MLB Execs Navigating Unpredictable Premium Sales Market
Developing and selling premium ticketing options in a post-pandemic world will be a big challenge for all teams, and during the first day of the AXS Sports Facilities & Franchises and Ticketing Symposium yesterday, two MLB execs discussed the uncertainty in that marketplace. Cubs Exec VP/Sales & Marketing and Chief Commercial Officer Colin Faulkner explained, “The premium experience that we're used to is with full fans and high touch. But what does that look like in a world that we're only part-way there?” Rangers Senior VP/Ticket Sales & Service Paige Farragut agreed, saying the focus is on the future, but it will take “baby steps to get the consumer back on board” when it comes to purchasing and participating in premium options. She said companies are "fearful that if they do (commit) and something bad happens, or somebody gets sick, would that make them look responsible as far as the company's side of the business?” Most teams have sent out invoices or are in the process of sending out invoices for season tickets next season, and Faulkner stressed there “has to be an expectation that you're going to play next year with full buildings, with full fans."
*Farragut, on companies who have furloughed employees potentially buying tickets: "Will they turn around and spend entertainment dollars on anything premium?”
*Farragut, on consumer confidence: “We've had very few people ask for money back because they do want to be out here in 2021, but we are going to have to pivot when it comes to new sales.”
*Farragut, on Globe Life Field hosting the World Series: “It'll keep our metroplex connected to baseball. ... (It is) going to be a way where everyone's watching. ... The Rangers' ratings aren't that great, but you bring in two World Series teams ... hopefully that's a draw all over the world. ... We look at this as a huge opportunity for people to see our ballpark on all TVs across the country and across the world, because it really is special. It's the newest, cleanest, most up-to-date ballpark there is to host an event like that.”