A League of Her Own

Ricketts Family Brings Fresh Ideas on How To Screw Cubs Fans to the North Side

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All Your Money Are Belong To Us

 If you thought Trib Co was bad for scalping Cubs tickets to fans, wait until you get a load of the Ricketts' "presale" idea:

The Cubs will offer fans an opportunity to purchase individual game tickets before they go on sale to the public on Feb. 19.

But the catch is that you'll be paying 20 percent more than the face value of the ticket

The team's Web site has announced the inaugural "MasterCard First Chance Pre-Sale," which begins on Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. All home games, including Opening Day, will be made available through Cubs.com by paying a 20 percent premium on each ticket. Fans can save five percent off that price if they use a MasterCard credit card for their purchase.

The pre-sale will be end at noon on Feb. 18, and a limited number of tickets will be made available.

According to Team Marketing Report, the average 2010 ticket price for Cubs home games will increase by 10 percent. The Cubs maintain that half of the seats at Wrigley Field will see no ticket increase at all, with the biggest price hikes reserved for the most expensive seats.

So let me get this straight. We're basically moving the hell that was planned for Friday, February 19 to Monday, February 15, and we're being charged 20% more for the privilege of having to spend 3.5 hours with 180 open virtual waiting rooms open on our computers 4 days earlier?

That sounds about right.

I'd love to think that Cubs fans could pull it together enough to resist this latest price-gouging attempt by the Cubs, but there's always some asshole out there who cares more about getting drunk and hitting on chick in the bleachers than fan solidarity.

I can't wait until next year's "PRE-pre-sale," during which you'll be able to purchase tickets the day after the 2010 season ends for the low, low surchage of only 75%! Also, I wish it had occurred to me earlier that "Ricketts" rhymes with "tickets."

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36 Comments

Dmband said:

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I must admit, when I heard this yesterday, I had a very similar reaction to this. Particularly coming off a medicore season. After thinking about it for sometime, Ive cooled off and come up with a few thoughts.

1)To me, this is like Taxes. I have no problem paying MORE taxes, as long as I know they are going to something worthwhile..FOR NOW,unlike taxes, I will give the Ricketts the benefit of the doubt that they will re-invest in the team/ballpark. In that case, if certain people want to "contribute" more to those upgrades, so be it.

2) Putting the fact that there are a TON of emotions surrounding this team from a fan standpoint, this is a BUSINESS. As such, there job is to make as much money as possible...from a supply and demand standpoint, it makes sense, financially. If you make widgets and people are willing to pay a premium to have access to those widgets first, then you would be foolish and a poor businessman NOT to do that.

3) You are absolutely right that the fans could and should resist this..but we both know that wont happen because of the very accurate statement you posted above....

Having said all that, fortunately I dont have to worry about this as I rely on my best friends season tickets!!!!!

Doc said:

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Honestly, this doesn't bother me all that much.

The tickets that are probably going to put up for this pre-sale will probably be some of the more expensive seats anyway...seats that would be bought up by brokers who would sell the tickets for a profit themselves.

This is just a way for the Cubs to cash in a bit on this practice. I'd rather the Cubs take a bit of that money away as opposed to having the money in the hands of some ticket brokers.

JulieDiCaro said:

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You're forgetting the fact that the Cubs already ARE one of the biggest ticket brokers in Chicago.

Doc said:

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The ticket brokering company will have less prominence now...most of those tickets sold through the brokerage were ones that Tribune had set aside for their own use. The Ricketts family has put those tickets back in the general pool now.

berselius said:

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I was under the impression that all tickets were up for grabs in this pre-sale

Doc said:

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From what I understand...they have set aside only a certain amount for each game...otherwise, all the tickets would sell out before the general sale on Friday.

Expect the more expensive tickets to be the ones available on Monday...not sure, but it makes the most sense since those are the tickets that would get scalped at a higher prices and the 20% would amount for more money.

Aisle424 said:

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I'm fine with it. Money above and beyond face value gets spent on Cubs tickets every year and I would rather that extra money go to the Cubs themselves.

It doesn't appear that lining their pockets is the sole goal of the Ricketts. So long as they keep investing back into the team by improving the on-field product, improving the scouting and development system, and keeping Wrigley a viable stadium for a major market franchise, I don't blame them for finding ways to keep all the dollars flowing into the Cubs' pockets.

--MGb said:

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So says the season ticket holder....Sorry 424. Not much of a leg here..

Doc said:

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Hey, the season ticket holders got socked as much as anyone else did...and there was no warning to the season ticket holders. Many of us were shocked when we got the bill this year. I had to make some sacrifices this year to renew my package.

flyball said:

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one of my favorite answers this year at convention was when a season ticket holder asked why everything was broken down in th ebill and was it a way to get more cash byt pretending the tickets were less and then adding all the tax later

the answer was basically, they are screwing us on entertainment tax and we're hoping you get angry and rally against it to get it repealed

AndCounting said:

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You're shooting down his argument on the basis that he's NOT biased because the pre-sale doesn't affect him at all? Time to rethink things, my friend.

gravedigger said:

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Hmm, I don't like this post. You haven't really given me any easy angle for offending anyone.

flyball said:

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you'll find something, i have faith

Doc said:

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Look...I don't belittle the fact that the average price a fan pays for a ticket this season has jumped drastically...and it definitely makes things more difficult for me.

But this is a supply and demand thing. As long as there are still some cheap tickets available for lower-income families to get, the Cubs should be getting as much as the possibly can for the rest of the tickets.

The trick is to make sure those cheap tickets are actually able to be purchased by those who deserve them.

baturkey said:

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I think putting names on the tickets would do a decent job.

--MGb said:

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Amen sister! Couple that with the fact that the 12% Amusement tax, and by amusement I can only speculate that we are supposed to be amused when Silva tries to pitch, is no longer included in the ticket pricing, so that's actually 32% higher than last year. No choice but to bend over and say "Thank you master, may I have another?"

berselius said:

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Speaking of, wpbc covered the amusment tax song-and-dance that the Ricketts are giving us too. When I saw the title of your post this is what I figured you were talking about

http://waxpaperbeercup.com/2010/02/12/cubs-tickets-items/

--MGb said:

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I apologize I should've cited my source.

berselius said:

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lol, I was actually talking about thinking Julie's post was going to be about the amusment tax stuff. Wasn't trying to say you were stealing from wpbc or anything

Doc said:

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Yeah...that's my job to steal from wpbc.

--MGb said:

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Hey Hey Hey now...let's be clear....I WAS stealing from him :D

Dmband said:

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My only other point is that no one is putting a gun to anyone's head an insisting they participate in the presale.

As we all know, there are a myriad of ways to get tickets cheap throughout the season. One of my favorites is to go down to the park at or near the end of the first innings...very easy to pick up 10 dollar tickets from either a scalper or broker. Worst case scenario, you spend the game at one of the various local establishments...

FantaficallyLBC said:

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Although I tend to agree with Julie about this pre-sale being a rather unappealing "money-grab", it is more honest than the other option. It's my understanding that last year Tribune company held many tickets back and sold them on StubHub, thereby masking who was charging inflated prices for the tickets. That really smelled like rotten fish to me.

Teebob2000 said:

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It's all part of the scheme to build up the war chest sufficiently so that after Bradley is AL MVP next season with Seattle, we can sign him and get him back here.

Umbra said:

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Speaking as an asshole who cares more about getting drunk and hitting on chicks in the bleachers than fan solidarity, I'm cool with this.

LostinFla said:

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A lot of sentiment that extra money for the Ricketts = more money spent on the Cubs. In Florida, the state lottery (when adopted years ago) was supposed to mean extra money from Floridians = more money goes into primary education. Somehow the vision didn't match the reality, and I'm under no illusion that it will work that way here either.

Grab that money, Tom!

berselius said:

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That's the way it worked in Virginia too. Lotteries in general are such a scam.

Doc said:

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Don't get me started on lotteries...used to make poor people pay for tax breaks to the rich....and the money tends not go for those things it is supposed to.

cub legend said:

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It should be interesting this year. The Cubs can pull this stuff when they are winning and exciting. With this starting pitching staff it could be a pretty long summer. The brokers may not be making as much as they think.
Does anybody know if the other teams are doing this 20% above cost pre sale?

Doc said:

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For the most part, in a season where expectations are high (and believe it or not, they are still relatively high this season), up until the all-star break the demand for tickets will still be there. Come the 1/2 or August and September, if they are out of it, there will be a lot of brokers with a lot of tickets that they can't get rid of. 2006 was the most recent example of this.

FrankS said:

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Maybe we should have a poll on what the Cubs' record will be this year. I'm predicting a less than .500 season.

AndCounting said:

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Here's another angle on this. I know there are people willing to spend hours and hours in line at Wrigley or in virtual waiting rooms for their chance to get tickets. What value do you place on your time? $10 an hour? $20? $50 or more? The Cubs are telling us we can move to the front of the line and save ourselves hours of wasted, valuable time if we're willing to part w/ a fraction of that value in cash (with savings if we use credit). Damn them to hell.

Edelweiss said:

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Ok...It's been a few years, and there is that thing known as inflation, but in 1955 my younger brother and I walked to Wrigley Field, plunked down 75 cents apiece on game day, and sat in the first row of grandstand seats directly behind third base. By the end of the game, we were sitting in box seats, sometimes in the second or third row, as people either left or didn't show up. In addition, we were usually treated to hot dogs and Cokes by adults who thought we were cute. If we were extremely lucky, we were given tickets to future games by those generous fans. Nowadays you have to cash in your 401K to get tickets to attend a game, or have some contacts.

MillsChC said:

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Back in my day we didn't have hair dryers. If you wanted to blow dry your hair you stood outside during a hurricane. Your hair was dry, but you had a sharp piece of wood driven clear through your skull and that's the way it was and you liked it! You loved it!

Edelweiss said:

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If you had any sense, you would have put your head out the car window, and driven a few miles at 85 or 90. Oh, wait...your horse couldn't pull the wagon that fast. Sorry, but you must be much older than me, and I am 66.

MillsChC said:

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It was a joke from this. It's the first thing that pops in my head whenever anyone complains about today's ticket prices & how they used to could pay under $1 to get into the Cubs game.

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