Mariners New Ticket Prices Tough but not Unreasonable
After the sixth sub-.500 season in the past eight years, the Seattle Mariners will be raising ticket prices for 2013. The price hike will depend on the game, as well as where the seats are located within Safeco Field.
According to The Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker, season ticket holders could be subject to an increase of up to 6.9 percent. Forty-game weekend packages, on the other hand, could raise as much as 10.6 percent.
However, the problem as I see it is not so much about the price increase; the problem lies within how it was communicated to the fans.
When the Mariners sent out the renewal forms for the 2013 season, season ticket holders were shocked to see the change in price with no explanation by the Mariners. While Senior Vice President of Communications Randy Adamack tells the Seattle Times they did not intend to mislead anyone, I can understand why there was so much controversy.
The fans who have been living in disappointment since the 2001 season were owed an explanation at the very least.
On the other side of this topic, the price for Mariners tickets is not as bad as it seems when the price sits alone with no comparison.
Professional sports organizations claim to be in the business of winning. As much as I would love to agree with this cliché (and it is probably second on their priority list) it is not quite true. Professional sports organizations are just like any other business in the world; their first priority is to make money.
The Seattle Mariners are not among the most expensive ticket in the MLB—not by a long shot. The average ticket for opening day in the 2012 season was $26.40, which is just below the average ticket price for all other opening day teams ($26.92).
The Mariners also come below the league average in a stat called the “Fan Cost Index” otherwise known as the “FCI.” The FCI takes into account the price of four average-priced tickets, two beers, four sodas, four hot dogs, parking and two adult sized caps. To put it in the simplest way, the FCI compares the complete fan experience at Major League ball parks.
In 2012 the Mariners FCI was at $195.57, which is more than 10 dollars below the league average. I’m sure no one would be shocked to know that the first two teams on this list are the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.
While I still maintain that the communication of the new prices was handled poorly, I don’t believe that the increase in price is unreasonable.
I’m not saying that I’m happy about paying more to see a game, but in the grand scheme of things, the Seattle Mariners have one of the best stadiums in Major League Baseball today, and for that we are lucky not be paying more than we are.
It will be an even better deal when the team starts winning on a regular basis and we bring the playoffs back to Seattle, in what I hope is the not-so-distant future.