Here is the letter from the Cubs regarding season ticket prices. They have created a new category of games to rake in even more money.
Thank you for your record-breaking support in 2008. With more than 3.3 million tickets sold, more people attended Cubs games in 2008 than ever in our organization’s history. You saw the most home wins (55) by any Cub team in 73 years, the first back-to-back post-season appearances in 100 years, eight National
League All-Stars, the N.L. Rookie of the Year and N.L. Manager of the Year. In years past, this would qualify as a very successful season.
But times have changed. Because of the physical, emotional and financial investment by our fans, players, coaches and front office, regular season success is no longer enough. We know that without success in the regular season we wouldn’t have the opportunity to win a World Championship. But just as clearly, our
playoff performance has not measured up to our expectations or yours. We are committed to finishing the job and welcome raised expectations. In many ways, our level of disappointment following a 97-win season shows we are pointed in the right direction.
Our on-field improvement didn’t happen by accident—it is the result of significant investment in the organization. Our 2008 payroll was the second highest in the National League and is $50 million higher than in 2003. It will increase again next year. Our investment in both the domestic amateur draft and international signings, as well as upgrades to our coaching, scouting and player development areas, have
led to the rise of home-grown talent, such as Geovany Soto, Carlos Marmol, Ryan Theriot and Jeff Samardzjia. Without the benefit of public funding like most teams in our sport, we have also made sizable investments in Wrigley Field. In 2008, we competed on a new $1.6 million playing surface and invested more than $3
million in capital projects to maintain Wrigley Field and improve fan amenities. In 2009, we will focus on renovations to some of our public spaces, such as the Friendly Confines Café.
Recognizing the dire state of the economy, we looked at every possible avenue to avoid raising ticket prices for 2009. We are evaluating new marketing programs, like the Bud Light Bleachers, that weave corporate sponsorship into the ballpark without changing the fundamental character of Wrigley Field. We are planning to add new media opportunities and will continue utilizing the ballpark on non-game days, with
events like the NHL Winter Classic, the Road to Wrigley minor league game, Wrigley Field tours and concerts.
Despite these new initiatives, we are increasing ticket prices in 2009 for our highest quality seats. Overall, we’ve frozen ticket prices for 33% of our inventory, keeping some of our most affordable inventory flat with 2008 prices. But because our best seats are sold to our season ticket holders, you will see an increase over 2008. We hoped to hold the line on all of your seats, as we did in 2007, but it was not possible
without hurting the competitiveness of the team or the maintenance of our 94-year old ballpark.
The biggest change for 2009 is the creation of a fourth category of dates -- the platinum games --that encompass 14 games against some of our most popular opponents. Historically, these 14 games are the most actively traded on Stub-Hub and other secondary market sites. Excluding the 14 platinum games, average ticket prices for 2009 are up 6%.
I hope you have had a chance to visit the new Web site constructed for season ticket holders at www.cubs.com\sth. The creation of this Web site results from input we received at our “Tell it to the Cubs” lunches held during the 2008 season for season ticket holders. We will again host these lunch forums in 2009 to get your feedback on our performance and to identify ways to improve your experience at Wrigley Field.
In the meantime, please use the new Web site to learn about promotions reserved for season ticket holders, such as the availability of tickets for the NHL Winter Classic, Cubs spring training games, concerts and our recently announced exhibition games that will open new Yankee Stadium on April 3 and 4.
We hope you will continue your support of Cubs baseball by renewing your season tickets for 2009. To do so, please return the enclosed renewal form to us by mail or fax on or before December 19, 2008, or send us an e-mail at email@example.com stating you intend to renew. A deposit is not required at this time but payment is due in full by January 19, 2009.
To retain your seats, it is imperative we hear from you by December 19.
Please also provide your updated email address to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your email address
is the most efficient way to communicate with you regarding Cubs news and in-season updates, including changes in game times.
Once again, thank you for supporting the Chicago Cubs. We appreciate you sticking with us and are committed to earning your loyalty in everything we do. Please do not hesitate to contact the Ticket Office at 773-404-CUBS if you have any questions.