Renovation could impact ticket prices at Wrigley

Renovation could impact ticket prices at Wrigley
May 1, 2013, 9:15 pm
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The Cubs believe a renovated Wrigley Field will change the entire fan experience while preserving the elements that make the ballpark so unique. It could also cost you more to buy a ticket.

Chairman Tom Ricketts confirmed as much during Wednesday’s question-and-answer session at a City Club of Chicago event, speaking to the business class and laying out his family’s vision for a stadium that’s almost 100 years old.

“We don’t have any plans to raise ticket prices right now,” Ricketts said. “The goal is if you can make the park nicer, and give people more options, then we will have flexibility to charge people for those extra amenities that will be available in the park. But we haven’t projected all the pricing changes.

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“Right now, there are no plans to raise any prices. But hopefully over time, if we have a better team on the field, and we have a better park, with better amenities, obviously we’d like to be able to charge people that are willing to pay more for better service. But there’s no specific plan.”

As part of the proposed $500 million renovation, the Cubs have been unveiling designs for new party decks and expanded luxury suites, as well as a two-story Captain Morgan Club, a “Home Plate Club” and the “Marquee Restaurant” that would be open year-round.  

Coming off three straight fifth-place finishes, the Cubs still had the third-highest ticket price ($44.55) in the majors on average, according to Team Marketing Report. The study also found that the team had dropped the average ticket price by 3.8 percent from the year before.

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The day after a 101-loss season ended, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein was asked about ticket prices and the type of product the Cubs would be putting on the field.

“The experience of coming to Wrigley is pretty special. It’s unique. It’s hard to replicate,” Epstein said last year. “But there’s no getting around the fact that as far as the ultimate return on investment for the fans’ dollar – which is seeing a winning team – they’re going to get better value a little bit down the road than they’re getting right now.

“It’s our job to make sure they get that value. The experience of watching a baseball team down the stretch and into October and celebrating with that team is priceless. That’s ultimately how we can reward the fans’ support.”

The Cubs still sold almost 2.9 million tickets last year. Imagine what the demand would be like for a contending team at the new Wrigley Field.