The Chicago Cubs announced in October that they would reduce ticket prices for the 2013 season. Coming off a season without a playoff berth and 101 total losses, a price reduction might seem to be in order—despite the more than 110,000 people on the waiting list for season tickets. But in an article for ChicagoSideSports.com, Jonathan Eig revealed that his price reduction came to just 60 cents.
“My kids are ecstatic because they each get a gumball,” Eig told Bill Littlefield. “Attendance went down this year, but they’re still the 10th most popular team in terms of attendance, so there’s very little incentive for them to really reduce ticket prices.”
Eig is getting eight more tickets this year, but his seats in the upper deck near first base saw an average reduction of about $2 per ticket.
“They did reduce prices more dramatically in certain parts of the ballpark, in the bleachers for example. My seats really stayed the same. If they had prepared me for that, if they had said ‘we’re holding your price steady,’ I would have been ready for that. But when I heard ‘price cut’ I was thinking something more than 60 cents.”
Eig met with the team’s vice president for ticket sales, who told him the organization appreciated his loyalty…and patience.
“He said there’s a lot of romance involved in being a Cubs fan. Fathers and grandfathers have been waiting for decades for the chance to see a winner, and I said, ‘Well, they may be waiting many decades more.’”
Eig said the people who come to Wrigley each year hoping for a championship would keep attending games, even if Chicago eventually won a World Series. Fans didn’t stop filling Fenway Park after the Boston Red Sox ended “The Curse of the Bambino” in 2004.
“The ballpark is still very exciting and vibrant, and even as prices have gone really soaring [in Boston], you still see really robust crowds at Fenway. And I think that’s the key: we’re talking about Fenway and Wrigley—these are great attractions. And the Cubs don’t like to admit it that a big part of why people come out is for the ballpark. It doesn’t really matter what kind of team they put on the field, there are a certain number of fans who just like to attend games in the sunshine at this beautiful stadium.”
Still, Eig is not optimistic that Cubs fans will see a championship anytime soon.
“I don’t think the team is going to look very good next year, I think they’re still rebuilding and they’ve got a long way to go. There’s no indication that they’re going to go out and sign any big free agents. I don’t think it makes sense right now because the team is at least a couple years away from contending.”
Eig shares his season tickets with 15 of his friends, and despite the dismal season the Cubs had, he will continue to attend games.
“That’s the thing, I really enjoy being in this group, it comes down to a matter of feeling like a part of the community, feeling like a part of the Chicago fan base, and I do it as much for social reasons as I do for the love of baseball. I’m not ready to give it up yet, I’m going to hang in there.”