Cubs New Ticket Plan Extravagant, Exploitative; Even By Their Standards



It won’t be long till the Chicago Cubs and owner Tom Ricketts end up the subject of a CNBC “American Greed” segment. The Cubs’ new “Pick 13 Plan” goes on sale Thursday. It calls for three packages enabling fans to attend two designated games featuring the marquee opponents: either the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals or Chicago White Sox.

But before we examine what a rip-off this package is, have you seen the new ticket price increases for 2011?

Bear in mind that the prices below are BEFORE you factor in the 12% amusement tax. Despite the Cubs’ 2010 play nor the costs of these seats being anything but amusing.

Sitting downstairs for any of these marquee games starts at $79.00 before taxes. Three of the four first-tier options are triple digit+, and the so-called nose bleeds or “cheap seats” start at $27.00. “Great Recession, Shmreat Shmecession” right? Next we have the insult to consumer intelligence that is bleacher pricing.

Yes, the most overrated seats in the house with the worst overall view are $72 a pop now, with a “Bleacher Box” (one of the biggest oxymorons of all time) costing $100.

By Paul M. Banks


$112 to get sun-burn while having excellent views of right field bleachers (crappy views of the rest of the field)…well someone needs to pay for the gross over-spending on Matt Garza right? By the way, the Chicago Sun-Times celebrated his arrival by posting a big picture of the chunky Jouquin Benoit. More on that here.

Ignore that blog’s jab at our fair city. It’s a Detroit blog- ripping on them is like playing basketball against a four-year-old kid.

Anyways, on to the new ticket plan.

The Pick 13 Plan allows fans to customize their 13-game schedule when advancing through the Pick 13 Plan order process on, similar to multi-game ticket offerings in previous years. This year’s offering guarantees a selection of two games from the following marquee match-ups at Wrigley Field:

Friday, June 17 vs. New York Yankees

Sunday, June 19 vs. New York Yankees

Saturday, July 2 vs. Chicago White Sox

Sunday, July 3 vs. Chicago White Sox

Friday, August 19 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Saturday, August 20 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Other match-ups featured throughout the Pick 13 Plan include series with the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, summer bleacher dates vs. the Philadelphia Phillies, weekend games vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers, summer and night games vs. National League Central Division rivals and more.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business:

The Cubs’ new ticket plan offers fans a chance to grab seats for marquee games against either the White Sox, Yankees or Cardinals. Great, right?

Well, like everything else in life, there’s a price: You’ll also have to buy tickets to some of the cold April games.

Exactly, this is a prototypical bait-and-switch, as Crain’s later points out:

Actually, there is another way. Instead of buying tickets to 13 games, you could go through ticket brokers if you just want to see a couple of the big games. It probably would be much cheaper.

Agreed. Don’t be fooled by the alleged “convenience” of paying these even more jacked-up ticket prices, for the wonderful option of making your June weekend plans in January. The Cubs marketing rhetoric here is just more typical Ricketts’ double-talk and lies.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter, Yardbarker Network, and Fox

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

He also does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports


  1. I’m all about making as much $ as possible and getting optimal ROI but this is ridiculous when you consider how empty the park was for the last 3 months of the season, how easy it was to get tickets for half or less face value during the yr, and how AWFUL the economy is.

    The new plan works if you’re a die-hard and you’re going to out there more than double figures, but if you only want to go to a couple games, it’s a huge rip-off just to have to buy tickets to the low int games just to see the big boys

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