Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why are the Thrashers Making it Cheaper to Not Buy Season Tickets?

Thrasher Fan #1 loves hockey and bought two season tickets this season. He would rather not buy the 3 pre-season games but is required to do so and he will miss 4 games a year because of work or other travel out of town. He can't find a buyer for those 4 games he misses so he usually just gives them away.

Balance Sheet for Fan #1 a Season Ticket Holder
37 games attended in the 300s.
$2640 Total price for the season for two seats
$35.67 Cost per game attended per seat

Thrasher Fan #2 loves hockey and attends nearly every home game but buys single game tickets. She too will end up making 37 home games with her work, rec hockey games and extensive social life.

Fan #2 sits in the exact same section as Fan #1 but she uses coupons and internet specials to get some great markdowns:
  • Oct: 2 for 1 Thursdays, All-Star Wednesdays and $10 off with Downtown Connect
  • Nov-Dec buy one get one free--a 50% discount.
  • Feb-Mar get $30 off two tickets--a 45% discount.

She attends 37 home games this season and pays the following.
  • 4 Oct games 1 on a Thursday ($19) 3 full price ($38)
  • 13 Nov-Dec games (she misses two games) pays $19 a ticket
  • 20 Jan-Mar games (she misses two games) pays$23 a ticket

Balance Sheet for Fan #2 who buys tickets game-by-game
37 games in the 300s.
$1680 Total price for the season for two seats
$22.73 Cost per game attended

Thrashers Fan #1 and Thrashers Fan #2 attended the exact same number of regular season games and sat in the same area of the stands for those games. Thrasher Fan #1 bought his tickets in advance and paid nearly $1,000 more than Thrasher Fan #2.

So what exactly did Fan #1 get for that extra $1,000? 3 pre-season tickets and 4 regular season tickets that he couldn't re-sell and ended up giving away. A media guide. One "Meet the GM" event. The right to buy All-Star tickets (which was later made available to the general public) and the right to buy extra regular season and possible playoff tickets before others. 20% off at the Team Gear store (he saved $20 on $100 in purchases).

Who got the better deal? I'm going to have to say Fan #2 which makes me feel pretty silly since I bought the whole package in advance. With her savings Fan #2 could go to the same number of games and still have money to buy that big new TV to watch games on CenterIce.


  • I have a solution for the ticket package holders and the ASG:

    Rebate the ticket package holders the difference between the price we paid and the discounted game prices in the form of a reduction off our new ticket package plans. If we paid $55.00/ticket and the ASG later sold that ticket stratum at $27.50/ticket, the ticket package holder would receive a credit of 27.50 for each $55.00 ticket purchased. This credit would be applied toward the upcoming year ticket package amount. Therefore if we had 40 tickets at $55.00/ticket which the ASG later reduced to $27.50/ticket, we would receive a credit of $1100.00 toward the upcoming year ticket package amount.

    This same formula would also be applied to other discounted ticket amounts.

    Seems fair to me.

    By Blogger R. Stroz, at 12:28 AM  

  • That was actually one of my ideas as well. Make sure you forward it to the marketing people at Atlanta Spirit and your ticket rep.

    I also don't quite understand why my "playoff tickets" this season are tied to my purchase of season tickets NEXT year. I paid for season tickets THIS year and (if we make them) the playoffs are THIS year.

    By Blogger dmatos, at 9:55 AM  

  • here's a solution that would save you thousands; move your seats about 14 - 15 rows (at worst) and you pay a whopping $740 for 2 tickets, get the exact same 2 plastic chairs for the entire season AND, here's the most important part, you still get to walk around all puffy chested and say you're Atlanta Thrasher season ticket holders.

    It took me one season to get over myself and give up the crown of season ticket holder.

    Maybe I can take this concept to Delta so that they can give me a rebate or extra Sky Miles for every dollar I paid more than the guy family in the row behind me?

    By Blogger Jeff, at 10:28 AM  

  • Jeff: I hear what you're saying and I did sit over in the $10 section. But I do prefer the end zone perspective when watching hockey live.

    The thing that really irritates me is that I don't mind paying the money to sit there even with price increases. I just mind paying extra to be a season ticket holder which is how the Thrashers have structured it now.

    By Blogger The Falconer, at 12:24 PM  

  • So what is keeping people tied to their season tickets? Why do it? Take the savings that are there for your taking.

    I honestly don't ever envision a post-season adjustment to anyone's account. If I were them, I wouldn't offer it either.

    I was kidding about the Sky Miles example but that's economics. Not every one is going to get a good, or "fair" deal.

    It still boils down to some type of "perceived value" you are placing on being a season ticket holder. Only you can decide what that value truly is.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 1:00 PM  

  • Excellent post Falconer...

    And this is one of the reasons why I won't be renewing my season tickets for next year. (Though I've been a STH since 2000) I simply can't afford it anymore, even at the 300 level, I used to split my tickets with 4 other guys in sec 116, then it became 3 and we moved to 219, then they dropped and I found someone else to split it up, and we moved to 318. As it is I give away about 5-10 games/year (can't sell them sadly), so I just can't afford it anymore.

    So next year I'll be taking advantage of the deals, but not buying extra tickets when I can't go.

    Thanks for the great blog entry!

    By Anonymous Jay, at 6:35 PM  

  • I just pulled up the Thrashers buy 3 get 1 free packs. Here is what I found. Remember this is a ticket package offered to anyone. Here is the price per game avg

    STH – 301 B-E $30
    4PK – 301 B-E $28.50

    STH – 307 G-N $30
    4PK – 307 G-N $28.50

    STH – 307 E $40
    4PK – 307 E $34.50

    STH – 309 B $53
    4PK – 309 B $43.50

    STH – 202 B $53
    4PK – 202 B $43.50

    STH – 208 B $67
    4PK – 208 B $55.50
    (1 game these seats were 117 Y. STH $86/4PK $55.50)

    STH – 109 D-N $67
    4PK – 109 D-N $55.50

    STH – 112 E-K $86
    4PK – 112 E-K $67.50

    I have called. You can get these seats direct from AS with NO additional fees. There were only 9 black out dates all season for this offer, and the four pack I pulled up were the last 4 games, 1 on a Friday and 1 on a Saturday. If you want to see it your self, click below.

    And now ajc subscribers get 50% for the rest of the season.

    By Blogger Stan, at 11:59 AM  

  • Thanks for the info. I realize the Thrashers are trying to sell unused tickets but I think it is a fundamental mistake to undercut their own season tickets the way they have this last season.

    If I buy a season ticket they get all the money up front and they still get paid if I miss games dur to work, travel, illness. Now they will only get my money for the games I attend. I will not be paying full price for pre-season tickets either.

    By Blogger The Falconer, at 12:18 PM  

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