empty seats with a better view down in the season ticketholder section, why not move?? The Sox are still getting my $12, plus they are getting the money from the person who actually has that seat.

Actually, Richard Roeper used it two days ago in his column about the Paul McCartney concert. He described the effect and talked about it at length, including sneaking into box seats at Old Comiskey, which he claims he never did...

I think there is a difference. If the place is full, people should sit in their seats, or stand in the standing areas. If the place is half-full, who cares?

cheeses_h_rice
05-01-2002, 11:57 AM
McNeill's point was that you're depriving the team of the extra $10 or whatever by not buying the more expensive ticket.

I can see both sides of the issue, I guess, and I have definitely done my share of seat weaseling in my time. The thing is, sure, it'd be great if everyone paid the full ride for whatever seats they enjoy, but is any actual harm done to the club from a paying customer getting a different view of the game? Not really. As long as they still buy shirts, beers, nachos, etc., the club should be happy that the people are there.

But I do agree with McNeill that it sucks when you've paid $27 a ticket, and some drunken yahoos come down in the 7th inning and help ruin the experience for you and your family.

voodoochile
05-01-2002, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice
McNeill's point was that you're depriving the team of the extra $10 or whatever by not buying the more expensive ticket.

I can see both sides of the issue, I guess, and I have definitely done my share of seat weaseling in my time. The thing is, sure, it'd be great if everyone paid the full ride for whatever seats they enjoy, but is any actual harm done to the club from a paying customer getting a different view of the game? Not really. As long as they still buy shirts, beers, nachos, etc., the club should be happy that the people are there.

But I do agree with McNeill that it sucks when you've paid $27 a ticket, and some drunken yahoos come down in the 7th inning and help ruin the experience for you and your family.

At least that "drunken yahoo" has spent SOME money to go to the game. What would be better for the Sox? 30K a game spending $15/seat or 15K/game spending an average of $25/seat? Add in the money spent on parking, food and beverage (as CHR points out) and the answer is an easy one...

cheeses_h_rice
05-01-2002, 12:40 PM
I've said this before, and I'll say it again: the Sox would be much better served by obeying the laws of supply and demand with ticket pricing. People and especially families are very price conscious, especially those on the fringe of just liking sports in general (vs. any one specific team) or just wanting something to do with their family when the weather's nice. If the Sox were to price the seats more reasonably (say, $6 for the second half of the UD, $8 for the bottom half of the UD, and maybe $12 for the bottom half in the 8 sections that ring home plate; $15 for the outfield; $17 for the less desirable seats in the 100 level (those past third and first base, at least not in the closer half/third of those seats), and $22 for the more desirable 100 level seats, and $27 for the truly excellent seats on the 100 level), I think they could increase attendance by an average of 5-10K a game easily, at least when the weather is good. Don't allow people to buy season tickets for less than $17/seat (this would prevent people from buying a $6/seat season ticket and never sit in them). Get the butts in the seat, have people experience what a great team this is and what a nice experience it is seeing a game at Comiskey. The goodwill generated by the lower prices would result in fans likely spending more $$$ on food and merch, would generate more last-minute/walk-up traffic, and who knows, might even help breed a new generation of fans loyal to the club, which would help season ticket sales down the line.

You can't tell me that the club would lose too much money in ticket sales by dropping prices. Sure, they may lose 10-20% of ticket revenue, but think of the parking/food/merch $$$ gained on the other side. Plus, success begets success. People see a mostly full park, they begin to hear what a cool experience it is, and they think "what the heck, let's spend a couple bucks and go see a game."

And their marketing department could have a field day with this. Emphasize the low price and how much $ a family could save (versus the unnamed competition). Make it seem like a fun family option that could compete with Great America or whatever.

I think it could work.

But then again, what the hell do I know?

Nellie_Fox
05-01-2002, 12:41 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
At least that "drunken yahoo" has spent SOME money to go to the game. What would be better for the Sox? 30K a game spending $15/seat or 15K/game spending an average of $25/seat? Add in the money spent on parking, food and beverage (as CHR points out) and the answer is an easy one...
I'm sure you'll be surprised to find me disagreeing with you. What you are essentially saying is that once you buy a ticket for the cheapest seat in the house, you are entitled to sit in the best seat you can find that's unoccupied?

I have season tickets for the university hockey team. I usually get there plenty early, but there have been nights I've barely gotten there in time for the National Anthem. I can't tell you how much it aggravates me to have to tell people to get out of my seats. And if I choose to not show up until the third period, I still paid for those seats and have a right to expect them to be unoccupied and not have the floor covered with nacho cheese and spilled beer left by the "seat weasels."

PaleHoseGeorge
05-01-2002, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice
McNeill's point was that you're depriving the team of the extra $10 or whatever by not buying the more expensive ticket.

I can see both sides of the issue, I guess, and I have definitely done my share of seat weaseling in my time....

This is another example why the lousy job by Sox Marketing is hurting the franchise.

While most of the seats in the infield seats are taken by Sox season ticketholders, the vast majority of the lower bowl seats are single-game and walk ups. For most games, everyone knows they can buy a cheap seat in the upper deck and get "the Comiskey upgrade" for nearly any empty seat in the lower bowl the day of the game.

It's a self-fulfilling prohecy. If you don't do enough to get people to buy season tickets, everyone takes advantage of the good empty seats they didn't pay for.

Follow this basic rule of marketing: The cost of presenting your product (the ballgame itself) is essentially fixed. The marginal value of selling one extra seat to watch it is infinite, if that seat would otherwise be empty. What on Earth is so hard to understand about that? Instead we get the usual "us vs. them" mentality from the Sox. We fans are to blame for their own incompetence.

The answer to this problem is simple. THE SOX NEED WARM BODIES FILLING THE LOWER BOWL! They ought to discount the hell out of lower bowl season tickets or other multi-date ticket plans. Even with the discount, they are still making more money on those seats than letting the freeloaders gobble them up after paying for a cheap UD seat.

Does Rob Gallas have brain inside that head of his?

:gallas
"That PHG relentless."

Iwritecode
05-01-2002, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
This is another example why the lousy job by Sox Marketing is hurting the franchise.

While most of the seats in the infield seats are taken by Sox season ticketholders, the vast majority of the lower bowl seats are single-game and walk ups. For most games, everyone knows they can buy a cheap seat in the upper deck and get "the Comiskey upgrade" for nearly any empty seat in the lower bowl the day of the game.

It's a self-fulfilling prohecy. If you don't do enough to get people to buy season tickets, everyone takes advantage of the good empty seats they didn't pay for.

Follow this basic rule of marketing: The cost of presenting your product (the ballgame itself) is essentially fixed. The marginal value of selling one extra seat to watch it is infinite, if that seat would otherwise be empty. What on Earth is so hard to understand about that? Instead we get the usual "us vs. them" mentality from the Sox. We fans are to blame for their own incompetence.

The answer to this problem is simple. THE SOX NEED WARM BODIES FILLING THE LOWER BOWL! They ought to discount the hell out of lower bowl season tickets or other multi-date ticket plans. Even with the discount, they are still making more money on those seats than letting the freeloaders gobble them up after paying for a cheap UD seat.

Does Rob Gallas have brain inside that head of his?

:gallas
"That PHG relentless."

Sounds like business 101: When demand goes down, price should go down to increase demand. When is the last time the ticket prices have been lowered?

Max Power
05-01-2002, 01:25 PM
For what it's worth I believe Sox ticket price increases over the last 5 years or so are far behind the league average. I mean some teams (Red Sox immediatly come to mind) significantly raise their prices every year. Off the top of my head I don't think Sox tickets have gone up more than a couple dollars since the late 90's.

Agreeing with a sentiment that has been expressed here by other, if the Sox would discount upper deck tickets ($5?) then they would greatly increase the overall attendance. I mean 3 people paying $5 each is better than 1 person paying $15.

Paulwny
05-01-2002, 01:36 PM
Everyone keeps forgetting the attendance clause:

"the Comiskey deal gave him free rent for up to 1.2 million in attendance each year. The Sox pay the state $2.50 for every ticket from 1.2 to 2 million, yet the team also gets back $5 million a year for stadium repairs and maintenance. In addition, the state buys 300,000 tickets if attendance drops below 1.5 after the year 2001, so in actuality, Reinsdorf got public funds to build his stadium and subsidies to guarantee its profitability. "

THERE"S NO INCENTIVE TO DISCOUNT TICKETS !

voodoochile
05-01-2002, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox

I'm sure you'll be surprised to find me disagreeing with you. What you are essentially saying is that once you buy a ticket for the cheapest seat in the house, you are entitled to sit in the best seat you can find that's unoccupied?

I have season tickets for the university hockey team. I usually get there plenty early, but there have been nights I've barely gotten there in time for the National Anthem. I can't tell you how much it aggravates me to have to tell people to get out of my seats. And if I choose to not show up until the third period, I still paid for those seats and have a right to expect them to be unoccupied and not have the floor covered with nacho cheese and spilled beer left by the "seat weasels."

So basically, you are saying that you are upset because someone chooses to sit in your seat that you aren't using. If it bothers you that much to move them, have the usher do it. Most people who "weasel a seat" will just get up and move when asked. When a stadium is less than half full, who cares where people sit? If this happened at your hockey games, you could probably find a seat with a "clean floor" within a few seats of your paid for seat - what's the difference?

I said it in my original post - if the place is full then people should sit in the seats they bought, but if the place is mostly empty, it doesn't make one bit of difference where people sit...

No, I'm not surprised you disagree with me, Nellie, you old crumudgeon you... :D:

PaleHoseGeorge
05-01-2002, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by Paulwny
Everyone keeps forgetting the attendance clause:

"the Comiskey deal gave him free rent for up to 1.2 million in attendance each year. The Sox pay the state $2.50 for every ticket from 1.2 to 2 million, yet the team also gets back $5 million a year for stadium repairs and maintenance. In addition, the state buys 300,000 tickets if attendance drops below 1.5 after the year 2001, so in actuality, Reinsdorf got public funds to build his stadium and subsidies to guarantee its profitability. "

THERE"S NO INCENTIVE TO DISCOUNT TICKETS !

BINGO!!! I was hoping someone would raise this point. The lease has built-in disincentives for the Sox to keep attendance low. Why attempt to draw 2.5 million with discounted seats if the State of Illinois is going to grab a greater share of your revenue? The sweetheart nature of Reinsdorf's stadium deal is unprecedented. The taxpayers, in essence, are guaranteeing JR a profit. He only needs to keep his expenses in line to collect whatever profit his state-sponsored revenue guarantee provides. Isn't this exactly what JR and KW are really sayiing everytime they claim they need more fans to come out before they can afford more payroll?

Genius. Absolutely genius.

Perhaps this is what Gammons was actually referring to when he quipped that the Sox were brilliantly marketed? I wouldn't bet on it, though.

:boston
"Umm... err... the Sox are blazing a new trail for crying poor all the way to the bank. Doesn't that qualify as brilliant marketing?"

Procol Harum
05-01-2002, 02:19 PM
At one level this kinda devolves into etiquette and a sense of propriety. I agree wholeheartedly that at a well-attended game "seat weasels" are rodents. At Comiskey, specifically, this translates into the lower bowl being fairly well-occupied--two schleps wandering into an otherwise crowded section is downright unnderhanded.

On the other hand, when there's 12,000-13,000 at a game I see nothing wrong with people who have already paid to get into the park and who are spending their hard-earned moolah on parking, food, souvs, etc. to be able to slide into better seats. At this point it becomes a matter of grace vs. legalism and is a nod from the ballclub that they appreciate the fans who showed up--perhaps the closest analogy might be a restaurant owner who has an optional buffet available on a slow, snowy night and rather than have the prepared food go to waste, invites whoever's there to step up and help themselves. Eventually, that businessman will profit a lot more in the long run from the good will he has generated than he would ever have done by sticking to the letter of the price list.

Under this scenario, I can understand, but don't sympathize, with the person who bought the big buck tikkees. They get exactly what they paid for, willing to pay the higher going rate to insure that they had the best possible experience. On a crowded day, they certainly benefit from that. If, on a lonely day at the ballpark they have nothing better to do than cry about someone else having gotten an unexpected bonus ... oh, well. Enjoy the stinkin' game. See the Parable of the Laborers in the Gospel of Matthew, 20: 1-16.

mack10zie
05-01-2002, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox

I'm sure you'll be surprised to find me disagreeing with you. What you are essentially saying is that once you buy a ticket for the cheapest seat in the house, you are entitled to sit in the best seat you can find that's unoccupied?

I have season tickets for the university hockey team. I usually get there plenty early, but there have been nights I've barely gotten there in time for the National Anthem. I can't tell you how much it aggravates me to have to tell people to get out of my seats. And if I choose to not show up until the third period, I still paid for those seats and have a right to expect them to be unoccupied and not have the floor covered with nacho cheese and spilled beer left by the "seat weasels."

Is it just me or do I not get what is so aggravating about finding someone in your seat? 99% of the time you just say "Hey man, that's my seat.", they apologize and leave. I just don't see where the aggravation arises I guess.

Personally one of the most fun games I've ever been to, not including Sox games, was one in Detroit against the Blue Jays about two years ago, the game was delayed for about an hour and a half because of rain and most of the people had left, so me and my buddies went down and sat in the first row behind the Blue Jays dugout. We actually got to talk with Delgado and Batista (who was a hilarious guy), which was pretty cool. It's not like we were hurting anyone by sitting in their seats, and we had a good time, win/win situation in m book.

I would empathize with you if your seat was left with a bunch of stuff all over it (beer, nacho cheese, or whatever), but how many times does that really happen?

cheeses_h_rice
05-01-2002, 02:26 PM
The attendance-disincentive thing will run its course in 2010, right?

Maybe by then, there will be a new group of Sox owners. The stadium will be paid off and probably "obsolete" by that point. Maybe then we can get a good stadium by the lake in the south loop, built by mostly team-provided $$$, and the Sox can take over the city.

And maybe pigs will fly.

mack10zie
05-01-2002, 02:26 PM
Oh yeah, just wanted to add that I agree that if it's a crowded game I don't think people should do it.

duke of dorwood
05-01-2002, 02:27 PM
I have no sympathy for the team losing $10.00 on a seat. Last year we had 4 or 5 of our season ticket games on half price Mondays and we paid full price. And we had the most annoying people there on those nights, by the way.

Cheryl
05-01-2002, 02:44 PM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice
McNeill's point was that you're depriving the team of the extra $10 or whatever by not buying the more expensive ticket.

But if that $27 seat has already been sold to someone who didn't show up, I can't buy that ticket.

BTW, it's called the Comiskey Upgrade.

Procol Harum
05-01-2002, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by duke of dorwood
I have no sympathy for the team losing $10.00 on a seat. Last year we had 4 or 5 of our season ticket games on half price Mondays and we paid full price. And we had the most annoying people there on those nights, by the way.

1.) Caveat emptor (particularly when dealing with Baseball owners).

2.)So, you don't like sitting with all that $13 per ticket riff-raff, eh?.

Kilroy
05-01-2002, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by duke of dorwood
I have no sympathy for the team losing $10.00 on a seat. Last year we had 4 or 5 of our season ticket games on half price Mondays and we paid full price. And we had the most annoying people there on those nights, by the way.

I was a bit irritated about the same thing. I thought the half price seats were for upper deck only? Anyway, the key to getting half price is buying the ticket as a walk-up. No deal for advance sales...

PaleHoseGeorge
05-01-2002, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by Kilroy
... No deal for advance sales...

Precisely.

Now then, why would any of us be surprised that the Sox are setting records for day-of-game walk up sales, or that season ticket sales lag far behind what is necessary for a healthy franchise?

Given how the Sox price seats, why wouldn't a potential season ticket customer feel like a chump? To the contrary, maybe they decide to give up their season tickets and stand in line for the same seats the day of the game? After all, it worked out just fine for the $13 hoi polloi seated next to them, didn't it?

Ticket price strategy is the key element to marketing an entertainment performance. The Sox are clueless how to develop that strategy.*

*ignoring for the moment the state lease subsidy.

cheeses_h_rice
05-01-2002, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by Cheryl


But if that $27 seat has already been sold to someone who didn't show up, I can't buy that ticket.

BTW, it's called the Comiskey Upgrade.

I'm familiar with the concept; I will often do this a few innings into the game, especially if there are a LOT of empty seats.

I guess I could come back and ask, "How do you know that seat you've taken was already sold?"

There are still empty spots in the really nice seats that haven't been sold. I believe season ticket holders can turn in tickets they won't use for extra tickets to another game.

So, there is a chance that that seat you've sidled into hasn't been paid for. Just a thought.

Cheryl
05-01-2002, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice


I'm familiar with the concept; I will often do this a few innings into the game, especially if there are a LOT of empty seats.

I guess I could come back and ask, "How do you know that seat you've taken was already sold?"

There are still empty spots in the really nice seats that haven't been sold. I believe season ticket holders can turn in tickets they won't use for extra tickets to another game.

So, there is a chance that that seat you've sidled into hasn't been paid for. Just a thought.

I always wait a few innings myself. If the Sox really wanted to sell that seat, they would have.

voodoochile
05-01-2002, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by Kilroy


I was a bit irritated about the same thing. I thought the half price seats were for upper deck only? Anyway, the key to getting half price is buying the ticket as a walk-up. No deal for advance sales...

The 7 game packages do offer the discount, but not the season tickets. Of course the season ticket packages give you $1 off for every game in the package (at least they did last year), so it isn't like you lose that much...

voodoochile
05-01-2002, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice


I'm familiar with the concept; I will often do this a few innings into the game, especially if there are a LOT of empty seats.

I guess I could come back and ask, "How do you know that seat you've taken was already sold?"

There are still empty spots in the really nice seats that haven't been sold. I believe season ticket holders can turn in tickets they won't use for extra tickets to another game.

So, there is a chance that that seat you've sidled into hasn't been paid for. Just a thought.

Just be glad the fans are attending and spending money. PHG is right, they need to increse their season ticket base and then the rest won't matter.

Sitting here, sitting there, what does it matter? I went to a game a few weeks ago on a Thursday. We bought UD cheapy seats. The game had 13K+ in attendance. We sat in the upper deck because we like the seats, but instead of walking up to row 16, we sat in row 8 or something. We were the only people in that row... We could have sat down stairs easily but I prefer to sit directly behind home plate. Did I break a rule? Or does the dislike of seat weaseling only apply to LD seats? Did I buy cheap tickets, knowing I could sit wherever I wanted to? Definitely, but that is what I could afford and at least we were there. We spent another $25 on food, so the two of us spent $50. I would have gone all the way up to row 16, but it seemed ridiculous - there were maybe 500 people in the whole UD...

I would have gladly sat in my seats if the place was full. I bought them, I wanted to sit there, but the point seemed moot and the decision to sit a few rows closer had more to do with laziness than improving our view - why walk the extra 10 steps or whatever it was...

Moses_Scurry
05-01-2002, 04:19 PM
Actually, its only been members of the media who have bitched as far as I know. The Sox probably couldn't care less about seat weasels. They're probably more pissed at the people with tickets who don't show up to the game to buy beer and dogs. I love that term, "Seat Weasel", by the way. Maybe I'll change my handle!

signed,
Jeff, the proud Seat Weasel!

Cheryl
05-01-2002, 04:34 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile

I would have gladly sat in my seats if the place was full. I bought them, I wanted to sit there, but the point seemed moot and the decision to sit a few rows closer had more to do with laziness than improving our view - why walk the extra 10 steps or whatever it was...

If it's full, I sit in the seat designated on my ticket. Which, btw, is usually a bleacher seat rather than the UD...same price, but in the lower deck with all the amenities. I'll sit in the UD if I have too, but that's rare.


Originally posted by Moses_Scurry
Actually, its only been members of the media who have bitched as far as I know. The Sox probably couldn't care less about seat weasels. They're probably more pissed at the people with tickets who don't show up to the game to buy beer and dogs. I love that term, "Seat Weasel", by the way. Maybe I'll change my handle!

signed,
Jeff, the proud Seat Weasel!

Only some of the ushers check--usually those in the season ticket holder only sections--does that make them Seat Nazis?

Again, if the Sox wanted us to stop, they'd make sure there were butts in all those seats.

Iwritecode
05-02-2002, 12:47 PM
've only been a "seat weasel" one time. Mostly due to the fact that usually the only games I am able to get to are the Cubs/Sox games that are always sold out. I can't even say it was a Comiskey upgrade. It was a Wrigley upgrade. :smile:

OK, last year the Sox and Cubs both played at home on the same day. It happened to be the last home game for the Sox also. A group of my friends, my wife and I had all decided to go and just meet at Comiskey. The only problem was that one of my friends had the tickets. So my wife and I got there first and when game time started getting closer and the other guys hadn't shown up yet, we decided to just buy our own tickets. So we did and eventually met up with my friends during the game. We had planned on going to the Cubs game that night but somehow ended up one ticket short. So I had to buy one single ticket to the Cubs game. It was behind home plate but it was way back and a had really horrible view. So I went over to check out the seats my friends were sitting in. The row they were in was completely empty so I grabbed an empty seat on the end right next to them and we all got to sit together. Nobody told me that I was sitting in their seat plus, there were empty seats scattered all around us anyway. Which is really surprising since Wrigley sells out every game...

So that's my one and only seat weasal story. Every other time I go I pay for the best that's available and that's where I sit. I just wish I was able to do it more often...

:)

Moses_Scurry
05-02-2002, 12:59 PM
An interesting side story to the seat weasel discussion:

I went to last night's game and bought my normal upper deck reserved. I then proceded to the lower deck behind the Sox duggout and sat in one of the top rows so I would be under the club level seats and therefore, have a dry seat. So I'm sitting there and I hear a somewhat familiar voice. John Jurkovich and his family were in the row in front of me! I thought about bringing up the seat weasel issue, seeing how Mac, Jurko, and Harry have been talking about it quite a bit the last couple days and after all, I was a seat weasel. But, I figured he was with his family and probably didn't want to be bothered. I actually ended up moving because his kids were annoying me.

alohafri
05-02-2002, 01:13 PM
I'm a season ticket holder too and have been asked a few times to produce my ticket when I am in my seats, but it seems as if they are random checks rather than trying to check everybody. My seats are in right field, great seats near the foul pole. We have "weaseled" our way to different seats if the people sitting near us are obnoxious...to more expensive seats, with a worse view. Maybe I should suggest that the buffoons move to the better seats. "Hey, go sit there, they are more expensive!"

:reese Is anyone sitting here?

Sad
05-08-2002, 08:48 AM
MacNeill's point is on the top of his head...
can't believe that guy has a gig of any kind...

I think discretion is the key here based on attendance that night
for both the fan and usher checking tickets...

I've bought tix for about 8 games this year thru September and will probably attend more on a "last minute" basis...
lower level box, Club (my fav) and upper deck box (I am one of the few that don't mind the upper deck first 8 rows or so and would rather sit there ANY DAY than in the oufield/bleachers where I think it's hard to follow the batter...)

<don't get me started on the upper deck bashing...>

anyways I usually go sit in my seats for the first few innings and "see" how things look. Sometimes I upgrade myself, sometimes I don't . I also think it's important to be polite if you are in somebody elses seat when surrendering it.

Go SOX!