A section of empty seats at Wrigley Field, something the Cubs surely don't want to see in 2012. (Photo courtesy Sue Skowronski)
A number of times during the 2011 season, I wrote about how ticket prices at Wrigley Field, particularly bleacher prices, had far exceeded what people were willing to pay for them, for two primary reasons:
- The performance of the team since late 2009
- The economic recession
I suggested to the Cubs that they needed a significant reduction in bleacher prices in order to get season ticket holders to renew, as well as sell single game tickets at prices higher than some games during 2011 that they had reduced by as much as 50% just to put butts in the seats.
The team sent out season ticket invoices Friday -- you may not have received yours yet, but if you are an existing STH, you will soon -- and the Cubs have indeed reduced bleacher season ticket prices, by about 14%. I had thought 20% would be needed to get most STH to renew, but 14% is a pretty good deal. Prices have been reduced to the level they were in 2008 (approximately -- about 5% higher than 2008's season pricing, on aggregate, or about $2 per game more than that season). The games designated as "marquee" have gone up. All other dates -- 68 of them -- have been reduced.
After the jump, further details on ticket pricing for 2012.
One thing the Cubs have continued to do that I do not care for at all is to split out the 12% amusement tax from the price. I understand the reason they are doing it, but it's still misleading. A person buying a bleacher ticket for a marquee game online, for example, would at first see the price "$78". But that doesn't include (approximately) $9.36 in taxes and likely several dollars more in online fees. That $78 bleacher ticket is going to cost the buyer $90. It's like seeing an airline fare that's "$198 round trip", only you discover that doesn't include $75 more in various taxes and fees.
Just tell us what it costs.
For the first time since 2007 (and that was an accident; season ticket prices were below single-game prices that year because invoices were sent to STH before single-game prices were established), season ticket prices will be $1 or $2 (depending on the game) below the season ticket price. Here are the basic prices for bleacher game tiers:
Marquee (13 games): $76 (season)/$78 (single game) Platinum (9 games): $50/52 Gold (21 games): $37/38 Silver (27 games): $25/27 Bronze (11 games): $15/17
There are fewer bronze games than in 2011, but the silver price is not much higher than the bronze price was in 2011 ($22.40). With the 12% tax included, STH prices come to (approximately):
Marquee: $85.12 Platinum: $56 Gold: $41.44 Silver: $28 Bronze: $16.80
This is an improvement. Almost half the schedule (38 games) will cost $28 or less in the bleachers, and more than two-thirds (59 games) will be $41 or less. So thanks to the Cubs for acknowledging that they had priced their product too high and lowering the cost.
2012 season ticket fact sheet -- this lists prices for all sections; prices outside the bleachers were "flat", according to the information I received
2012 schedule with ticket price game breakdown -- note some game times, but not all, have been added
2012 season ticket fact sheet in PDF format
2012 season schedule with ticket price game breakdown in PDF format
Finally, the Cubs are asking for a 10% deposit to secure your seat for 2012. Some have complained about this, but that's no different than many other teams are doing and the Cubs did, in fact, ask for deposits (though later in the year) up to about the mid 1990s, before ending the practice. I don't have a big problem with this -- if you're renewing, 10% doesn't seem like that big an investment, compared to the total price.