The NFL season schedule was released last night, and for the first time, The Baltimore Ravens put single-game tickets up for sale, rather than releasing them months later.
Last year, tickets were not available for sale until June, however, the team’s Senior Vice President of tickets sales and operations, Baker Koppelman, explained that they’re “adapting to the world that is in front of us.”
The secondary ticket market “has really become a significant thing in the past few years,” Koppelman said. “We’re competing with it. If you’re going to compete with something, you want to compete from start to finish.”
According to the Baltimore Sun, he assured fans that changing ticket sale dates to the “highest demand day of the year” is a shift in the right direction and is no way a result of “any negativity or any panic.” However, with the Raven’s recent track record— the team finished 9-7 last season and missed the playoffs for the third year in a row — season-ticket renewals have declined. Compared to this time last year, ticket renewals have dropped 5 percent, the club said. The June 1 deadline is steadily approaching.
Additionally, the M&T Bank Stadium was quieter than usual last season with a number of no-shows, partially due to player protests. However, Koppelman isn’t worried about the slow sales last year or decline in renewals, claiming that selling some tickets early was not intended to stop the no-shows in the crowd. He told The Sun he’d rather focus on getting tickets sold first and then worry about initiatives to get fans to show up to the games.
The Ravens aren’t the only team to take this initiative; the Bengals and Kansas City Royals have also made the decision to sell single-game day tickets either on or right after the draft day. A reason for this might be to try and curb the secondary market, which Koppelman said has become “a significant thing in the past few years.”
Tickets became available last night at 8 p.m. when the schedule was released and are still available now. The NFL Draft will take place next Thursday. Check out the Ravens’s 2018 schedule listed below, which kicks-off on September 9 at M&T Bank Stadium where Baltimore will face the Buffalo Bills.