My post yesterday discussing the Padres decision to further devalue their 21 game membership package by not offering guaranteed All Star Game tickets to those members attracted a lot of attention. To further clarify the discussion, I thought it was important to note the key differences between what past ASG hosts did in respect to their season ticketholders and why the Padres are taking a different path. The team is clinging to the argument that inventory is limited by those big jerks in the league office:
@ScottSibley6 your loyalty is appreciated. There are inventory restraints on this event and this announcement was about guaranteeing tickets
— Wayne Partello (@WaynePartello) May 15, 2015
And yes, inventory is limited, but it is at the team’s discretion how to allocate that inventory to their fan base. As discussed yesterday, both Cincinnatti and Minnesota offered guaranteed tickets to all of their season ticketholders, to include their 20 game ticketholders. The key difference between what the Padres are doing and what Minnesota did lies at the half season package level. Minnesota limited their half season ticket package holders to two All Star Game tickets, regardless of how many seats they had in their season ticket package. In doing so, they preserved enough inventory to presumably reward their 20 game package holders for their loyalty and investment as well. Of course, they could have done what the Padres did and offer as many tickets as they had season ticket seats to their half game STHs, but that would marginalize their 20 game package holders.
Look, in the end, it’s a business decision by the Padres to greatly favor half and full season ticketholders more than their 21 game package holders. This is to be expected, of course, to some degree – after all, those customers invested more. This is built into the membership structure left over from the Garfinkel era in that the different package tiers have different published benefits. For the entirety of 2015, the front office has been making efforts and moves to devalue and marginalize the 21 game program. What once was called a membership, is now essentially being treated as marginally better than a 4 game mini-plan package. This is the Padres prerogative, but looking at the entirety of the Padres history, fans are fickle and in general, it’s not a good idea to repeatedly marginalize your most loyal customers. Especially when past host cities have chosen to reward those that make a larger and more long term investment in the team. If you cleave out enough value from the 21 game program for customers, you will eventually have trouble finding more customers. As illustrious Gaslamp Baller and world class Mike Dee gear grinder @Kevintheoman pointed out:
At this point are there ANY benefits to being a 21 game season ticket holder? Purchasing addl tix without inflated dynamic pricing?
— Kevin Harris (@kevintheoman) May 14, 2015
Word has gotten out on the Padres treatment of 21 game customers. My original post on the canceling of flexible ticket trading for 21 game customers is regularly our most viewed post, enough that it is now the #4 Google result when you search for “Padres season tickets”. At some point, the team will need to appeal to these customers again after tossing them out like some moldy tangerine.