Monday, September 20, 2010

Season Ticket Prices

Last week the Wizards sent out season ticket renewal information to their existing season ticket holder base. Needless to say I've heard from a few fans who were surprised at how much the ticket prices went up. While most of the stadium seats don't have a real comparison at the Wizards current stadium in CAB, most fans outside the Cauldron are seeing a big increase in their season ticket price. Obviously part of the increase is due to the fact that MLS is adding 2 home games to each team's schedule, so that adjusts for part of it. But the rest is due to the opening of the new stadium. The only section in the stadium that didn't see a big increase, was the Cauldron (named the "Member's Stand" in the renewal pack, another subtle hint at a re-branding), which only saw an increase in price due to the extra games, the supporters' section price per ticket will remain $14 per game for season ticket holders. The next cheapest section is the other end line, which is $360, or $18 a game. The sidelines are obviously more expensive, with the midfield seats the most expensive, and the west stand being more expensive than the east.

As I said before I've heard plenty of fans complain, so what I did is I started comparing the Wizards ticket prices for next year to other teams' season ticket holder information that's come out. What I found is that of the teams I looked at, they had comparable prices to the Wizards, based on the areas I could find. Here's a look at a few of them, all prices are per game.

Supporters' Section
Wizards 2011 - $14
Chicago - $10
Philadelphia - $14.50
Colorado - $12
LA - $25
Portland $15

East Stand
Wizards 2011 - $25
Chicago - $20
Philadelphia - $33.88
Colorado - $27
LA - $42.50
Portland - $21

East Stand Midfield
KC - $35
Chicago - $30
Philadelphia - $41.11
Colorado - $33
LA - $50
Portland - $35

South End
KC - $18
Chicago - N/A
Philadelphia - $23.61
Colorado - $21
LA - $28
Portland - $15

West Stand
KC - $30
Chicago - $30
Philadelphia - $33.88
Colorado - $29
LA - $42.50
Portland $21

West Stand Midfield
KC - $40
Chicago - N/A
Philadelphia - $41.11
Colorado - $35
LA - $50
Portland $35

Stadium Club
KC - $62.50
Chicago - $49.95
Philadelphia - $64.72
Colorado - N/A
LA - N/A
Portland $75

CONCLUSION - While the prices for the new stadium are certainly a big jump up from what Wizards season ticket holders have paid in the past, the information I've provided above basically shows that the Wizards are basically on par with many of the other teams in the league that currently have soccer specific stadiums. Particularly Philadelphia, where the Wizards are right around the average for Philly in every location through the stadium.

I know people are not incredibly happy about the prices (I'm not super thrilled about it myself as I'm currently entertaining the idea of moving out of the Cauldron), but we've been spoiled the past few years, both under the Hunts and then under OnGoal making the best of a bad situation at CAB. We've been paying one of the lowest prices for season tickets. Sure it's been affordable and easily accessible, but this wasn't going to last forever, especially with a new stadium. So while it's not the most well liked decision OnGoal has made it's one that matches up with the ticket prices other teams currently have for their soccer specific stadiums.

The thing I'm most disappointed in, and something I thought OnGoal could really set a nice precedent on, was bringing back some form of "youth" season ticket, because I have plenty of friends that bring their kids to games that could potentially be priced out with the rise in prices. I understand why they didn't do it, mainly because when the Wizards had it in the past, it was abused as adults used kids tickets to get in at cheaper prices. But with more and more scanners being used instead of just tearing the ticket stub, I think changes could be made to the system to allow a "junior" pass.


Replicant said...

I'm getting season tickets (which will be a first for me), but I'm not sure where I want to get them. I want to keep a small budget, but I'm really not sure if I want to bite on with the Cauldron. I've sat there multiple, multiple times and while the energy is fun, I don't always agree with some of the attitude. I'm not old fashioned by any stretch of the imagination (I'm still in college, blast it), but I guess I just can't get behind some of the chants. That and I don't know anyone in it anyways, so, not as much of a point.

Mike, what are your reasons for considering a move or where do you think would be the next best place?

Mike said...

I have quite a few reasons, some have to do with situations in the Cauldron, mainly it's to the point where I want to go back to really enjoying watching the game as well. I have a group of friends in the Cauldron that have talked about the same thing.

I'm personally looking at the East stand so that I can enjoy the game, but sit right above the Cauldron so that I can still participate in cheers and such. You could try that area, or you could try the south side which is another cheaper option.

Anonymous said...

Great idea on the youth tickets. I would love that with 3 kids and 2 adults...paying full price for a 4 year old is tough. I do it but it is irritating to say the least.

Ron Bishop said...

I'm hooked. I'm getting season tickets again. I don't mind the increase because I know the stadium will blow away CAB.

But I want to know what I'm purchasing.

Are all the home games are going to be in the new stadium? I don't want to pay new stadium selected seat prices for CAB/Arrowhead/UMKC general admission games. We need to know what plan B (or it might be plan A) is if the stadium isn't finished before home games start.

Or are there no home games before June? Just tell us.

Sometimes there's a "seat of the pants" feel with the Wizards...

Ron Bishop said...

Talked with my season ticket AE and he said there will be at least 20 high quality soccer events at the new stadium - so the season ticket holders are getting their 20 games worth (no KISS tribute concerts, high school All Stars, etc, etc..).

MLS hasn't worked out the schedule yet for next year, so they may not be all Wizards games.

I can live with that set up. There won't be a bad seat in the house.

Moop said...

Off topic, but I listened to the last Byline 2 Backpost talking about the possible rebranding. I commented (at I think) that another hint at rebranding was the lack of a "Cauldron" on the season tickets package, replaced by a "Member's Stand".

I'm glad Cauldron tickets didn't go up much. I love the general admission seating. For the price, I think the Wizards are one of the better values for professional sporting.

jtreg said...

When you move into a bigger, better house, you gotta pay a higher mortgage. And as you have pointed out, we're not getting gouged for Pete's sake.