The San Diego Padres have come up with an innovative ticket plan that could end up backfiring in a big way. For a fixed price, the team is offering fans tickets to every home game for the rest of the season until they see the team win five times.
Here’s how it works: Fans can buy the ticket package for $99. They can then attend as many home games as they want until they see five wins. The promotion begins July 27. Any home game after that applies.
The tickets are all tracked electronically, making it tough to cheat the system.
Why is the Padres’ new ticket plan unorthodox?
With the move, the Padres are encouraging fans to root for losses.
How do we get fans to support our tank? We'll incentivize the fans to root for losing! pic.twitter.com/TckYqzT0FY
— David Proctor (@DaProc) July 25, 2018
If the team keeps losing games you attend, you get a better bang for your buck. You could conceivably see 10 games before experiencing that fifth win, which would make a tickets a much more affordable $10 per game.
Fans could even try to plan out which games they attend based on whether they feel the team will lose. Maybe fans won’t go when the Padres play the Marlins, fearing the team will win. Instead, they’ll try to go when the Padres play the Dodgers, knowing there’s a better chance they’ll lose.
That’s a depressing way to look at fandom.
The team has actually hosted a similar promotion in the past, but it went month-to-month. By opening up the promotion for the rest of the season, the team is giving fans more games to attend.
Why the Padres’ new ticket plan might be good?
On the other hand, maybe this is a great idea. The Padres aren’t a good team. Considering they have no shot at making the playoffs, the Padres should sell off parts and be a much worse team in the second half. They already started that process by dealing Adam Cimber and Brad Hand to the Cleveland Indians.
If the team is going to tank, it shouldn’t expect fans to pay full price to see them play. This ticket plan allows that to happen. It’s a way for the Padres to say, “Look, we aren’t going to pay competitive baseball down the stretch. Our fans aren’t going to get the best possible product on the field, so they shouldn’t have to pay full price for tickets.”
This comes with the caveat that teams should not intentionally tank games. But if that’s unavoidable right now, at least this softens that blow a little.
How will the Padres’ new ticket plan work out?
That’s dependent on each fan. Some could just go to five straight games and see five straight wins. Other can pick and choose for the rest of the season and make it to 12 games without their ticket package expiring.
Baseball teams love to make money, so the big test will be whether the Padres continue doing this next season. If they do, it’s safe to assume the club made money off the new ticket package. If not, fans probably got the better end of the deal.
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