SBD/March 18, 2013/Franchises

T'Wolves' Ticket Renewals Down To 70% Amid Price Hike; Team Expects To Offset Drop

Only 70% of the T'Wolves' 10,000-person season-ticket base has "renewed for next year when the team is increasing prices after slashing them to bargain prices three years ago," according to Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. That is with "offering 10 percent back next year if the team doesn’t make this spring’s playoffs." The T'Wolves recently "began a 'Get Closer' campaign to sell new season tickets with a series of off-beat television commercials featuring Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, Andrei Kirilenko and Greg Stiemsma." In the campaign, there is a "promise to make those buyers more a part of the family through a five-level membership program that will offer everything from viewing parties and town-hall meetings to road trips and dinner with owner Glen Taylor, based upon the buyers’ level of commitment." Team President Chris Wright said, "We’re right where we thought we’d be. A lot of the seats we’re losing are in the upper level. We sold so many of those $5 seats three years ago and they went to $14." He added, "We still have 1,000 seats in the lower level for next season that are $20. There’s a piece of me that says that’s still a great buy for consumers. It’s probably one of the cheapest seats in the lower level for any NBA arena, but it is very, very difficult once you have lowered prices to take them back up to average NBA levels." Wright was asked if the revenue "generated from the price increase" will offset the loss of those who do not sign back up. He responded, "Yes, especially since the vast majority of our renewals is in the lower levels. We feel very comfortable with that" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/17).
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