After arguably the worst season in the franchise’s history, the Chicago Bears announced they are raising ticket prices.
Despite not being able to fill half the stadium for the last couple home games, the Chicago Bears are going to ignore that fact and do the unthinkable: raise ticket prices after a 3-13 season.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Ted Phillips sent a letter to season ticket holders to inform them of the decision. While the price increase is a small one (1% to 4% with an average increase of 2.6%), one has to wonder how tone-deaf the franchise is to even consider raising ticket prices a penny.
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After disappointing seasons in 2014 and 2015, the Bears did not raise prices, so apparently CEO Ted Phillips felt it was time to take more money from the fans. The increase won’t even be enough to dent fans’ wallets, a family of four would only see the total price of their four tickets rise less than $20. When you are already committing at least $500 to come to the game in the first place, that’s pretty small potatoes, but this is truly a ridiculous move that only the Bears would do coming off a season as poor as this one.
With such a small price increase, the Bears will only net an additional $2 to $3 million in revenue. For a franchise worth almost $3 billion, that seems pretty ridiculous. Why would the franchise even consider such a move that will cause nothing but public backlash and make the franchise look tone-deaf to the city? Because they are the Bears, that’s why.
Ted Phillips can tell the fans that the Bears have lots of salary cap space and a great GM and they are in a great position to make huge strides in 2017. Yes, we’ve heard that song and dance before, but how about you let the fans see those strides before you ask them to pay for them?
The Bears haven’t seen empty seats like they did at the tail end of last season in decades. They announced crowds in the 40,000s for the last three games, but ask anyone in attendance and they will tell you that the stadium was not even half full.
The Bears finished their home season last year in atmospheres that resembled preseason games. The fans spoke up about their displeasure with the franchise and the Bears didn’t listen.
So fans buy two less beers or four less hot dogs when you go to the game this year, or perhaps skip the souvenir stand and pass on the giant foam bear claw. There are plenty of ways to make sure you don’t spend any more money at the games this season, but the fact that you have to even consider that is just plain ridiculous.