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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ticket and yes, Parking Prices are getting out of hand...

As I watched highlights of Major League Baseball games today, I noticed one thing common in most highlights.  It wasn't homeruns for each game or dazzling catches.  It was that of sections upon sections of seats that are being unused.  The game between the WhiteSox and Indians, a few fans seemed to be in the outside seats.  The Bluejays game had empty sections in their upper deck outfield seats.  In defense, its not just baseball, its happening in all sports.  Stadiums that used to sell out every game is becoming rare.  Is it because of the product that is being shown at the venue?  In some cases, yes, you can blame it when your team isn't very entertaining to watch.  But at some point, owners have to realize it may be a while before the economy is at a point where "sell-outs" are a for-sure thing.  While grocery stores and discount stores advertise amazing deals and compete for your occupancy in their business.  Sports venues seem to take the approach of either pay "our price" or don't come. 

I would really like to see the financial sheet of a MLB team, like for example the Kansas City Royals on a game on a Wednesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks(I'm just making up an example).  Than I would like to have them try a concept of slashing prices for the next nights game in order to achieve a sell-out(even if they were giving out a few thousand upper deck seats for a dollar each).  Than I would like to see that financial sheet.  Would people in the park that now pay for parking and than are buying merchandise, beer, soda, food, and playing games make up for the money lost on ticket prices.  Would a crowd of 13,000 standard paying fans make up for a sold-out crowd buying the extras?  I don't know, maybe it wouldn't.  But when you watch on the television, a sold-out experience night after night get you in the mood to be there.  The Royals used to have "cheap seats" for $5.00 in the upper deck.  Since the economy has went sour, they have jolted up to $10.00 for those same seats(yes, they did due a stadium upgrade as well).  Some cities and teams don't have many problems attracting larger crowds so therefore they can charge what they want and be okay.  I'm not bashing any owner for charging the price they want, but it just makes for an exciting venue when the stadium is full.  I mean, would a concert of your favorite artist be the same if only a 100 people showed up and you still sat in the upper deck to watch with thousands empty seats in front of you?  Wouldn't you feel like you should be able to move up closer? 

Another thing that I just can't seem to grasp is the amount you pay to park for a few hours for an event.  I'm okay with the ten dollars and such.  But today I went to buy parking passes for a concert of Kenny Chesney I'm attending at Arrowhead stadium this summer.  I saw the parking price ticket for $40.50.  Are you out of your mind?  Is this a day-after April Fool's joke?  Really, you need to charge possibly 15,000 plus vehicles a $40.50 charge(not sure if there was a Ticketmaster fee too) to park for less than 5 hours.  Really, do you want your venue parking system to really be hated?  If your trying to off-set the prices of tickets on to parking, your doing it way wrong.  Many people pay for their tickets and don't buy a parking ticket early and dont forecast that purchase to the day of.  How many people are going to show up and see this parking price and complain?  Those same parking prices are $10.00 for Royals games and twenty-something for Chiefs games I believe still.  But for one night, we will double or quadruple the price for a concert.  I'm still in disbelief. 

No wonder why the government is always getting involved in everybody's business.  Because people feel like it's okay to go above and beyond on what "normal" charges should be.  Yes, we have the option not to purchase these items, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't live only by the rules of a rich-person's "american dream" as well. 

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