The loyal fans of the San Francisco Giants, like me, have endured four years of uncompetitive baseball. Along the way, the team's management has made a series of bad trades and poor free agent signings. Joe Nathan, Boof Bosner, and Francisco Liriano for one year of AJ Pierzynski comes to mind. How do these deals sound? Dave Roberts for three years and $18 million, Edgardo Alfonzo for four years and $26 million, and Armando Benitez three years and $21 million, just to name a few.
I have been a season ticket holder for the past three years and have seen my price go up by six percent each year, the maximum allowed in my contract. When I purchased my seats, I was told that the purpose of the contract was to protect the price of my seats. So far, my cost has raised by the maximum amount allowed in the contract, despite the poor performance on the the field.
I finally reached my breaking point after last year and decided not to renew. As long as this current management team is in place, I will follow the team on the TV, radio, and Internet for free rather than give them thousands of dollars a year to see the games in person.
I knew Giants attendance projections were looking low when I received an e-mail from my season ticket rep to tell me about a new payment plan which allowed me to defer payment for a few months as long as I changed my mind and renewed my seats for the upcoming season. I responded with a courteous "no thank you."
Today, when he contacted me again, I told him that the poor performance on the field and the six percent price raises each of the last three years were a bad combination and I couldn't justify this level of financial commitment to the team as a result. He responded by letting me know that the Giants organization might take legal action against me if I don't renew my seats.
He said there was fine print in my contract that indicated that I had agreed to renew my seats for seven years regardless of how they perform on the field, regardless of whether the team's management raises the price of my seats, and regardless of whether I had enough money in the bank to afford these tickets.
So just in case you're wondering how bad it's gotten down at AT&T Park, I am very sad to say that my favorite team has reached an all-time low. Not only has the performance on the field been disappointing for the last four seasons, but those of us who decided to support them financially through those rough years are being threatened with law suits.