BY SPNW Staff 01:06PM 09/13/2013

Smart move: Mariners won’t hike ticket prices

Having learned from their mistake a year ago, the Mariners sent word Friday to season ticket holders about 2014 ticket prices, bearing the good news that there would be no increase. Last season, the club did not provide the usual courtesy heads-up to its most important customers about an increase, adding another log on the fire of contempt the franchise had been building.

Nothing was mentioned in the release about increasing the team’s performance. Not that anyone would have believed it, anyway. At 65-81 with a tough road trip upon them, the Mariners have lost 14 of their past 20 games, including a three-game home sweep by the wretched Astros, and may not not equal last season’s 75-87 dismalness. They are virtually assured of their eighth losing season in the past 10.

With six home games remaining, the club is averaging 22,173, 25th in MLB, and slightly ahead of the 2012 average of 21,258, the worst in Safeco’s history.

Regarding ticket prices, Mariners spokesperson Rebecca Hale said the club wanted to avoid “the problem” of last year when an increase for most seats went out without the usual warning. This time, “we’re being transparent,” she said, but also said there will be increase in some categories.

Here’s the team’s explainer:

 The Mariners  “variable pricing” for individual games in each season ticket plan, which is largely driven by the opponents on the schedule. Because of that, partial season ticket plans such as weekend, business, half-season and 16-game will decrease or increase slightly, based on the games included in the plan. Partial season ticket plan holders will continue to receive discounts of up to 20 percent off the cost of single game tickets.

Season Ticket Plans and Prices at a Glance

Under “variable” pricing for season tickets, games are divided into four categories based on several factors including opponent, day of the week, month of season and special event. The 2014 schedule, which was released earlier this week by the Mariners, is divided into the following variable pricing categories:

·         Single (eight games)

·         Double (25 games)

·         Triple (39 games)

·         Home Run (nine games)

Full Season plans (all 81 home games)

  • No change in the total plan price for 2014 full season ticket holders.
  • Discounts of 19 to 33 percent off the cost of single game tickets.

Weekend Plans (Friday-Sunday games plus opening night – 40 games)

  • Because fewer higher value Triple and Home Run games fall on weekends during the 2014 season, prices will have decreases ranging from $17 (-2%) to as much as $57 (-3.4 percent) per plan.
  • Discounts of 5 to 20 percent off the cost of single game tickets.

Half-season plans (every other home game – 40 games)

  • Depending on games included in the plan, the prices of each plan will either decrease up to $18 (-0.9 percent) or increase up to $13 (+0.7 percent).
  • Discounts of 5 to 20 percent off the cost of single game tickets.

Business plans (Monday-Thursday games – 41 games)

  • Because more Triple and Home Run games fall on weekday games during the 2014 season, business plans will have increases ranging from $17 (+2.1 percent) to as much as $57 per plan (+3.5 percent).
  • Discounts from 5 to 20 percent off the cost of single game tickets.

Partial season ticket holders have options available to switch to other plans that better fit their schedules or budgets while still maintaining their season ticket holder priority status.

Season ticket holder benefits

Mariners season ticket holders enjoy a variety of exclusive benefits in addition to discounts off single game ticket prices. Other benefits include:

·         Team store discounts of 10 percent every day (and 20 percent every Tuesday) at all five stores.

·         Discount on pre-paid season parking at Safeco Field garage.

·         Discounts on select Safeco Field suites.

·         Exclusive season ticket holder events and opportunities such as early gate openings to watch Mariners batting practice, exclusive meet and greet opportunities, and much more.

·         Presales for spring training single game tickets and other Safeco Field special events.

·         Hit It Here Café reservations on game days for full and half season plan holders.

·         Secure online ticket management, including resale and forwarding services.

Information about 2014 Mariners season tickets is now available on mariners.com, or by calling 206-346-4001.

 


YourThoughts

  • Will

    Are you saying people actually pay to watch the Mariners? Wow, PT Barnum was right.

  • maqman

    Assumptions: The owners by and large have been better than some. They haven’t taken any profit out of the team, although they have every right to. They kept baseball in Seattle and got Safeco built. If they plan to sell the team I doubt it will be soon, they would be selling low. They need a winner to sell for a bigger profit.

    Lincoln and Armstrong, despite strong opinions to the contrary, are not total idiots. They
    are fans just like us and want to win even more than we do; their legacy is on the line. They have made some bad hiring decisions and PR moves and probably interfered in baseball decisions more than they should. They have built a firm financial foundation for the team moving forward with the new regional TV network deal and they bought into Jack Z’s plan to build a strong farm system that will provide new potential big leaguers to the team every year. This keeps their payroll down so they can spend when and where they need to.

    Basically Z’s plan has and is working, he’s brought in talent, built up the farm system so it will be producing team-controlled players for years to come. He’s made some good and bad trades and signed some good and bad free agents. On review that is typical human behavior and not a criminal offense, however he has lost a lot of goodwill and respect and most likely has got one more season to show us the wins.

    According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts the team’s payroll this season was $84MM.
    Obligations for 2014 are about $40MM, of which $22MM is for Felix and $6MM for Iwakuma. The rest is basically about $500,000 each for about 20-odd MLB minimum income youngsters and a first-time arbitration deal. The new MLB national media deal will pay them about $25MM more next year. The new regional TV deal is reported to be worth $117 according to Forbes magazine, when it kicks in has not been spelled out. The old contract paid them $45MM according to Wendy Thurm of FanGraphs. If it doesn’t kick in for the next season or two they can back load contracts so big money comes due when the new bucks are in the bank. So they have more than $40MM in contract space compared to last season, at least $25MM in new MLB revenue for next season plus about $70MM coming available for longer term deals. They can afford a payroll in the
    $100MM (minimum) to $150MM (longer term) range.

    They need at least one quality outfielder and a decent backup, one quality pitcher (they can’t bet on Walker, Paxton and Hultzen all being available or good and Maurer and Ramirez have not qualified for the rotation this season, plus you can never have enough pitching in case you weren’t taking notes this season) minimum. If Ackley is in the outfield they need a veteran 2B as Franklin failure insurance, unless they want to gamble on
    Romero or another farm hand, plus a hopefully better backup catcher. They also still need one middle of the order bat in addition to Morales, who I’m going to presume they resign as they want him and they have the QO leverage.

    As I’ve stated elsewhere I believe they should go after Jose Dariel Abreu the Cuban big bat defector and Masahiro Tanaka the Japanese pitcher (25-years old next season) who has won his last 23 decisions and had ERAs under 2 the past 3 seasons. They are both
    elite players and the only ones available unless Stanton is raffled off. They won’t be cheap but imagine what Felix and Stanton would cost as free agents, these guys wont be that expensive. The Dodgers paid $48MM for Puig, Abreu is expected to cost north of $50MM-$60MM, The M’s should offer him 6/$80-$90MM (less if he’ll take it). Tanaka will
    require a posting fee if made available, the M’s should offer $60-$70MM and expect to pay him about$60-$80MM for 6 years of salary. That adds up to $200MM to $240MM for six years, (their prime years) with a total AAV (Average Annual Value) of $33MM to
    $40MM for the two of them each year. They would solidify our rotation and middle of the order power for six years for less than the Angels paid for Pujols. It would also make a huge statement to the fans and other players they want to bring to Seattle, a.k.a. Looserville. Watch the season ticket sales go up!

    They should also sign Ellsbury or Choo or trade for an equivalent level outfielder; I’d prefer Ellsbury, as it is obvious that small ball is the game of the future. I would also sign Johnny Peralta, because he will be cheap coming off of his suspension and liable to take a one or two year deal. That covers us if Franklin doesn’t grow up as we hope he will and provides shortstop backup, plus allows Ackley to stay in LF. Abreu allows us to trade Smoak and whatever for a decent outfielder. Our top of the rotation 1-2-3 would equal any in the game and cut down on the bullpen workload, add in two of Walker, Hultzen, Paxton, Maurer or Ramirez and we won’t have to sign a Saunders or Harang equivalent for years to come. It would also probably allow one of them to be used as a trade chip.

    I understand this is a big step and it will require guts but it is worth it in light of the positive value it would add to the club and the faith of the fans.

    • Trygvesture

      and what about the actual history of behavior would lead anybody to speculate the ownership can or will or desires to put a winning club on the field more than they want to run the franchise like a corporate video game manufacturer– targeting unearned franchise appreciation and no operating losses as their primary goal? That’s what they’ve done, that’s what they are likely to do.Nothing about their behavior, their policies, their rare to none public statements, their blame-the-media stance or the product they actually have delivered for more than a decade would indicate otherwise. They got a sweet deal going: best stadium imaginable, ( won as a gift from the public by crocodile tears from Ellis), no debt, no ongoing investment, no operating losses ( by playing defense, e.g. vs Hanson, raising ticket prices, minimizing payroll) and no worries. The franchise is worth gazillions–no thanks to their competence– and they have milked the public for the sweetest corporate HQ imaginable from which to manage their unearned equity without any committment to the community whatsoever– see ticket prices, opposition to Hanson, low payroll/poor product, etc etc. Call it what it is, not what it should be, not what fans wish it would be.
      Fact is, they stink. Bad product. Poor franchise management. Poor relations with the community. Lying to the media. Alienated fans. Culture of losing, culture of old-school, top down autocratic management– no matter the consequences as long as the equity appreciates at a rate greater than losses as fans dessert.They win. We lose.