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Fan outrage over Chargers ticket hike

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Outrage inbounds over Chargers ticket price hike
    By Matthew T. Hall3:49 P.M.JAN. 11, 2013

    The headline seemed too matter-of-fact: “Chargers lower some ticket prices, raise others.”
    The Chargers, without a playoff appearance or winning season in three years and with a front office in turmoil, actually raised ticket prices?

    Boy, did they.

    The Chargers jacked up season ticket prices by 11 percent to 22 percent on 24,000 of their most loyal customers — those with the best field, plaza and press-level seats at Qualcomm Stadium. That $900 season package? It now costs as much as $1,100.

    And that’s for 10 discounted tickets, bought in bulk. Single-game seats in those same sections went up by a whopping 33 percent, from $98 to $130.

    To be fair, 45,000 seats in the venue will cost the same or less this year. For example, nearly 10,000 seats will cost about $50 as the team tries to fill a stadium, win more games than it has and prevent a recurrence of the four TV blackouts that were caused by poor ticket sales in 20012.

    The Chargers also are trying to bring ticket costs in line with other National Football League teams, most of whom have been increasing their prices.

    “We needed to make some adjustments there so we could remain a viable and competitive team financially, but also find a way to fill as many seats as we can,” Chargers spokesman Bill Johnston told me. “Obviously, it’s never a good time.”

    But couldn’t this calculus work the other way, creating more empty seats by alienating fervent but cash-strapped fans and leaving a bigger glut in the secondary market where $98 tickets don’t fetch face value now?

    I threw the question to a couple dozen fans. But first, I did some math.

    Since the team’s 14-2 high-water mark in 2006, it has lost about 16,000 of its 62,000 season ticket holders in a stadium with room for 70,000.

    The good news? Until now, ticket prices hadn’t risen since 2008. The bad? The cost for parking and beer had.

    When you add in these expenses, Chargers games were the seventh-most expensive in the 32-team NFL last year and the average ticket price was 10th. A family of four paid $466.20 per Chargers game last year, according to the company Team Marketing Report. The league average was $443.93, but still.

    Worse for fans? A cup of beer at Qualcomm was the NFL’s priciest — $9. The only other team that charged $9 a cup were the Bills, but their fans got 20 ounces instead of 16.

    Now back to the Jan. 4 announcement of the 2013 Chargers ticket “rescale.” A news release downplayed the increases as $10 or $20 a game, and a separate email to ticket holders framed the higher-priced packages in terms of how much “you save!” over new single-game ticket prices.

    Some business model, I thought. After bleeding fans for years, the team’s now bleeding them dry? San Diego’s laid-back, but shouldn’t there be outrage?

    I found some in Coronado at the home of Roy Gayhart, whose two seats at the 30-yard line would cost him $400 more a year if he renews.

    A season ticket holder from 1974 to 1986 and from 1994 to now, Gayhart said he’ll walk away because of the higher cost, the team’s poor play and the ease of watching games on TV.

    “My wife would have liked me to sell the tickets two or three seasons ago,” Gayhart said. “She doesn’t understand the masochism that comes with spending that kind of money.”

    He added: “It’s an emotional decision, but I’ve done it before.”

    Another fan emailed me: “I don’t mind paying $3,600 a year for my four seats I’ve had since 1988, if they’d put a team on the field that wasn’t so inept. Very frustrating, thinking of getting rid of two of my four.”

    These guys seem to be in the minority. Take Chuck Piro of La Mesa.

    “After 33 years, after being a season ticket holder for that long, I was just going to say, ‘Screw it. I’ll watch it on TV. Then I talked to my brother and the other guys we go to the game with and my brother said, ‘You’re going to let $100 stop you from going, when we’ve been going for so long and we always have such a good time?’” Piro said.

    Some will renew without hesitation despite higher costs. And those spared increases are all too eager to see what a new general manager and head coach might do. But others are forking over more money reluctantly.

    Fletcher Hills tailgaters Al and Josephine Thoryk won’t miss out on their parties in the H4 section of the parking lot despite the pricier tickets. But their streak of attending every home game since they began buying her uncle’s tickets 13 years ago may get reset in 2013.

    “I don’t know if I’ll go to all the games,” Al said. “I just can’t wait to find out much they’re going to charge us for parking.”

    It’s too early to say what the pricing’s impact will be, Johnston said. Ticket sales don’t spike until the NFL draft in April and summer training camp.

    “Our goal is to fill the stadium and to sell as many seats as possible, which obviously gives us that strong home-field advantage, which helps us win, and which helps us sell tickets,” Johnston said. “That’s a cycle that we just need to get back into.”

    Las Vegas may already have a betting line on how many TV blackouts the Bolts will have in 2013. You think the fans and the under will come through?
     
  2. PanchoX1

    PanchoX1 BoltTalker

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    Maybe they'll bring back the Groupon deal...
     
  3. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    My tickets are awesome and the price did not change. I will happily buy my tickets again, pick out 2 to 3 games I want to drive down to, and sell the rest to my friends.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Lightning's Girl

    Lightning's Girl Mod Chick =) Staff Member Moderator

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    Crap. My parents must be spinning in their graves over these prices, especially in view of the past several seasons' lack of performance. They held season tickets from 1970 until 1989 and would be appalled....although they'd probably still buy them. Criminy.:poop:
     
  5. Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan

    Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan Well-Known Member

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    My two seats didn't go up either and I'm in Plaza 26. While I understand charging more for the better seats, I do believe people who have season tickets in those sections will ultimately end up renewing.

    The article also talks about the high prices for beer. Am I right in thinking that concession stand prices aren't set by the Chargers? Aren't they set by the city? Is it a vendor thing?
     
  6. Fossil

    Fossil BoltTalker

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    “Our goal is to fill the stadium and to sell as many seats as possible, which obviously gives us that strong home-field advantage, which helps us win, and which helps us sell tickets,” Johnston said. “That’s a cycle that we just need to get back into.”
    I see. So it's the empty seats that make the Chargers lose. Not the other way around. Boy, now I need two chill pills: one for daring to complain and another for the guilt of causing the Boltz' three-year decline.:confused:
     
  7. MadMike

    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    Run by vendor but prices set by Chargers.
     
  8. MadMike

    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    And my seats in f39 on the 25 yard line just went up from 910 a seat to 1100 a seat. Straight bullshit.
     
  9. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if my old seats went up?
     
  10. MadMike

    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    Everything on the field and all the plaza seats went up, end zones, view stayed the same or went down.
     
  11. Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan

    Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan Well-Known Member

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    No. Not all plaza seats went up. Mine stayed the same.
     
  12. MadMike

    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    Thought everything in Plaza went up. Maybe it was just between the 20's and closer to the railing.
     
  13. Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan

    Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan Well-Known Member

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    All of field did go up. Plaza went up in sections 1-13, 29-44, 59-61.
     
  14. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Crazy because most Field seats are sh it.
     
  15. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog BoltTalker

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    Has anyone received a billing statement for next season's seats yet? When is the first payment due? Is it a 4 or 5 payment plan?
     
  16. MadMike

    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    Love my seats on the field. 30 yard line, 14th row. Can see the whole field, close enough to just about listen in on the bench chatter. love it.
     
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  17. MadMike

    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    And no, havent received a bill yet.
     
  18. Pumpkin Bolt

    Pumpkin Bolt Zin me!

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  19. MadMike

    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure I am not "Saving" any money by my tickets going up from 910 to 1100. Good try Chargers!
     
  20. Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan

    Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan Well-Known Member

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    None yet. Expect it sometime in February.
     
  21. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog BoltTalker

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    Okay, just checking... Thanks!
     
  22. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/14/bengals-cut-ticket-prices-again/

    Despite the first consecutive playoff appearances in non-strike seasons in franchise history, the Bengals know that it’s not easy to sell tickets to Paul Brown Stadium.
    So they’re cutting prices. Again.
    Specifically, prices for season tickets will be cut in 20 sections of the stadium, from $50 to $40 per game in some locations, and from $60 to $50 in others.
    “As an organization we are committed to having a full stadium for every game to give us a competitive advantage,” Bengals executive V.P. Katie Blackburn said. “We are coming off a good year, we have been to the playoffs two years in a row, and we have five 2012 playoff teams coming to Cincinnati this season. We believe that our 2013 pricing model, in conjunction with the strong home schedule, will be very attractive to fans and will make tickets available at the right prices to help us to reach that goal.”
    The Bengals decided in 2012 not to take advantage of a rule that allows teams to reduce the blackout threshold from 100 percent of all non-premium tickets to as low as 85 percent. Blackouts were reduced, but the team still struggled at times to sell out the stadium.
    Season-ticket plans range from $40 per seat to $85. The packages are available at 9:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
     
  23. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Cool, to each his own.
     
  24. MadMike

    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    This^
     
  25. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    I know we would all LOVE to see prices at that level but you cannot honestly compare the two markets. Income, cost-of-living and the cost of doing business in Ohio is much lower than in Southern California.
     
  26. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    What?! You dont think people are excited to live in Cinci?! The fun, the night life, the riverside environment? The sub artic winters, coupled with the humid, hot summers?! Whats not to love?
     
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  27. MadMike

    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    Yah but you've got a captive audience in Cinci. Seriously what else is there to do but go to the game? Start a meth lab? Go to a tractor race? Chargers have to compete with so many other forms of entertainment.
     
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