Wait, is that one of the Pohlad's?
Like many other baseball teams, the Twins have categorized their tickets the last few years into value home games, select home games, and premium home games or categories similar to this. The value games are the lowest price and then the select games are usually about $2 more and finally on the high-end we have the premium games that are about$3 more than the select and $5 more than the value games. I thought it would be interesting to see how the Twins designated their tickets since 2009 so here is what I found.
It appears to be getting tougher and tougher to find “value” games year after year. These so-called “value” games were once upon a time the going price for attending a baseball game. In 2012 only 25% of the Minnesota Twins home games will be “value” games, the remaining 75% of the tickets are marked up as “select” or “premium games”. Like many other businesses, baseball is looking to raise revenue but doesn’t want to irritate the fan base by raising ticket prices so they just pick certain games that they categorize differently and charge a higher price for them. This is just a fee that is not called a fee. Baseball assumes that the general public is too dumb to realize what is going on. Who or how games are determined to be “value”, “select”, or “premium” at the beginning of each season would be interesting to know. These higher fees for “select” and “premium” games do not apply to season ticket holders here in Minnesota. Let’s do some math for the fun of it and let’s start with a couple of assumptions, first that the Twins have about 25,000 season tickets sold for each game and that the capacity of Target Field is 39,000 as a nice round number. That means you have about 14,000 tickets sold to the general public for each home game. So, if you have 38 “select” games in 2012 these 14,000 tickets at a $2 premium over a “value” game would bring in an extra ($2 x 14,000 x 38) $1,064,000. If you look at the 23 “premium” games in 2012 these 14,000 tickets at a $5 premium over a “value” game will bring in an extra ($5 x 14,000 x 23) $1,610,000. The numbers I am using I think are very conservative so the total extra dollars brought in through this ticket categorization are very likely higher that what I have here. These kinds of things just frustrate me to no end, ticket prices are already based on seat location meaning that better seats cost more and I understand that but why should I have to pay more to see the Yankees or the Cubs play or why should I pay more because the game is being played on a Saturday night? The Twins are no better and no worse at this than the other MLB teams but in my mind this is just not right. It is these kinds of things that cause baseball fans to jump off the home team bandwagons and stay off until the team is a winner. The bad part is that the teams don’t want to spend money to get good players unless they have the fans support and the fans don’t want to spend their hard earned money watching a crappy team. So it becomes a “what should happen first scenario”.
So what happens over the next few years to the “value” games? They are already down to just 25% of the home games. I guess when the “value” games drop to next to nothing, the “value” category will be eliminated, and the “select” category become the lowest price category and a new category for the high-end will be invented and called something like “platinum” and the game goes on. MLB best be careful, their ticket prices in all these new stadiums are getting out of hand. In most cases the taxpayers are footing a huge chunk of these ballpark costs and it will be sad when the fans get priced out of going to watch their home team play in a ballpark that they paid for to begin with.
I understand that baseball is entertainment and that salaries are extraordinary in the entertainment industry but when does it reach a point of no return? The average salary for a Twins player according to USA Today in 2011 was $4,509,480 and we are talking about a team that lost 99 games. The Kansas City Royals had the lowest average in 2011 and that was still at $1,338,000 and the Yankees were of course the highest with a $6,756,300 average.
I know this blog won’t change anything but writing it does make me fell somewhat better knowing that I have gotten it off my chest. I just hope that Twins fans in 2032 will still be able to attend a Twins game in person at Target Field and get to enjoy baseball the way it should be enjoyed, outdoors at your local ballpark in person. Hell, by then everyone will probably have some kind of igadget that puts everyone out in the field of play so we all get the same view as the players do.