Chicago Cubs bleacher ticket inflation: 1000%+ in 14 years

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Last season, ticket sales got so slow for the Chicago Cubs that they were giving tickets away, literally. Not of course for the big games versus the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals- but for many contests during the season you could easily find free tickets on the street.

Now you may ask yourself why would the Cubs offer free tickets to fans? Why give away what you’re selling? Well, first and foremost an ugly ballpark looks bad on television, but the real reason=further lost money on beer and concession sales. You may take a loss on the ducat, but at least you have people back in the seats buying drinks, food, souvenirs and crap. (oh wait, the Cubs baseball was actually free, so the genuine “crap” they didn’t have to pay for).

Anyways, you’d think these attendance issues would inspire the front office to lower prices; or at the very least keep ’em the same.

No, not so much.

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

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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

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