Are the NYR putting too much strain on their Season Ticket Holders?
Rangerstown is known for having the best fan base in the NHL. The Blueshirts are represented all over the world and their fans wear their pride on their sleeves. Our fan base is dedicated to our team and proudly show appreciation to the men who give their all on the ice with the iconic sweaters they wear. Some may say the most dedicated fans would travel with the team, purchase individual game tickets based on preference, or even keep up-to-date on every statistical platform of NYR standings.
The most dedicated of fans in Rangerstown are Season Tickets Holders, regardless if their packages are full, half or mini at the Garden. Season Ticket Holders (STH) may have the ability to attend all home games however, they are getting slammed with fees or complications along the way. For the 2017-18 season, James Dolan, Executive Chairman and CEO, motioned for a 15% increase on Season Ticket packages leading many loyal Blueshirts fans to throw in the towel.
New York Rangers tickets are not cheap in general yet, imagine this: you purchase a $229 ticket, add 15% to the ticket’s face value, then multiply by the number of family/friends accompanying you just for one game; this is what STH are currently dealing with this season. Most Season Ticket Holders are looking at this new investment and visualizing the drastic increase from the previous season. As one can assume, they are not happy with the increase given the new challenges standing in their way.
I recently performed a case study on a diverse group of 100+ New York Rangers fans involving the terms of variable pricing. Season Ticket Holders and Rangers fans alike were given the opportunity to speak on behalf of their perspective on the newly adopted pricing policy regarding their season tickets and experiences with the All-for-One passes through a questionnaire. This study took place within the home of the Rangers, Madison Square Garden, through formal interviews and postings within fan groups.
Respondents were asked to answer the following questions:
- For Season Ticket Holders (Full, 1/2 and mini): Do you feel the variable pricing option for game tickets has diminished your chances to selling your tickets when you cannot attend a game?
- For all Blueshirts fans: Do you find the All for One pass to be fair for just one ticket?
88% of Season Ticket Holders confirmed they now struggle to sell their tickets at face value as a result of the newly adopted variable pricing policy similar to the MLB. It is evident that James Dolan has given importance to offering the All-for-One tickets on game days at variable pricing while, neglecting to offer the same policy to Season Ticket Holders who have to pay a flat fee for their tickets.
The issue highlighted on the All-for-One ticket option is that the value of game tickets are extremely low and causes issues for Season Ticket Holders who are trying to sell their tickets for a game. One response out of the study that highlights this issue was given by Jane*, she explained “I have a full season package and can no longer sell my tickets with the variable prices. My seats can go for $76 to $142.50 depending on the game. This is most likely my last year. Normally, I can’t sell in the beginning of the season but by now they should be selling.” Jane is a prime example of the frustration Season Ticket Holders are battling with in efforts to sell their tickets to games they cannot attend or wish to sell depending on the game.
On the contrary, Rangers fans whom cannot regularly afford tickets are enjoying the All-for-One options because of the lower value of tickets. These fans are making it a semi-regular habit to attend several games throughout the season since it now fits within their budgets. Brian*, one respondent out of the study, explained “I personally enjoy the All-for-One pass because I don’t have to plan ahead or break my pocket to attend a game. I love my Rangers but, not enough to break bank for one game.” Brian has this shared view with the remaining 12% of respondents from the study who are enjoying the perks of the one game pass.
There are positives and negatives to this study given by the two different perspectives being analyzed on the newly founded variable pricing policy. The case study was performed to develop a stance between fans on the topic of tickets.
The Loyal and True
James Dolan has always made Season Ticket packages a point of business however, he made it more of a non-negotiable agreement. As of early November, Season Ticket Holders are already being reminded for a down payment for the 2018-19 season when they are not even finished or half-way into this season. As mentioned before, Season Ticket Holders are being pulled from all directions to obtain or retain their season tickets as the seasons go by along with facing new challenges. Ultimately, Season Ticket Holders have proven to be the most dedicated fans within the fan base simply by their efforts to witness the magic that takes place in the Garden on nights the New York Rangers take the ice.
(*) Respondent’s names were changed to protect their privacy.