AAA Indianapolis Indians Keep On Raking, Pirates Flat
By Tom Smith
2010 was a year for horrible business stories.
How cool is it that for the 35th straight year the AAA Indianapolis Indians were profitable?
Clipped from: www.ibj.com (share this clip)
The Indians’ increased their attendance while increasing ticket prices. 20,000 more fans went through the turnstiles at Victory Field. The Indians attendance was 569,969 in 2010. The $1-per-ticket increase helped increase ticket revenue to $4.11 million. The revenue from suites was just short of $900,000.
With the Pirates stockpiling serious talent, Indianapolis has a serious shot for a title run this year which will make 2011 even bigger for Indianapolis. That’s important for the Pirates.
As we read the article, our head started to pound. No. Not from a hangover. Simply from the thought that the Pittsburgh Pirates need to bump their ticket prices, but there isn’t a shot in hell of it happening. We wrote about it before and it pains us to see the Pirates keeping prices steady.
The trouble is if they don’t give tickets a bump now, when would the Pirates increase those prices? When the Pirates win? How will that be perceived?
Certainly a price increase, no matter how small will be another PR hit for the Bucs.
So. Fucking. What.
This team is damned no matter what they do by the poor guys who are stuck at the top of PNC Park. If the Pirates allow the media and the non-Pirates loving public to stunt their growth it’s a damn shame. The improvement of the park is delayed. Clubhouse upgrades are ignored. And most importantly having the cash necessary to sign an impact player when the team is ready to contend is compromised.
Waiting to increase prices until this team gets back to winning ways is even more foolish. Millions of dollars in ticket revenue are gone because the Pirates haven’t raised prices since 2002, the longest such stretch in Major League Baseball. And seriously, nothing in America stays priced the same for as long as Pirates tickets have.
Milk? Gas? Tobacco? Beer? Indianapolis Indians tickets? All of those items have increased in price. But oh hell no, not Pirates tickets, those never change. Apparently the mentality is we suck—we can’t possibly raise prices a dollar or two. Don’t you know the media would crucify us? Screw the media. Is this about winning or is it about making sure people like the Bucs?
Whatever sport business guru began associating winning with ticket pricing should be water boarded. The non growth of Pirates revenues is as tragic as the losing. Since when did Bob Nutting care about what people think of him? The Pirates number one goal should be to win baseball games. To do that, a serious amount of cash is needed each and every year. How about this idea? Sign Andrew McCutchen and announce a ten percent increase on the same day? It would be classic Pittsburgh Pirates. The KC Royals announced a 15 percent increase in 2008. Last month, they traded away an ace. Explain that shit?
Here is the bottom line. We know the argument will be this: nothing in America has been as bad as the Pirates have been. Yeh, we get it. Still, I would have done it. Years ago. But we want the best possible team in uniform at PNC Park.
Being in a small market is one thing. Being foolish and being in a small market is entirely different.
Follow us on Twitter because we haven’t raised that price, it’s still free.