Assuming I renew my season tickets (I will), I have my chance to claim some type of retention gift from the team for reupping. In the past few years, I’ve been naive and lazy with them, claiming worthless tchotchkes. I hope to help fellow Padres season ticketholders to not make the same mistake. Here’s the current offer: you get a flute of champagne and a chance to Swing for Your Seats, which gets you one swing on the field off two pitches. That’s it. Going into renewal season, I was expecting to be offered use of Ron Fowlers Budweiser party truck, not two ounces of low grade J. Roget champagne, especially after the abysmal first half. Here’s the key: WAIT.
Last season these offers kept getting better and better as the offseason went on. You could be claiming free tickets, team experiences or better. At this years Swing For Your Seats, the team was offering a full on field batting practice experience. To me, short of adding me to the 40 man roster for a game or having Peter Seidler adopt me or letting me throw out the first pitch, that is the holy grail of retention offers. I asked my rep if they would let me take part in the batting practice, but alas, they already had my payment for this season, and it was told “we just can’t make an exception for you”. This is a valuable lesson in negotiating with or without leverage. At the same time, the sales staff is working against the clock to get packages sold to meet their sales targets before the season begins.
What it comes down to is that if you care about maximizing your value, wait to renew. Let’s be honest, season ticket packages aren’t going to be flying off the shelf this offseason. Keep your leverage and extract real value out of the sales team. I will be holding out until I get the batting practice experience and so should you. You’ll thank me later when you don’t drink a champagne flute of regret at the renewal section of Petco.