After losing 96 games and watching Wrigley Field attendance sink to a 15-year low point, the Cubs aren’t raising prices on season tickets.
Daily season-ticket holders were expected to receive invoices on Monday, with the team saying they will see flat or decreased totals. Fans with “combo” plans will notice an increase because of additional night games on next year’s schedule.
The Cubs haven’t announced single-game prices yet for 2014, which will mark Wrigley Field’s 100th anniversary.
The Cubs will have eight marquee — read: most expensive — games next season: April 4 home opener vs. the Philadelphia Phillies; May 20-21 vs. the New York Yankees; July 12 vs. the Atlanta Braves; July 25-27 vs. the St. Louis Cardinals; and Aug. 9 vs. the Tampa Bay Rays.
The most expensive ticket for a “marquee” game — including the 12-percent amusement tax — would be $125.44 to sit in an infield club box seat. The least expensive ticket — $8.96 including the amusement tax — would be an upper deck reserved outfield seat for a “bronze” game (think Arizona Diamondbacks on a weekday in April).
The Cubs have redistributed the five pricing tiers, setting the number of games from most expensive to cheapest like this: 8-13-33-18-9. It had been 9-17-27-15-13 last season.
The Cubs had the third-highest average ticket price ($44.55) in the majors last season, according to Team Marketing Report. The Cubs drew only 2,642,682 fans, which was the franchise’s lowest total since 1998.
The $500 million stadium renovation/hotel project is in a holding pattern, but the Cubs are hoping to eventually charge more for tickets and cash in with additional premium seats. Chairman Tom Ricketts acknowledged that in May, during a question-and-answer session at a City Club of Chicago event that wound up making headlines with an empty threat of considering a move out of Wrigley Field.
“We don’t have any plans to raise ticket prices right now,” Ricketts said then. “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.
“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.”