The Chicago Cubs are offering up a new type of ticket deal specifically for college students: last-minute tickets.
From the release, describing the program:
The Chicago Cubs are launching the “CUBS U” program which provides last-minute ticket offers via text message to eligible college students for select Cubs home games during the 2022 regular season.
Starting today, April 28, college students 18 years of age or older who are actively enrolled in a recognized college or university and have a valid .edu email address are eligible to receive last-minute ticket offers from the Cubs. To participate, interested college students can text “CUBSU” to 88019 to opt in or complete the registration form at www.cubs.com/cubsu. Once registered, eligible college students will receive last-minute ticket offers via text message within 24 hours of eligible Cubs home games starting with the May 3 game against the Chicago White Sox.
There is a four-ticket limit per registrant per offer and ticket offers vary per game. Ticket offers will be made available several times per homestand and will be priced exclusively for college students with limited availability per offer. Purchased tickets will be made available via the MLB Ballpark app and are viewable 90 minutes prior to the start of the game purchased.
For more information on the new “CUBS U” program or to register, please visit www.cubs.com/cubsu.
No details on what the offers might look like, but I’m guessing they would be pretty significant deals, since the whole point is just to try to get fans (ones maybe without a lot of cash, in this case) in the door. The short window of time likely serves a variety of purposes, from having a better idea what sales are looking like and what’s available to creating a little artificial urgency to restricting the ability to re-sell the tickets.
A lot of folks are having yuks about this kind of stuff, but I think it’s really good that the Chicago Cubs are finally really getting into the “deal” space when it comes to tickets at Wrigley Field. So much of what floated attendance (and prices) for so long was an incredible (and re-filling) season ticket holder base of folks who desperately wanted to make sure they had access to playoff tickets for When It Happened. That change, combined with the deterioration of the competitive product, combined with the ever-increasing ancillary prices, combined with the pandemic, combined with the declining interest in baseball overall, have together left Cubs tickets something really far from the hottest ticket in town.
So why not acknowledge that reality and try to make something good out of it? Why not try to make your sport more accessible to more fans? I think it can fairly be debated whether the Cubs are going the best routes yet to do that, but the broader idea is, to me, a very good one. In my ideal world, there would never be a single empty seat at Wrigley Field, though I know the economics of season ticket prices probably make that infeasible. Still. I want baseball to have lots and lots and lots of fans for decades to come. And baseball games are fun.