(Edited February 3, 2013 at 11:30 AM)
Over the span of two days, Dodger fans, especially season ticket holders, received some bad news and then some very bad news.
On Thursday it was revealed that the Dodgers would no longer be sending out printed ‘hard’ tickets to their 31,000 season ticket holders (and mini-plan holders) and instead will now require them to print out their own tickets using their own paper and ink, or have their tickets scanned from their smartphones. Suffice to say that neither is an option for those who don’t have a smartphone or access to a computer or a printer.
While doing away with printed hard tickets may seem like cutting edge or state-of-the-art technology by Dodgers ownership, it is a devastating blow to the many fans who collect ticket stubs – including some who have done so for a half century or longer.
“It makes me feel sad,” said 62-year-old Dodger fan Will Isabella. “I’ve been collecting ticket stubs from Dodger games since I was 12 years old, and I don’t own a smartphone.”
And then to add insult to injury, late Friday afternoon just one day before the Dodgers highly touted second annual FanFest event, it was announced that season ticket prices had been raised by as much as 140%, this in spite of the fact that the Dodgers recently received MLB’s blessings to proceed with their 25-year/$8.5 billion exclusive TV rights deal with Time Warner Cable (called SportsNet LA). Of that $8.5 billion the Dodgers will keep $6 billion, with the remaining $2.5 billion going to Major League Baseball.
Dodgers Vice President of Ticket Sales David Siegel was given the task of trying to justify the insane ticket price increase, at which he failed miserably.
“(It) just comes down to the demand, how quickly our seats are flying out the door,” Siegel said.
Apparently Siegel (or more likely the Guggenheim Baseball Management group) seems to forget that it was their longtime season ticket holders who kept the franchise in existence during the miserable News Corp and McCourt eras, including some who have had season tickets for decades and through two or three generations of Dodger fans.
Under the new pricing system the cost for a Field MVP Box has jumped from $75 per game ($6,150 for the season) to $100 per game ($8,200); an Infield Loge Box from $26 per game ($2,132 for the season) to $40 ($3,280); and Preferred Reserve from $5 ($410 for the season) to $12 ($984).
The cold hard truth is that due to the success that the Dodgers have enjoyed since Guggenheim Baseball Management took over the troubled franchise, and with a very bright future ahead because of their extremely deep pockets, they could care less if longtime season ticket holders renew next season or not because someone will purchase them regardless of the price. The intangible here is that GBM fails to recognize (or they simply don’t care) that these longtime season ticket holders have always been their most loyal fans – something that you cannot put a dollar value on.
Unfortunately, it appears that the wonderful two-year honeymoon that GBM has had with their most loyal fans is now over and these fans are being kicking aside.
So why are the Dodgers really raising ticket prices, you ask?
The answer to this is simple – because they can.
(Edited February 3, 2013 at 11:30 AM):
As a point of clarification, the new price increases imposed last Friday afternoon DO NOT affect season ticket holders who renewed their season seats prior prior to the January 7, 2014 deadline and actually affect only those who purchase the add-on season seats added on Friday afternoon; HOWEVER, it is probably safe to say that the new increased prices will be in play for ALL STHs next season – hence the second point of this article.