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View Full Version : Rising Attendance is Possible


A.T. Money
06-10-2003, 04:22 PM
I was thinking about this today, and I think if the White Sox played their cards right, they can boost ticket sales easily.

Look at the picture below:

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/images/im_ballpark_seating_chart.gif

The Sox should reserve the light grey VIP area around home plate for full 81-game and high senority 27-game season ticket holders only. Those seats will not be available for walkup or individual game tickets. There can be a price range for this section, depending on where you sit. The light blue areas are reserved for 27-game season ticket holders, and not available for walkups or individual sales.

The right field seats, left field, and bleachers are available for Sox 7 buyers first, and the remains are left for individual buyers and walk ups. The price of these tickets should be lowered by at least $5 per ticket.

The club level can be used as it always is.

The upperdeck box (green) can be used as walk up sales, but instead of a ridiculous $20, they should go for $10 dollars. The upperdeck reserve tickets (dark grey) should go for $2-$5 depending on where it is.

Bottom line is this. GET PEOPLE IN THE PARK. Once they are in there, you'll make more money on beer, food, and novalties. You'll be drawing your larger crowds this way. Selling tickets in the upperdeck for $2 is a lot better than NO DOLLARS!!!

The key is to put some asses in the seats!!!! Charge a little extra for food if you must, but at least get the crowds, because you know once the crowd is there, they'll eat, drink, etc.

MRKARNO
06-10-2003, 04:32 PM
They would need more full and partial season ticket holders to do this, but it's a good idea...If you have 20,000 people a game buying into ticket plans. THis wouldnt work for now because it's contigent on having a certain number of season ticket holders and that can't be guarenteed.

xil357
06-10-2003, 04:36 PM
I like this idea but I would go one step further and offer all upper deck tickets for $1 on weekdays and $2 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until you start selling them all out and demand outstrips supply.

A.T. Money
06-10-2003, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
They would need more full and partial season ticket holders to do this, but it's a good idea...If you have 20,000 people a game buying into ticket plans. THis wouldnt work for now because it's contigent on having a certain number of season ticket holders and that can't be guarenteed.

I still think you have enough season ticket holders to fill the grey area. If you run out of full season ticket spaces, you can overflow the senior 27-game ticket holders in the spots. Anything left over in the light blues you can sell individually.

Lower the ticket prices in the outfield, bleachers, and even sell those upperdeck reserves for $1. Why not? I think the upperdeck box should be around $5 to $10 dollars though, because they are still decent seats.

A.T. Money
06-10-2003, 04:48 PM
I think those that vote "No" should explain why.

The situation we have now sucks. The tickets are way too high, and I think the price of the ticket is keeping people away.

Dadawg_77
06-10-2003, 04:49 PM
I think the Sox have only 12,000 tickets sold to season ticket holders. But there is a fatal flaw in your plan, it reduces revenue per seat for the Sox, which is major to the Sox. The lease on the park calls for the rent to be forgiven by the State if Sox do not draw a certain amount of fans. Thus there is a breakeven point of revenue per seat sold which the Sox have to have for it make sense to take efforts to expand attendance, since a great increase in attendence will raise the Sox overhead cost. By dropping ticket prices for walkup sales below $10, you are probably lowering the revenue per seat below that breakeven point.

MRKARNO
06-10-2003, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by SoxDemon
I still think you have enough season ticket holders to fill the grey area. If you run out of full season ticket spaces, you can overflow the senior 27-game ticket holders in the spots. Anything left over in the light blues you can sell individually.

Lower the ticket prices in the outfield, bleachers, and even sell those upperdeck reserves for $1. Why not? I think the upperdeck box should be around $5 to $10 dollars though, because they are still decent seats.

The Lower level infield holds about 15,000 I would guess and I've been to games where there weren't that many people at the park. If we got 15,000 guarenteed per game, that would be great, but I dont see us having that many season ticket holders

I agree with the general idea of bringing in more people by lowering the prices, but the Sox would have to do some PR to convince the general public that the upper deck is actually pretty good and I think the sox still need to be able to sell walk-up lower deck infield seats. It's unfair if you have season tickets and you want to bring extra people and you can't get tickets except for the outfield

Eddie Gaedel
06-10-2003, 05:00 PM
i buy full season upperdeck box season tickets. i don't buy lower deck because i can't afford it and i don't like sitting in the outfield. limiting where full season tickets or any ticket package can be bought is foolish. if i'm willing to invest thousands of $$ a year in whitesox baseball, i should be able to choose where i want to sit. however, i do agree upperdeck reserve should be $5.

Brian26
06-10-2003, 05:11 PM
Dawg hit the nail on the head.

If you start selling upperdeck tickets for a buck or two a piece, you're not going to make a profit in the long run. The Sox would have to open up all of the upper deck concession stands, hire more security and ushers, more cleaning crews for after the game, more parking lot attendants, additional guest services people. All of these people will be making 8 bucks an hour (guessing here). If the game lasts 4 hours, that's 32 bucks. Basically a row of seats in the upper deck for a game, at a buck a piece, would pay one worker's evening salary.

There is overhead involved in concessions as well. Electricity, supplies, etc. There will be probably a huge profit on alcohol, and a decent profit on food. It's not going to pay for Colon's salary for next year though.

mandmandm
06-10-2003, 05:12 PM
First Demon:

You sort of have two questions:

Rising Attendance Is Possible?

Do you agree with my proposal?

First question. I do not think that until the the current ownership sells the club there will be a significant spike in attendence. The numbers did not go up significantly in 2000 and even this year with the allstar game and Bartlo signing the attendance is poor. The managment has proven after almost a quarter century of ownership that they can not field a championship team. Marketing and sales are not held responsible for not being able to sell tickets. I remember feeling lucky to be able to get a decent seat in the early 90's to new Comiskey Park. I do not forsee those times coming back anytime soon.

Second Question. I have had the weekend package since 1999 and am fortunate to have front row bleacher seats and I really enjoy the location. It is great to be close to the action as well as close to the concourse where my kids can roam around. While this year's piss poor performance might be the last straw in my decision to to renew next year, if the organization forced me to move my seats I would get in the line of millions of others and tell JR to go F himself.

A.T. Money
06-10-2003, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by Brian26
Dawg hit the nail on the head.

If you start selling upperdeck tickets for a buck or two a piece, you're not going to make a profit in the long run. The Sox would have to open up all of the upper deck concession stands, hire more security and ushers, more cleaning crews for after the game, more parking lot attendants, additional guest services people. All of these people will be making 8 bucks an hour (guessing here). If the game lasts 4 hours, that's 32 bucks. Basically a row of seats in the upper deck for a game, at a buck a piece, would pay one worker's evening salary.


That's still $32 dollars more than they are making right now.....

voodoochile
06-10-2003, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by SoxDemon
That's still $32 dollars more than they are making right now.....

only if they fill the whole row. There are what, 20K seats in the UD currently? So if they sold every one at $2 they would get $40K which is the same thing as selling 2K seats at the current prices (which they normally have at least that many people in the UD for every game). In addition, they would take away from people willing to pay higher prices for lower deck seats who wouldn't be able to pass up the bargain. Further hurting revenue. Add in the extra ushers, security, counter workers and it quickly becomes a losing proposition.

Finally, the problem compounds the "devaluation" of the product which has become so prevelant under JR's regime.

BTW, most of the gray area is sold to season ticket holders of one kind or another and a good chunk of the blue area is held by 27-game ticket holders under the current system.

A.T. Money
06-10-2003, 05:46 PM
Notice I said upperdeck reserved should range from $2 (corners) to $5 each. Currently, the corners and the top of the upper deck, make NO MONEY. The upperdeck box seats have people behind home plate, but that's about it. Cut those prices in half, and you'll sell more of them along the lines and near the outfield. In the end, you'll sell three times the amount, and still make more money.

No one in their right mind is going to pay that kind of money to sit at the very top, or in the corner, unless it is half price night, or a series vs the Cubs or maybe Yankees.

PaleHoseGeorge
06-10-2003, 06:00 PM
The biggest "cost" in the live entertainment business is the cost of empty seats. The performance goes on whether somebody is there to witness it or not. The best way to generate demand--and raise price per ticket--is to generate ticket scarcity. Anybody who sees the endless rows of empty blue seats at the Cell knows plenty of good seats are always available to see the Sox. The root to all of Reinsdorf's revenue troubles begin right here.

Yes, there are significant variable costs associated with added attendance. As noted earlier, the added costs of wages to vendors and clean up crews must be incurred whenever the ballpark is filled. Any good accountant can calculate what the marginal costs are for such expenses. From there creating a financial plan that covers all of these expenses is easily formulated.

While we're on the subject of variable costs, let's not underestimate the costs associated with unpredictable walk up sales. If the weather is warm and the tickets are half-priced, you can be sure the Ligues and Dybases are going to show up--and isn't that a blessing! Unfortunately you can't predict the weather, so calling to work a larger work crew (and filling and staffing the concession stands) is basically guess work for stadium management, which of course adds costs, too. In stark contrast, season ticketholders already paid their money, so while staffing the necessary work crew is still guess work (guessing how many season ticketholders actually show up), the Sox already have their money. That's not called a cost; that's called revenue.

I like Demon's plan. However I suspect the Sox gave up on forcing Sox Fans to sit in their assigned seats because too many of us whined and complained about not getting to sit in the best available seat until they just started jacking the price of all seats (like UD Reserved) beyond what any reasonable person would normally pay to sit there. We pay those unreasonable prices for UD Reserved seats specifically because most of us don't sit there. We take the Comiskey Upgrade and "think" we got away with something. Ha ha! The joke is on YOU!

The Sox must raise season ticket sales and Demon's plan addresses that need. We can quibble about the details, but his central point is make the tickets scarcer and the best seats available only to the most devoted (i.e. financially committed) fans. Anybody who doesn't like it is simply playing into Jerry Reinsdorf's hands.

:reinsy
"Sox Fans don't want to win as much as I do!"

A.T. Money
06-10-2003, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
The biggest "cost" in the live entertainment business is the cost of empty seats. The performance goes on whether somebody is there to witness it or not. The best way to generate demand--and raise price per ticket--is to generate ticket scarcity. Anybody who sees the endless rows of empty blue seats at the Cell knows plenty of good seats are always available to see the Sox. The root to all of Reinsdorf's revenue troubles begin right here.

Yes, there are significant variable costs associated with added attendance. As noted earlier, the added costs of wages to vendors and clean up crews must be incurred whenever the ballpark is filled. Any good accountant can calculate what the marginal costs are for such expenses. From there creating a financial plan that covers all of these expenses is easily formulated.

While we're on the subject of variable costs, let's not underestimate the costs associated with unpredictable walk up sales. If the weather is warm and the tickets are half-priced, you can be sure the Ligues and Dybases are going to show up--and isn't that a blessing! Unfortunately you can't predict the weather, so calling to work a larger work crew (and filling and staffing the concession stands) is basically guess work for stadium management, which of course adds costs, too. In stark contrast, season ticketholders already paid their money, so while staffing the necessary work crew is still guess work (guessing how many season ticketholders actually show up), the Sox already have their money. That's not called a cost; that's called revenue.

I like Demon's plan. However I suspect the Sox gave up on forcing Sox Fans to sit in their assigned seats because too many of us whined and complained about not getting to sit in the best available seat until they just started jacking the price of all seats (like UD Reserved) beyond what any reasonable person would normally pay to sit there. We pay those unreasonable prices for UD Reserved seats specifically because most of us don't sit there. We take the Comiskey Upgrade and "think" we got away with something. Ha ha! The joke is on YOU!

The Sox must raise season ticket sales and Demon's plan addresses that need. We can quibble about the details, but his central point is make the tickets scarcer and the best seats available only to the most devoted (i.e. financially committed) fans. Anybody who doesn't like it is simply playing into Jerry Reinsdorf's hands.

:reinsy
"Sox Fans don't want to win as much as I do!"

I'm glad you see the point George. But I shouldn't take credit for all of it. I got the idea from the Dodgers. They draw usually in the top 5 every year, and their team usually lingers around 2nd/3rd place like us, and while they have a larger market, their cost of living is higher. However, Fox and the Dodgers front office keep ticket prices lower than us, and use this philosophy. The prices of food and drink is higher. I think I paid $4-something for a Dodger Dog, and it sucked compared to a Polish at the Cell. The Dodgers are also in the top 5 in payroll, yet they can afford this plan.

Notice:

http://www.mlb.com/la/images/ballpark/la_im_seatingchart_650.gif

And before someone tells me Fox has more money than Uncle Jerry, let me stop you there.

Fox is in it to make money, as we all know this is a business. You think the Tribune is going to SPEND money and LOSE money? HAH! Fox puts zero dollars of their money into the Dodgers. The Dodgers are a subsidiary of Fox. A small chunk of the pie. Just like the Cubs are a mere sliver of the Cubune.

kevingrt
06-11-2003, 12:50 AM
The problem is the Sox would never lower tickets lower then they already are. I just go on Monday's and Tuesday's like I did tonite, and the park was rockin. It was a nice nite tonite, and if they compete more fans will come, especially with teh weather

ewokpelts
06-12-2003, 05:08 PM
Hi.
I think the Sox need to create better "added-value" promotions. One thing, is to stop the "day of game" specials, and let them be advance ticket specials. Another Idea would be to borrow a page from Clear Channel(they who own the Tweeter Center). Seems Clear Channel has a "members only " program called GetAccess. Thisnyear package included lawn vouchers, as well as consession coupons. If the Sox did somehting Similar, and offered tickets and consession discounts as part of member ship, they could attract more value minded customers. PLus, if the packets were made BEFORE the season, the team could have an extra source of revenue, especially in teh dead winter months. Mind you, they could make even more by letting sponsors undercut costs, but it could be a start. I seriously doubt they will push potential season ticket customers into a higer priced ticket option(aside from the UDR). If I had to buy my seson tickets ONLY in the lower deck box, I would pass, especially after the stellar performance they have given me on the field(thanks a lot, Buerhle).
Gene