Rising ticket prices have become an annual tradition for the Phillies and 2011 will be no different. With a $2-$5 increase on all ticket prices, season ticket holders are going to be smacked with a $415 increase per seat. If you have 2 seats, that is $830 you probably did not plan on. Partial plans (17 or 14 games) will rise $70-$85 dollars for each seat.
With every game sold out in 2010 and a 123-game sell-out streak dating back to 2009, it is easy to see why the Phillies feel they can keep gouging fans for more money. But they are failing to see the long term effects. They are forcing out low-middle income fans and pulling in more corporations and those at the top of the proverbial food chain.
If the team stops winning in a couple of years as the talent ages or moves on to other teams, the higher-end fans, whom are usually the fair-weather fans, are going to drop off like flies. And there won’t be any low-middle class fans left to pick up the slack in ticket sales because they will not be able to afford the high prices. Of course, that is just my opinion. You may agree or disagree.
There are other ways to make money; all the Phillies need to do is look around and see what other teams are doing in terms of creative enterprise. Take a look at some of the fee-based services and opportunities the San Francisco Giants offer to their fans:
– Lou Seal-ebrity Ride of the Game: Allows Giants fans the opportunity to tag along with Lou (the mascot, like the Phanatic) for an inning.
– Lou Seal Appearance: The mascot will visit your party, take photos, etc… between innings or a your kid’s birthday party, etc…
– Steal Second: Tag along with the Giants grounds crew during the third inning and change out 2nd base!
– Slumber Party: Pitch a tent and sleep ON the field, overnight and then meet a player in the morning.
– Fantasy Batting Practice: Take a swing or shag a ball; for up to 30 people which includes a two-hour batting practice with Giants Alumni, lunch on the Club Level, a Q&A session with the Giants Alumni and tickets to the game that day. (I saw this event when I was in San Francisco last year taking a park tour and was SO jealous!)
And this is just ONE team. One team that has figured out how to please their fans and earn money at the same time. If the Phillies incorporated a few of these ideas into their plans, there would be no need to keep jacking up ticket prices. Fantasy batting practice? Can you imagine? That would be SOLD OUT every time! And fans would be willing to pay top dollar for such an opportunity…I know I would.
How about riding around with the Phanatic for an inning? That would be AWESOME! Have the fan paying for the experience sign a waiver that does not hold the team liable for any accidents and also has the fan pledge not to do anything stupid and…abracadabra! An easy money maker. Magic.
Hey Phillies, how about a little creativity? You will make more money and fans will be happier; it’s a win-win. Not to mention that offering these unique experiences is a great public relations move.
That is my rant for the day…feel free to comment below.
And in case you missed it, here is my 2010 Phillies Photo Tribute with pictures I took throughout the year:
Thanks for stopping by!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
So much for the presence of Cliff Lee taking some of the pressure off Cole Hamels; you can officially take that theory and flush it down the toilet. And down the toilet is exactly where this four game series went today as Hamels was destroyed by the Giants in a 7-3 loss. The Phillies lost 3 of 4 here in the city by the bay.
It all began to unravel in the 5th inning when, with 2 outs in the inning, Giants pitcher Barry Zito nubbed a good luck broken bat single up the middle. Instead of taking it for what it was, a stroke of luck, Hamels let the hit get into his head and chaos ensued. 3 runs later, the Giants moved onto the 6th inning with Hamels still annoyed about the previous disaster and 3 more runs scored in that next inning.
Hamels is looking more and more like a mental patient on the mound instead of an MVP. Can someone please call Dr. Phil? This guy needs a serious sit down. It does not matter how good a pitchers arm is; if he cannot handle the pressure, he will crack. And Hamels is cracking to the point of breaking. Let me ask you this; when Pedro Martinez arrives and one of the starters is going to get bumped to the bullpen, can the Phillies justify doing this to JA Happ when he has outpitched Hamels?
Think I am nuts? Look at the numbers: Hamels has a 7-6 record with a 4.68 ERA. Happ, in 17 fewer innings due to a season start in the pen, has a record of 7-2 with a 2.97 ERA. Hamels is averaging 5 2/3 innings pitched per game for the season; Happ is averaging 6 2/3 in his last 10 starts (could not use games he pitched from the pen, so went with last 10) and therefore, going deeper into games.
Is Cole the staff “ace”? Supposedly. And there is no denying the job he did last season. But why hurt the team while he gets his head on straight? Brett Myers knew that was the wrong thing to do last year when he accepted a minor league assignment in order to straighten himself out. Will Hamels ever follow suit? That is doubtful. Then it is up to the manager to make the decision for him. I am not saying he should be demoted to the minors, but Hamels needs to show this team that he can handle pressure and adjust in tight situations. If he cannot turn things around, I think a “spanking” of some sort is in order here.
And there is my Hamels rant for the day. The rest of the team did not do much this series to help out either. The offense was lacking and defense was sloppy, as evidenced by a Ryan Howard goof today that cost the team another run. In fact, the biggest hit of the day, besides a Jimmy Rollins solo shot, was a double off the bat of Eric Bruntlett that went deep into left field. When the standout star of the day is Eric “I am batting below .150” Bruntlett, you know it is going to be a very bad day.
But tomorrow is another day and the Phillies are still in first place. A three game series with the Rockies may be just what the doctor ordered Tuesday night beginning at 7:05pm.
I will be taking a tour of AT & T Park tomorrow morning and flying home tomorrow evening. I hope to post a review of San Francisco, both the city and the ballpark, sometime on Tuesday. I will also be posting a Photo Album from the entire West Coast trip and all 4 games with the Giants. For now, let’s see if the Phillies return home can spark some offense! Go Phillies!
Photos by Jenn