The Cubs announced Thursday that season tickets would see a modest 2.6 percent increase for the coming season. That’s more than the roughly 1 percent increase last season, but it’s much less than the 10 percent increase in 2015 and 19.5 percent hike in 2016.
Bleacher tickets will go up by only 1.7 percent, while the club box home plate area will jump by 9.5 percent. Some sections, however, will actually see a price decrease of as much as 5.3 percent. Upper box midfield and outfield seats in the right field and left field corners, specifically sections 303-307 and 327-331 (formerly 403-409 and 431-438 under the old seating plan), are among those that will drop, .
“Every year we go through kind of a comprehensive analysis of every section in the ballpark to ensure that all our season ticket holders see a tremendous value in their investment in both their time and money here,” Cale Vennum, vice president of ticket sales, told the Chicago Tribune.
“We’re hopeful that by having a slight decrease in price that it will maybe encourage more fans to go, give that part of the ballpark a shot. With the increase in value of those seats plus the increased amenities in the upper level that will be part of the 1060 Project, we think our upper level ticket-holders are going to see tremendous growth in the value of their seats year over year.
As always, the Cubs will employ a dynamic pricing structure that sees per-game costs shifting in accordance with the overall desirability of the game. So it’s possible to find some seats as cheap as $8 and some as expensive as $218. That’s face value, of course.
There are also new premier club experiences along with the aforementioned seating changes, so we’ll find out soon enough whether and how much the seat renumbering may have shifted some non-premium ticket-holders. The increases this year aren’t steep by any means, but aggregate jumps over the last several seasons have already forced a good number of fans into difficult decisions.
And with the Cubs talking about the possibility of not spending for a big-time free agent addition, it’s easy to see how some people might question their motives. Winning is the only way to answer those questions, but the tickets have to be paid for well in advance of any results. As with so many other things, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.