SBD/Issue 98/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Ravens Season-Ticket Prices For '09 Season 
Will Increase $5-15 Per Ticket
In Baltimore, Jamison Hensley reported the Ravens in a letter are "notifying season-ticket holders the prices of their seats will increase $5 to $15 per ticket" for the '09 season. The "majority of seats in the bowl" of M&T Bank Stadium will "increase by $10, and some upper-deck seats will go up by $5." But the "biggest bump of $15 is for some club seats and lower-level seating around midfield." The Ravens said that they "need their average ticket price to be in the top third of the NFL to stay competitive." The increase "will also help with stadium improvements," as the Ravens are "looking to upgrade their Smartvision boards in the 'near future' and are in the process of completing a $4[M] club-level improvement project." The Ravens have increased ticket prices every other season since '01 (Baltimore SUN, 2/7).

PLATINUM SETTING: In Buffalo, Mike Harrington reported the Sabres' new platinum pricing level for seating at HSBC Arena has "apparently kept fans away from the last two home games against normally prime opponents like the Maple Leafs and Canadiens because of sticker shock." Platinum prices for non-season ticket holders range from $78-$233. Sabres Managing Partner Larry Quinn: "I would say we were probably too aggressive doing this. It's pretty simple. Our gold pricing has generated as much revenue as our platinum so obviously (platinum) is not priced right. That's the bottom line." Wednesday's game against the Maple Leafs drew 17,355 fans -- "more than 1,300 shy of a sellout and the team's lowest figure since 16,909" fans against the Flyers on April 7, 2006. The team "set the new platinum range this year" for the three visits by the Maple Leafs and Friday's game against the Canadiens, which drew 18,161 fans. Thus far, the games are zero for three on selling out the arena. The Sabres "dropped gold prices by about 15[%] heading into this year while bumping up the others." Quinn said that the Sabres "will keep platinum next season but will be reevaluating the price structure" (BUFFALO NEWS, 2/8).

PRICE IS RIGHT? Jets Exec VP/Business Operations Matt Higgins said the Jets "will not raise ticket prices" for the '09 season at Giants Stadium. On Long Island, Neil Best noted the "last time the Jets did not raise prices was between" the '01 and '02 seasons, "in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks." The NFL Giants "have not yet announced their prices" for '09, but they are also "expected to keep them at '08 levels." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last month said that "three-quarters of teams will keep prices flat this year" (NEWSDAY, 2/7)....In Boston, Fluto Shinzawa noted prices at Bruins games next season for first-row seats along the glass "will increase from $150 to $165," while prices "will decrease for seats in the four corner loge sections" from $89 to $85. Prices for seats in "all other sections will remain the same next season" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/7).

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