With every game sold out in 2010 and a 123-game sell-out streak dating back to 2009, it is easy to see why the Phillies feel they can keep gouging fans for more money. But they are failing to see the long term effects. They are forcing out low-middle income fans and pulling in more corporations and those at the top of the proverbial food chain.
If the team stops winning in a couple of years as the talent ages or moves on to other teams, the higher-end fans, whom are usually the fair-weather fans, are going to drop off like flies. And there won't be any low-middle class fans left to pick up the slack in ticket sales because they will not be able to afford the high prices. Of course, that is just my opinion. You may agree or disagree.
There are other ways to make money; all the Phillies need to do is look around and see what other teams are doing in terms of creative enterprise. Take a look at some of the fee-based services and opportunities the San Francisco Giants offer to their fans:
- Lou Seal-ebrity Ride of the Game: Allows Giants fans the opportunity to tag along with Lou (the mascot, like the Phanatic) for an inning.
- Lou Seal Appearance: The mascot will visit your party, take photos, etc... between innings or a your kid's birthday party, etc...
- Steal Second: Tag along with the Giants grounds crew during the third inning and change out 2nd base!
- Slumber Party: Pitch a tent and sleep ON the field, overnight and then meet a player in the morning.
- Fantasy Batting Practice: Take a swing or shag a ball; for up to 30 people which includes a two-hour batting practice with Giants Alumni, lunch on the Club Level, a Q&A session with the Giants Alumni and tickets to the game that day. (I saw this event when I was in San Francisco last year taking a park tour and was SO jealous!)
And this is just ONE team. One team that has figured out how to please their fans and earn money at the same time. If the Phillies incorporated a few of these ideas into their plans, there would be no need to keep jacking up ticket prices. Fantasy batting practice? Can you imagine? That would be SOLD OUT every time! And fans would be willing to pay top dollar for such an opportunity...I know I would.
How about riding around with the Phanatic for an inning? That would be AWESOME! Have the fan paying for the experience sign a waiver that does not hold the team liable for any accidents and also has the fan pledge not to do anything stupid and...abracadabra! An easy money maker. Magic.
Hey Phillies, how about a little creativity? You will make more money and fans will be happier; it's a win-win. Not to mention that offering these unique experiences is a great public relations move.
That is my rant for the day...feel free to comment below.
And in case you missed it, here is my 2010 Phillies Photo Tribute with pictures I took throughout the year:
Thanks for stopping by!