The Super Bowl is here, which means the rest of the sports world grinds to something of a halt today, which is probably fair. I don’t really have a dog in the fight, but (1) Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan know what’s up, and (2) has anyone ever made a Super Bowel pun about the game? I don’t know what that pun would be, but I’m pretty sure I’m afraid to Google the words “super bowel.” Maybe, like, if one of the players was battling an intestinal issue, but still managed to come out for the second half and help win the game a la Michael Jordan and the flu? “Seahawks Take Super Bowl Thanks to Super Bowel”? Maybe that?
Also, a moment to keep the lights on: looking for a little gaming fun? Check out Excellent Slots. I doubt they could call themselves excellent if they were not. And on with the Bullets …
- As we look ahead to the future of the Chicago Cubs – a future most of us believe is bright (eventually) and competitive – it’s worth noting a recent move by the Dodgers. Since becoming very, very good last year after spending like Monty Brewster, the Dodgers are wildly popular once again in Los Angeles, and, understandably, their tickets are much more desirable. So, what happens? Ticket prices increase – twice in a single year, in the Dodgers’ case. After season ticket holders renewed at a staggering rate, the Dodgers had very few available additional season ticket packages to offer, so they jacked the prices – 140%(!!!) in some cases. Presumably, single game tickets will also be shoved aggressively upward. I certainly understand fan disappointment when going to games becomes exorbitantly expensive (there are still some reasonably priced tickets, by the way), but I also understand the cruel reality of supply and demand. And, in their defense, the Dodgers are spending a crap-ton of money on payroll to put a compelling team on the field.
- Which is all to say: yes, when the Cubs are winning again, you can expect that ticket prices will go up (because demand will go up). The Cubs have already previewed this reality with dynamic pricing, and the fact that prices have held steady despite five disappointing seasons only underscores it further. I know it’s easy to get all populist and rip the Cubs for expensive prices and a crappy product, but, I mean … why would they charge less than the market will bear? And if they thought charging less would sell more tickets and generate more revenue, they’d do it. More revenue = more money for baseball operations = incrementally increased chance of being competitive consistently.
- I just have trouble getting too upset about any of the ticket price stuff. Am I wrong? I guess, the flip side from the pure market theory, is the idea that baseball – as a whole – has an interest in continuing to cultivate new, and long-lasting relationships with fans. Extreme prices, regardless of demand, probably don’t help that interest. That could be even more true with a team like the Cubs, where the passion of the fan base has an intimate relationship with the ballpark. Maybe the Cubs would be better served, in the long-run, keep prices artificially low, even if it depresses revenue slightly, because of the long-term benefit of making/retaining more fans? I’m sure this has all been considered by business folks much more adept at pricing curves and revenue projections and customer acquisition/retention rates and what-have-you.
- Do you really want to believe in Babe Ruth’s “called shot” against the Cubs in the 1932 World Series? If so, don’t bother reading this New York Post piece, which indicates it never happened. (But, even in the “real” account, Ruth was giving some guff back to the Cubs immediately before the pitch (and the hand signal was just him pointing at the pitcher and/or Cubs dugout), saying something about how he was going to knock them all out. He then took the next pitch 500 feet out to center field. That’s still a pretty damn good story, isn’t it?)
- Looks like ZiPS really likes the Texas Rangers, and I’m reminded of what it will feel like when this is the kind of team the Cubs have on paper going into a season.