After Major League Baseball (MLB) saw its overall attendance number drop for the first time in five years, a majority of its franchises are offering more value on tickets for their fans next seaon, as the league watches the economy struggle. Of the 30 teams that make up MLB, 23 of them have announced a reduction or freezing of ticket prices, as well as other fan-friendly ticket plans for the 2009 season.
The teams have taken the advice of Commissioner Bud Selig who warned owners to not “get too cocky” when deciding their ticket prices for the upcoming season. See table below.
“There used to be a theory … that we seemed almost to be recession-proof,” Commissioner Bud Selig told the Reuters Media Summit in early December, according to MLB.com. “This is different, clearly, and so we’re going to be very sensitive. To think that all of this won’t have some kind of impact on the sport is probably unrealistic.”
Among the teams that were the most sensitive is the Seattle Mariners, which in 2008 finished with 101 losses and in the bottom third in attendance, according to ESPN.com. In the hopes of increasing the number of season tickets sold, the team will offer a buy four season tickets for the price of two. The offer would save their fans up to $6,300.
The Minnesota Twins, another team that finished in the bottom third in attendance, is also offering big discounts on season tickets with their “Cheap Seats Plan,” selling packages for $250 or just $3.09 per game. This will be the team’s final season at the Metrodome before moving to the new Target Field in 2010.
But it’s not just the teams with poor attendance who have made news when they announced their ticket prices. Even the Boston Red Sox, who are in the midst of a 469-game sell out streak have frozen all 2009 ticket prices to what the team charged in 2008.
“At a time when our fans are maybe feeling some kind of economic adversity, we should show some sensitivity to that at this time,” Larry Lucchino said to NECN.
It’s the first time the Red Sox have frozen all ticket prices at Fenway Park in fourteen seasons. Other teams that have frozen their some of their ticket prices as well include the Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates.
As spring training approaches, the remaining teams which have not yet announced any value plans for their tickets, are expected to release new ticket options for their fans soon.