Writing New York: Posts from the Boroughs and Beyond — 2008-2011 Rotating Header Image

Ticket Sales Reinforce Signs of Recession

“The Recession on the way, hey, but on another note, a lot of sounding like Young, tell’em register to quote,” is the opening line of the remixed version of Young Jeezy‘s “Put On” featuring Jay-Z.

What’s the connection here to the sports industry? Well, Jay-Z is part owner of the New Jersey Nets. The Nets like many sports franchises in the country are not immune to the economic slowdown the country has been experiencing over the last few months.

The main indicator for any franchise’s success is revenue. Revenue is created through marketing and star power but most importantly through bottom line ticket sales. When the economy is in a bull market, ticket plans are offered less. The Nets have multiple plans on the team website including Big Game Plans, Weekend Plans and the McDonald Buy 1 Get 1 Free Plan.

Aside from the plans, the Nets are offering steep discounts on all tickets. The face value on a single courtside suite ticket is $255. On the team website, the discounted price is $202, a 21% discount. On the opposite end of the spectrum, nosebleed bleacher seats valued at $20, have been reduced 50% to $10.

The New York Rangers, who play at Madison Square Garden have multiple ticket plans as well. A subscriber of season tickets pays $230 for a rinkside seat, a 17% discount off the individual ticket value of $275.50. A mezzanine seat, the hockey version of baseball nosebleeds costs $46.50 individually and $34, 27% off for a season subscriber.The team website also takes ticket donations from subscribers who can’t make it to a game.

No sports piece would be complete without analysis of the American past time; baseball and the sport played only 17 weeks a year, not including the playoffs and Super Bowl; football. The Mets and Yankees both have new stadiums which will open in 2009. The Yankees are offering field seats behind home plate at $325 each for a season ticket holder and $25 for nosebleeds. The Mets have yet to post ticket prices for Citi Field on the team’s website.

The Jets and Giants, both of whom share Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands and are expecting a new stadium for 2010, don’t have tickets listed on their websites. Football tickets are harder to find than a 13- year-old in high school. You either have to know someone, work for someone, or sign up for the waiting list. Especially since the Giants are the defending World Champions and the Jets now have Brett Favre.

The economy has slowed down ticket sales notably in hockey and baseketball. Football doesn’t seem to have been affected as much but they have a short season. With spring on the horizon, expect baseball ticket sales to have trouble too, although the arrival of big name pitchers like Rodriguez, Putz, Sabathia, and Burnett should make things interesting.

Bottom line, unless you can afford courtside or fieldside, stick to nosebleeds. They aren’t that bad. I’ve sat in them my whole life. Plus, it’s more fun to be with the guy throwing popcorn at someone and whirling his shirt in the air. Maybe, you can learn something.

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