Last week, I wrote here about reports that the Cubs (and White Sox) were planning to offer 5 percent credits for season-ticket holders who were willing to leave their season-ticket money with the Cubs instead of taking refunds for unplayed games this year.
Tuesday, it was reported that Major League Baseball had now given teams permission to offer such credits, or refunds. Previously, teams had deferred to MLB for any decisions on what to do with tickets.
Today, Cubs season-ticket holders received an email offering that 5 percent credit — it won’t be in cash — for games cancelled through the end of May. Here’s what the email said:
Thank you for your continued support and patience during this difficult time as we continue to seek clarity on the potential start to the season. As we shared with you two weeks ago, we’re working in close coordination with Major League Baseball (MLB) and committed to acting quickly and with the best interest of our associates, players and fans top of mind once we had more definitive information. To that end, we’ve now received clearance from MLB to determine and share our specific ticketing policies with you. Below is an important update regarding tickets for Cubs home games originally scheduled to be played in March, April and May.
As a valued Season Ticket Holder, you have the option to receive a credit plus a 5% bonus or a refund for your tickets to Cubs home games originally scheduled to be played in March, April and May.
Please note you can only select one of the following options per season ticket account:
Credit plus a 5% bonus for home games originally scheduled to be played in March, April and May:
If you select credit, we will apply a credit on your season ticket account equal to the total dollar amount of the season tickets in your account for home games originally scheduled to be played in March, April and May plus a bonus equal to 5% of the total dollar amount of your season tickets for home games originally scheduled to be played in March, April and May.
Your ticket credit and bonus can be applied toward the cost of additional 2020 regular season home game tickets, potential 2020 postseason tickets or your 2021 season ticket balance, if applicable. Credit and bonus use are subject to the terms and conditions available here.
Refund for home games originally scheduled to be played in March, April and May:
If you paid by credit card, we will refund the credit card(s) used to pay for your tickets. If you paid by check, cash or ACH payment, we will refund you via check.
The refund will cover the total dollar amount of the season tickets in your account for home games originally scheduled to be played in March, April and May.
As of today, the April schedule on the Cubs’ website still lists the games as “postponed,” though I would assume that will change soon. Also as of today, all of my tickets are still in the MLB Ballpark app, but that will clearly also change once these games are officially cancelled. The FAQ link above says “Cubs home games originally scheduled to be played in March, April and May will be removed from your mobile wallet in the MLB Ballpark app.”
The Cubs have 30 home games scheduled through the end of May 2020. That’s 37 percent of the home schedule. It seems pretty clear to me that even if MLB games are played in 2020, none will happen with fans in attendance at Wrigley Field, so eventually a similar offer could wind up being made for the other 51 scheduled home games. I suppose MLB and its teams simply want to leave their options open, for now — and also hang on to their money a bit longer. Of the 30 games, 20 games are in the plan for Combination Plan (weekend/night games) STH and 10 games are in the plan for Double Play Plan STH.
As for me, I am inclined to take the Cubs up on their offer of the 5 percent credit. When baseball returns to Wrigley Field with fans, I am certainly going to continue as a season-ticket holder, and where else can I get 5 percent on my money these days?
The Cubs’ email says season-ticket holders must respond by 5 p.m. CT next Wednesday, May 6, and if no response is received, a credit will automatically be given to the STH account with the 5 percent addition. The Cubs do also say, in the FAQ, that if your circumstances change after May 6 and you want a refund, you can get one, but the 5 percent bonus would be forfeited.
Lastly, I have heard from someone who purchased individual-game tickets from the Cubs for this season and he received this by email today:
As a single game buyer who purchased tickets directly from the Cubs, you will receive a refund for tickets you purchased to Cubs home games originally scheduled to be played in March, April and May. Refunds will be processed using the same method as payment, with the exception of cash payments which will be refunded by check. Refunds will be processed within the next two weeks. No action is required. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That should sum up all the details for Cubs tickets for the first 30 scheduled games at Wrigley Field in 2020. For the rest of the season... we await developments.