With only two games left and a secured spot on the local golf courses, it's time for the Griffins organization to start looking toward next season.
Once again, attendance this year was pretty disappointing, with just a couple of exceptions. The reason for low attendance in the past few years: high prices.
In the Griffins' first season, 39 of the 41 home games were sold out. Since then, ticket sales have declined while prices for tickets and concessions have gone up. These past few years, good attendance numbers on a weeknight mean there is a four-digit number for attendance.
This past season there were a few exceptions, though, when there were a good number of fans at the games. These exceptions were caused by three things: cheap tickets, cheap concessions, and Darren McCarty.
McCarty won't be coming back to play a full season in Grand Rapids, meaning that the organization needs to focus on those other two ways to increase ticket sales.
In March, Wednesday night tickets were sold for $10 lower bowl and $5 upper bowl. Attendance at these games was much higher than at any other weeknight games.
Another major draw was dollar dog and dollar beer night. For a couple of hours on select nights, beer and hot dogs were much cheaper than usual, and this was enough to persuade some people to come to the games.
The organization should learn that if they want more fans, they need to lower ticket and concession prices.
Currently, tickets are fairly high-priced and concessions prices are ridiculous. On a normal night, a beer costs around $6 and a hot dog around $4.
With these prices, it's amazing they sell anything.
I used to buy a medium pop and a cup of French fries with a $5 bill and get change back. Now I wait for a cheap ticket night and don't buy anything. I can't afford anything more than that.
I'm not saying I have the definite answer to this problem, but here are my suggestions.
First, ticket prices need to be lowered. $15 for the first three rows, $10 for the rest of the lower bowl, $5 for the upper bowl, and $2 for the top three rows all the way around the arena.
These tickets would be very affordable, driving more people to come to the games.
Second, lower concession prices. Just cut every price in half. I can guarantee that with more people coming to the arena (because of lower ticket prices) and lower concession prices, people will buy more food and drinks. This would more than make up for the lower prices.
It seems obvious that a mediocre team with high-priced tickets and concessions should lower prices for better results, but it hasn't happened yet. Hopefully for the sake of the fans and the team, some action is taken soon.
I bet that if nothing else, the players would appreciate having more fans in the seats.