The Chicago Cubs recently announced that regular fans are going to pay more announced that regular fans are going to pay more for their tickets next season, a lot more. But at least they are able to purchase tickets. Some season ticket holders have learned that they will not be able to purchase tickets at all, and it has some longtime fans feeling abandoned after enduring years of losing seasons.
The team’s vice president of sales, Colin Faulkner, last week sent a letter to dejected fans thanking them for their past support before announcing that “after careful consideration, we regret to inform you we have decided not to renew the license for your account. As a result, you will not be offered the opportunity to purchase season tickets for the 2016 season.”
Secondary ticketing blogs and bulletin boards have been lighting up with brokers accusing the Chicago Cubs of canceling their 2016 season ticket packages after one of the clubs most successful seasons in recent memory, denying them the ability to recoup previous years loses.
“Screw these teams,” stated one broker, “lost money for 5 years now they cancel tickets.” Some of the brokers are accusing the Cubs of seeking them out in lean years to buy tickets, only to pull the rug out from under them for next season. “They offered me season tickets last year after being on the list since 2004. I took 4 of the cheap uppers, and they offered them to me knowing I wasn’t local, they knew my address was in CA,” said another broker. “They also sent me that email saying they are not renewing me.”
Another broker who was cancelled a few years ago felt especially sorry for the newly canceled, observing that “fortunately, they canceled my seats while they were still lousy and a money loser every year. I would be considerably more pissed if they did it when I had endured a bunch of lousy seasons to finally see them competitive again, only to have my seats pulled.”
The underlying theme to most of the comments was that in the past the Cubs sold season packages knowing that they were brokers, and as a result of this season’s success the team decided to drop them and cash in.
We reached out Julian Green, the Cubs vice president for communications, for comment. When informed of the accusations by brokers that they were courted by the team during lean times and then dropped right after the end of the team’s best season, he denied that the Cubs ever reached out to brokers and stated that “We are in our normal invoicing period, and during this process we identified persons we considered ticket brokers. Those people received notices informing them that we would not renew their licenses.” When we try to follow up with additional questions, including how the team determined who were brokers and how many season tickets were not renewed, he requested that we send the written questions for their response. As of publishing we have not received any additional comments from the Cubs. We will certainly follow up on this story if and when we receive a response from the team.
Next: Did the Cubs use the MLB’s relationship with StubHub to search for and identify brokers purchasing season tickets?
Darnell Goldson: [email protected], 860-993-3906