But, as principals in those ownership groups told an audience during a Boston Globe-sponsored discussion panel this week, the challenges they face on the ticketing front remain formidable.
The difficulty is in finding the balance between keeping tickets affordable while still catering to premium seat and luxury suite buyers who expect perks and upgraded amenities.
“When the opportunity arises for us to do some high-end catering and to offer the premium package, it helps our revenue engine and the franchise,” Charlie Jacobs, a principal with the Bruins, said during the New England Xpo for Business at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, as quoted by the Globe.
Luxury suites drive ticket sales, as evidenced by the fact that every professional team that has built a new stadium in the last 25 years has dramatically increased the number of suites it offers, and teams that haven’t built new stadiums are looking for ways to add more through expensive renovation projects.
All three teams try to offer affordable tickets in certain sections of their facilities, but the average price of tickets for Boston teams remains near the top for their respective leagues. And that’s not counting the secondary ticket market, where seats can easily cost in the hundreds of dollars for some games. Boston-based Ace Ticket has ticket resale deals with the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics.
“The reality of sports today is you need the revenue if you are going to put a championship team on the field. It is a balancing act every day,” said Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca, as quoted by the Globe.
To combat the rising cost of tickets, all three teams hope to add more special deals, perhaps some with corporate sponsorship, to offer an increase of affordable tickets.
“We’ve got to make more of an effort to have specialized programs for students, for charities, for families in military,” Larry Lucchino, chief executive of the Sox, told the crowd.