Michael Vick Dog Fighting Case Could Impact Ticket Sales
By Talmadge Harper
With the news of his possible involvement in dog fighting looking worse by the day for star NFL quarterback Michael Vick, some brokers have already begun to experience plunging prices for Atlanta Falcons tickets.
Vick was indicted last week on federal charges relating to his alleged involvement in a multi-state, underground dog fighting ring, and the NFL has told the Falcons QB to stay away from training camp indefinitely. A hurt and frustrated team owner Arthur Blank has even hinted that Vick’s tenure with the Falcons might be over.
Carl White, owner of Atlanta-based www.Webtickets.com, said he’s seen a loss of sales due to the Vick controversy, and he anticipates a further decline. “Because of this, we dropped all of our season tickets, we anticipate a complete disaster. It’s going to be tough for ticket brokers. The situation stands on itself for making it worse. Arthur Blank’s comments didn’t really have much to do with it, as much as the event itself.” . . .
With fans anger at Vick mounting, White anticipates at least a $50,000 loss for his company, and believes he won’t be the only one affected by the case.
Allen Raines, owner and president of www.AlphaTickets.com, also in Atlanta, said he has similar expectations on the effect of Falcon tickets sales. Over the last two days, Falcons ticket sales have continued drop as a direct result of the Vick case.
“Falcon ticket sales were not strong to start with because of Mike Vick,” Raines said, adding that the indictment alone didn’t bring down sales but the whole specter of the controversy. “There are a lot of people who would normally go see him, but without him there, it does not look good.”
Without Vick, the Falcons will turn to inconsistent QB Joey Harrington, who has never lived up to his hype. “I can’t speak for everyone else, however some brokers may choose to more aggressively price the inventory to move it quicker, rather than have a worse loss later,” Raines said.