View Full Version : Baseball Cardinals will not raise any ticket prices for 2007

11-18-2006, 09:47 AM
Note to Carl on how to run a franchise. My bleacher tickets will remain at $12. :clap:

Birds hold line on prices
By Joe Strauss

The Cardinals have decided to follow a championship in October with Christmas in November.

Flush with the franchise's first World Series title in 24 years as well as the most successful fiscal campaign under the current ownership, the Cardinals will not raise ticket prices in 2007.

The club will begin notifying season-ticket holders of the price freeze Monday via a mailing that includes a letter from team president Mark Lamping.

"We are not increasing ticket prices anywhere next season not individual tickets, not any packages, none," Lamping said.

Formalized last week, the decision was made after the club recorded 80 sellouts in the first year of new Busch and received a dividend from hosting eight postseason games the most possible while opening on the road in all three rounds. Lamping also cited hugely successful merchandise and memorabilia sales in addition to pending negotiations with sponsors and some media rightsholders as easing pressure on individual ticket-buyers.

"All things considered, this has been our best year," said Lamping, though declining to offer specifics about the club's 2006 financial statement. "The other aspect is we always try to go first to revenue sources that aren't directly tied to fans' pockets."

Lamping said that for the first time the Cardinals have a waiting list for season tickets after capping its allotment at 27,500. The figure includes 10,000 Founders Club members whose ticket costs already were contractually frozen for the 2007 season. The commitment of season-ticket holders ensures 2.227 million tickets will be sold before various ticket packages go on sale Dec. 9.

"We expect ticket demand will be even stronger," Lamping said. "We'll have full (stadium) capacity for the entire season, so we can see growth for ticket revenue."

The Cardinals drew 3,407,104 in their first season in new Busch. The number would have been more but about 5,000 seats in left field did not become available until May 29.

The club also will gain about 150 premium seats next season by making permanent those seats that were installed inside the pre-existing rail for the postseason.

"We think we can do what is necessary to support the team financially" without a ticket hike, Lamping said. "We also realize our fans have been through a lot. It's realizing how much that things cost and how much they've put into Cardinals baseball the last couple years. It was just the right thing to do."

Ticket prices remained relatively flat when the Cardinals moved from old Busch Stadium into their new park. But the average price rose as more seats were situated in pricier sections. Not including luxury suites, new Busch's average ticket price of $29.78 ranked third in Major League Baseball last season, trailing only the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, teams that play in significantly smaller parks.

"There is no doubt we could have sold through a price increase," Lamping said. "But if you can make it work without one, it's the right way to go. You shouldn't increase prices just because you can. You should do it when it's necessary to support a product."

Lamping did not dispute the impact of the team's postseason run on static pricing. Estimating that season-ticket renewals would surpass 95 percent, he said, "I don't think we would be projecting the same demand if our season had ended in September."

The Cardinals at least held a share of the NL Central lead every day after May 12 but stumbled badly after entering late September with a seven-game lead. The Cardinals won only three of their last 12 games, clinched the division on the schedule's final day with an 83-78 mark then went 11-5 against the San Diego Padres, New York Mets and Detroit Tigers. They became the first team with fewer than 85 regular-season wins to capture a World Series.

Postseason success provides the Cardinals with greater leverage in negotiations with sponsors and rightsholders.

"The market for media and corporate sponsors is stronger than we would have forecasted," Lamping said, adding, "That would apply to every contract up right now. With every contract we are hoping to take advantage of our success in the new ballpark with 81 sellouts topped by a world championship."

The Cardinals are attempting to renegotiate their contract with local rightsholders Fox Sports Midwest and Channel 11 as well as numerous sponsors.

Lamping also cited the growing success of KTRS, the Cardinals' radio rightsholder in which the team owns controlling interest, as well as the Double-A Springfield Cardinals, which are owned by the parent club.

Though the club hardly embraced descriptions of last season as a shakedown cruise for its new facility, Lamping confirmed that discussions are under way for numerous changes. Lamping abstained from specifics, citing lack of finality, but it is known that some seat angles, standing-room areas and the park's much critiqued press facility are among the topic under review.

11-18-2006, 09:48 AM
8 games a year vs ?
and empty seats

11-18-2006, 10:33 AM
Great news... since AB Beer is an arm and leg there.

11-18-2006, 11:25 AM
$30 is still pretty steep for a baseball game.

11-18-2006, 12:28 PM
What Blue Balls said.