On Friday I was talking to one of my friends who went to a handful of Rainmen games last year, and he couldn’t believe I bought season tickets. He’s the second person I know who has maintained that they’re not worth the money – and both people are basketball fans who went to games last year, and plan on going again this season.
I know some people who are small business owners buy their season tickets through their companies and write them off as business expenses because they bring customers along. Other people get them as birthday/Christmas gifts, but for those of us paying for them ourselves, and for those of us who didn’t buy them, are season tickets worthwhile?
My tickets are student tickets so I’ll use them as the point of discussion: basically you’re paying the full $18 per ticket for the MetroCentre games and getting free tickets for the pre-season games. Unfortunately for some students they will be out of town during the pre-season games so there would be no value added. The games also aren’t at the MetroCentre so it certainly is not as valuable as it could have been. What is perhaps the most frustrating part is that season ticket holders don’t have access to the discounts of theme nights – no money back to female’s with season tickets on ladies night, no extra tickets on two for one night, etc. I think that’s a huge oversight and a bit of an insult to the most loyal fans. It’s also something that really, really annoyed some people. Chances are that you’ll have to miss at least one game due to prior commitments during the season which means you don’t use all your tickets. And Halifax is also the sort of town where you can almost always get your hands on a few free tickets to an event at least once during a season. All these things mean that a lot of people who plan on seeing a fair number of Rainmen games do not bother getting season tickets. Those of us who do buy them see a few plusses, obviously.
There are basically three advantages: you get the same seat all season, you avoid paying TicketAtlantics’ absurd service fee on each ticket, you basically get into the pre-season games for free.
I knew it wasn’t a huge money saver when I bought the tickets, but it was worth it to not have to buy them all individually with the headache and service charge of dealing with a bad ticketing service, to have my amazing seat all season long, and to support an organization which I really believe in – even if it is a for-profit (in theory) business. To be honest, I also just like the idea of being a season ticket holder. I just don’t know if enough people took the same stance. One thing that would help would be a few small promotional things aimed just at season ticket holders. I got my season tickets after the first game, so maybe in the pre-season/for the first game there were some events I didn’t hear about. Some things that would involve minimum cost that I would consider doing if I were the Rainmen include:
- Make sure season ticket holders get free tickets on promotional nights like two for one night. And they shouldn’t have to call to get them – just mail extra tickets to them when you mail out the season tickets.
- Give a free opening night ticket in the same section to each season ticket holder to give to a friend. A lot of us really like the team and want to drag friends along who don’t believe in it yet. If you’re going to fill the room with comps anyway then you might as well make the season ticket holders happy in the process.
- Hold either an opening night reception or a Christmas party for season ticket holders where they can meet the organization and maybe the players. Doesn’t have to be super fancy but it’d be a nice perk, particularly for kids.
- Promise every kid under 14 with a season ticket the chance to play one on court time out game during the season.
- Have a practice/intersquad game that is open only to media, sponsors and season ticket holders.
- Host an event like a barbecue in the off season for ticket holders (both old and new) to keep people interested in the team during the off season.
- Discount on Rainmen gear.
Basically, I just think that for the average fan there needs to be a bit more to encourage them to get season tickets. It doesn’t have to be expensive events – just things that make season ticket holders feel like they’re part of something that other fans aren’t.
What do people think? Are season tickets worth it? Why did you buy yours? Why didn’t you buy them? What can the Rainmen do to make them more valuable?