Lowering ticket prices only fix for mediocre results

By Jerry Burnes

Prior to Sunday’s home finale, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts discussed the two most dreaded words to Cubs fans-ticket prices-with no decision announced. Usually that means the ownership is raising prices by ‘X’ percent in hopes of increasing revenue so it can improve the team and stadium.

After a raise in ticket prices prior to the 2010 season, the Cubs saw attendance drop for the first time in years. Fans are not happy that a team with a $146 million payroll (third highest in Major League Baseball) has been out of the playoff race since mid-June.

With that said, I have an idea for you, Mr. Ricketts. Show a real appreciation to the over three million fans who came to see a team that entered Monday 70-85 (fifth place in the NL Central) and lower ticket prices.

Yes, be the radical owner and lower how much the fans pay to see a mediocre, overpaid team.

I don’t know when the last year prices weren’t raised, but the latest raises have been a bust. The team still stinks and as much as I love Wrigley Field; there’s a lot of work left to be done.

I also don’t fully grasp baseball economics, but I do know some raises have to happen, so save those for your suites and lower levels. Most fans sitting there will still be able to afford those seats as it is. Lower the rest though-the bleachers, the upper deck, the 200-level seats. Who wants to pay $50 for a 200-level seat and not be able to see shortstop because a pole is in the way?

The bleachers are an experience and Cubs owners throughout the years have exploited that. In the end though, there’s no back rest, seats are nothing but metal and it’s basically impossible to leave your seat without worrying it will be gone thanks to the long beer and food lines.

Have I mentioned how bad the team has been? Good, because it does matter now. The Cubs aren’t “lovable losers” anymore. They’re more infuriating than ever. I think we understand as fans that the Cubs are rebuilding. There’s no need to have general manager Jim Hendry spend money that isn’t on Adam Dunn or Cliff Lee. Even those two aren’t a quick fix either.

The Cubs’ rebuilding project is at least a five-year deal. If you want fans to see this rebuild, Ricketts, don’t take us for idiots. We know the quality of product going on the field in the coming years and barring a miracle, a few more seasons like this one are on the way.

So cut the fans a break. It’s bad enough we suffer through 162 games of mediocrity. Don’t make us break the bank doing it too.