Dodgers try lowering season-ticket prices to lure fans back
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Desperate times call for whatever-you-can-pull-out-of-your-fanny measures. And pretty sure tickets sold at Dodger Stadium falling 627,181 last season qualifies as a desperate time.
Sort of like the team declaring bankruptcy, ownership being in chaos, the team finishing in third place, no-shows skyrocketing and no one having a real clue what’s going to happen in the off-season.
Who wouldn’t line up at the ticket window?
The Dodgers’ solution -- lowering ticket prices and throwing a couple of bones to season-ticket holders.
Of course, season-ticket holders have been trying to convince Judge Kevin Gross they should get a place at the bankruptcy table, upset that seats next to them are being sold at slashed prices.
And then of course, there are the tickets available at online marketplaces that are selling for a buck or two.
The Dodgers’ immediate response is to offer 2012 season tickets at reduced rates for what they say will be 96% of their seats. The Dodgers said over 35,000 seats will be available at $20 or less for season tickets.
The Dodgers announced Monday new season-ticket pricing at $6 for reserved seats (lowest in 24 years), $5 for the top deck (lowest in two decades), $16 for preferred box and $10 for preferred loge seats (both lowest in 16 years). Season-ticket holders will also be allowed in the ballpark an hour earlier to watch batting practice. And they can play catch on the field after designated games.
Also, they get a note asking pretty please that they come back.
Total tickets sold -- Major League Baseball does not use actual turnstile attendance -- fell 17.6% last season at Dodger Stadium and under the 3 million mark for the first time since 1995.
Season-tickets sold have been falling significantly for the Dodgers. The Times’ Bill Shaikin said season tickets were down last season to approximately 17,000, after being at 27,000 in 2007.
Anger over Frank McCourt’s ownership and his taking the team into bankruptcy don’t figure to bring the faithful flocking back this off-season. Although McCourt must be uncertain what his personal impact is on season tickets, since the team sent out a survey asking if ownership was a factor in renewing.
Of course, if last season’s attendance woes continue, they could drop season tickets another 50% and it wouldn’t approach what per-game tickets were available at on StubHub and similar sites.
-- Steve Dilbeck