I’m not buying it, well, okay, I guess I am

On January 22, 2010, the Green Bay Packers announced that they would raise ticket prices for the 2010 season. My tickets increased $9 each. I’ve got the highest price sideline tickets, at $72 last year. Now they’re $81. I’m not happy about the whole thing, but I want to explain.

The Packers have the lowest ticket price in the NFC North (yes, cheaper than the Lions). They haven’t raised ticket prices since 2007, which has helped me greatly through tough times. So I can’t complain much about the actual price. I want low ticket prices as much as the next guy, but I understand how things work.

What bothers me more than the actual ticket price are these three things:

First, the invoice came much sooner this year, and the payment for the entire season is due on March 31, six weeks earlier than normal. This came as a surprise. Looking back at the Packers official press release today, I see that this change was indeed mentioned. But I missed it. I don’t check the Packers web site regularly for press releases, so I missed it. And I don’t recall hearing about it from the TV and newspaper outlets who covered the increase when it was announced. Therefore I’m a bit unprepared this year. My fault.

Second, the letter from president Mark Murphy that accompanied the invoice makes no mention of the earlier due date. Murphy explained that the price increase was needed to remain competitive, etc. Fine. I want the Packers to be competitive. But there was no explanation for the earlier due date.

Third, according to an article in today’s Green Bay Press Gazette, ticket director Mark Wagner commented on the earlier due date, saying, “We had to do it. We had 192 names come off the waiting list last year and we ran really late (processing those changes). We knew we’d be raising the ticket prices, the economy’s not humming yet and we thought we might be getting more cancellations and we better be ready.”

I don’t know about that last one. I don’t work in a ticket office. All Packer games are sold out so I know the Packers ticket office probably doesn’t operate exactly like most other major sports team ticket offices. But with a stadium that seats 72,000, it’s hard to believe that they’d have trouble processing less than 200 season ticket ownership changes in a timely manner.

So I’m not happy about it. But here’s the real question. Am I buying it? Heck yeah. I’m still buying the tickets. I’ll buy my Packers season tickets every year, no matter what they cost. There, I said it. My cards are on the table. The Packers can increase the ticket prices as much as they want, as often as they want, and I’ll keep buying. Sound dumb? Well, it makes total sense to a guy who bleeds green and gold. You can’t price the Packers out of my life.

While most other season ticket holders probably won’t state their feelings this way, tens of thousands are acting this way. It’s just the way things work.

Only problem now is that it’s 7 months until kickoff. I can’t wait. Go Pack!