SBD/Issue 48/Franchises

Blue Jays Discontinuing Some Season-Ticket Perks Next Season

Blue Jays Season-Ticket Holders' Annual Trip
To Spring Training Being Discontinued Next Year
Blue Jays season-ticket holders' annual trip to the team's Spring Training facility in Dunedin, Florida, is “being discontinued” next year, as is the practice of "providing season-ticket buyers the use of a Rogers Centre luxury suite for a regular-season game," according to Robert MacLeod of the GLOBE & MAIL. Blue Jays VP/Ticket Sales & Services Jason Diplock insisted that the Blue Jays are “acting on the concerns expressed to them by the full-season subscribers.” He said that while the seat holders “enjoyed the perks of the Florida trip and the access to the luxury suite -- perks that have been ongoing for about seven years -- it still represented a large out-of-pocket expense to the fans.” The Blue Jays last March flew about 750 season-ticket holders to Spring Training, which Diplock said cost the organization “well into six figures.” But the trip also costs the fans, as Diplock said they "still had to get their accommodations, rent a car [and] exchange their money over." Diplock: "It was becoming a challenge." MacLeod notes the luxury-suite offer included the free use of the box, but the season-ticket holders “had to pay for food and drink for as many as 10 or 12 guests, which could easily run to more than $1,000.” Diplock said that the club “plans to hold a subscriber barbecue this season, only it will be in Toronto in April” at Rogers Centre. Meanwhile, season-ticket holders who renew early will receive a “free pair of tickets” for the December 3 Jets-Bills game at Rogers Center (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/18).

STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE: In Toronto, Morgan Campbell writes Blue Jays President & CEO Paul Beeston is "crafting a plan to make the club … perennial contenders,” and he hinted that the plan “might include” former GM Pat Gillick. Beeston “expressed a strong desire to re-establish the Blue Jays as a national brand,” as fan interest in the team “has declined as its record sagged.” With GM Alex Anthopoulos’ “emphasis on stringent scouting and smart drafting, Beeston thinks the Jays can become baseball’s version of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks” (TORONTO STAR, 11/18).

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