This long-winded entry is about who and what is purchasing tickets to live sporting events anymore. The New York press wrote an article about how the wealthy and super wide seats in Yankee stadium are empty and they have to use voice crowd noise through the PA system to make it a bit more lively in one of the more sophisticated sports palaces in the world.
I thought back to moving to Charlotte, NC and I marveled that the idea of the, “seat license’ experiment of Jerry Richardson. He was the PT Barnum of getting people to pay money to buy a license that would allow them to spend more money to buy season tickets. From a business standpoint, it was like owning a bank to print money to build his new stadium. i was amazed it actually worked.
It was a brilliant idea considering other cities were charging tourists a hotel or car rental fee to keep a large name sports team in their city. IT was actually sad to see elected officials giving up perks and benefits to sports organizations that didn’t need them – to keep them there.
“Need a new stadium? No problem…how much do you want?”
To build these nice stadiums with more luxury boxes, wider seats and more intensive “experiences” (aka – give the fan whatever they want for a price) for the fans, the teams charged exorbitant amounts of money and wanted season ticket sales. This way they could have a sell out even if three people showed up.
What I noticed in the 1990’s was the top tier of the sports arenas was full, but the lower levels with the more coveted seats were sparsely filled.
I put two and two together and thought, “These are bought by corporations for entertainment purposes and write offs.” I was a bit sad, as I realized the average kid, like myself as a small kid, probably could not go to a sports event more than once a year with the way the sports/entertainment cash milking groups work. (I confess, I am really good at merchandising and this process. That’s why I look at it in amazement that people keep paying more)
I imagine the arena of the future is simply going to be a super luxurious smaller space comprised of luxury suites that go far beyond what is currently available (I should mock up one with the Augmanity technologies) and will be spaces where anything one wants will be given.
It will then go with the flow that the sports team is the one organization that can continually hemorrhage money, yet, the net worth of the franchise goes up. It is a business anomaly
The “classic days” of sport. What it was like as kid to go to Yankee stadium, how the stars acted and treated people, and what you could buy for an actual dollar.