The Arizona Diamondbacks are going strong this season, shooting to the top of their NL West Division on solid performances over recent weeks. Since their game against the Houston Astros last week, the Diamondbacks have taken hold of first place and are not letting go. This is much to the relief of their fans, who saw the team through a two-season losing streak and a management overhaul in the past year.
D-Backs fans likely will also be impressed with a recent off-field move by the team: the Diamondbacks announced last week that the club will freeze season ticket prices for 2012. Next year, a majority of seats in Phoenix’s Chase Field will sell for $25 or less, with nearly 55 percent going for $12 or less.
“It is important we remain affordable for our fans and have decided to keep our season ticket prices flat,” President and CEO Derrick Hall explained in a statement accompanying the team’s announcement. “We are confident our pricing will allow us to remain one of the most affordable options in professional sports as well as the lowest average ticket price among Phoenix sports teams.”
Bob Bernstein, CEO of eSeats.com, sees the club’s move to freeze prices as an attempt to respond to fan needs and to the reality of today’s economy. “I think it’s a good idea,” Bernstein told TicketNews. “It shows that [management is] listening, they are in tune with the reality of the marketplace.
“There’s a crisis of confidence in the marketplace for tickets in general for sporting events,” he added. “I just think it’s an overall malaise in the marketplace… and there are a lot of choices for consumers when it comes to buying their tickets.”
Bernstein believes the decision to keep prices flat at this time is a smart one, not only as a response to financial realities but also in terms of keeping loyal fans: “Upper management has their finger on the pulse of the economy. They’re not going to try to take advantage of a recent upswing of the team’s performance, and it bodes very well for the fans.”
The decision comes one year after the team raised prices on a number of sections for the 2011 season, with prices increasing between 50 cents and $2 per ticket in those sections. Many at the time saw this as an attempt by the team to capitalize on the scheduling of the 2011 All-Star Game at Chase Field. Prior to this season, however, the D-backs had maintained the lowest average season ticket price in the League for four years running.
Diamondback’s 2012 season tickets are currently on sale, with those who purchase their tickets this summer given priority on 2011 postseason offerings. Other perks for season ticket holders include access to exclusive events, priority for spring training tickets, single-game ticket pre-sales and the ability to exchange tickets for future games.