The longer this whole recession thing sticks around, the more it’s going to affect our delicious, precious sports. Teams are already wringing their hands about slow ticket sales and sponsorship problems. Surprisingly (SARCASM), the inflated ticket prices and payrolls that skyrocketed over the past 10-15 years might not be sustainable over the long haul.
(No need to hurry, really.)
One team in particular, the New Jersey Nets, is having a wee bit o’ trouble putting butts in the seats at inflated prices in a crappy arena to see a terrible basketball team. But they’ve…got….a…plan: Jersey giveaways! No big deal, even if you can’t name a single stiff on the team these days (other than Devin Harris), because they’re possibly the first team ever to give away opposing team’s jerseys.
One of the biggest jokes in pro sports so far this year has been the neverending punchline that is the new Yankee Stadium. The Yankees’ billion-dollar monument to greed, excess, and everything else wrong with the modern American economy has hurt the team on the field and its vast oceans of empty overpriced seats has hurt the team off it. For Yankees fans, it would be an embarrassing position to be in - if they had the capacity for shame. Which they don’t.
And while the hubris of Yankees fans knows few bounds, they might want to sit up and take notice of a piece that appeared in the NEW YORK TIMES this weekend. If fans think this season’s rows of empty seats are no big deal, just wait - this could just be the beginning.
Earlier today we brought you word that the Miami Heat organization has been filing lawsuits against individuals and companies who owe the team money for their season tickets. Most of the suits seem to address last season, when the Heat were a dreadful 15-67 and regularly trotting out a lineup of D-Leaguers. One lady is defending herself by saying that the team failed to provide the product it promised.
So why shouldn’t people be able to back out of tickets if the product isn’t what was expected, as was the case with the Heat last year? If teams aren’t making the effort win games (which can be argued most every March in regard to several NBA teams, and every day in regard to the Detroit Lions), then why should fans be expected to pay for it?
I’m not necessarily saying that people should be able to turn in their tickets for a full refund at any time. There is something to the notion of a contract and season-ticket holders do get discounts from the single-game face value of seats:
How’s that old saw go — measure twice, cut once? The Indianapolis Colts apparently overlooked the basics in constructing their new stadium. Although most fans are raving about the facility and the views of the city from the inside, some fans have to deal with that pesky little problem of not being able to see the game.
Says the INDIANAPOLIS STAR:
One of them, Paul Carnes, Indianapolis, paid $1,280 for two season tickets, not including playoffs. His view is obscured by a hand rail that runs the length of the field.