Renewal Request?

With the Diamondbacks out of town and in New York this weekend I was shackled to the house by my wife with her endless list of things to do. I attempted to get out of the “honey-do” mode by explaining that the game was televised and started at 10 AM but that argument didn’t get me anywhere. With a single seemingly effortless motion Trina reached for the remote and pressed the Tivo record button all the while explaining the benefits of time-shifting. To argue with her on this point would have been as fruitless as trying to explain to a Boston Red Sox fan why the designated hitter rule was bad for the game. No amount of logic could justify seeing David Ortiz play in the field. Instead I decided it would be best to just let this one lie and pick my battles more carefully. I therefore took the list and began to work my way through it. Midway down the page was a line item, “Get the mail”. Trina will sometimes pad the list with “low hanging fruit” which are items that I can easily accomplish with minimal effort. It is basically a way to motivate me so that I don’t get discouraged at the end of the day seeing how nothing was able to be crossed off the list. It’s a shallow victory but a victory nonetheless. What was even sadder was the fact that I was actually excited that I would be able to cross something off the paper. So I trudged down to the mailbox to retrieve the mail. I had now expectations of getting anything which made what I found even more surprising.

Sitting in the mailbox was a large Sedona Red envelope from the Arizona Diamondbacks. It is always a good day when you get mail from the team so I was especially excited. I quickly ran home to get the letter opener. Getting the letter opener is always a bitter sweet thing for me. It consists of a piece of metal shaped like a small dagger with the Colorado Rockies logo on the handle. It was a gift from a friend shortly after the Rockies were awarded a franchise in 1993 and at the time one of my most cherished possessions. Now though it is a constant reminder of the fact that my mail is being opened by a divisional rival. I often wonder what I am doing to my Karma whenever I open an Arizona Diamondbacks letter with a Colorado Rockies letter opener. That just seems so wrong and I am left feeling very dirty. That is why I always take the same approach with mail that I do with band-aids. Rip it quickly and get the pain over with in one single motion rather than prolonging the agony.

I tore open the envelope eagerly wondering what exciting communications message the team would be sharing with me. Inside was a full color brochure for the Raven Golf Club at South Mountain. A very beautiful picture of a lush fairway and green. It also included “an exclusive offer to Diamondbacks Season Ticket Holders” offering buy one, get one free on greens fees. While I love to golf, I am barely able to get dressed in the morning with my surgically repaired shoulder so I am not sure I will be able to utilize this special gift. But that was not all that the envelope contained. It also had a Sedona Red envelope with my name appearing in Sonoran Sand just below the Diamondbacks logo. In bright white words above my name it said, “Special Early Renewal Offer For”. Renewal offer, what am I renewing? Curious I opened the folder and found that the team was already asking me to renew my season tickets for the 2008 season.

The team has provided me with three options. Option 1 – Pay in Full asks for the entire amount for my 2008 season tickets to be paid by July 10. In exchange I will be able to lock in my seats for the 2007 prices. I will also receive 20076 Postseason tickets and only pay for games played. Finally I will be given a $25 per seat gift certificate for Levy food concessions and $25 per seat gift certificate for Team Shop merchandise. So for my two seats I would get $50 in Levy concessions and $50 at the team shop. If I choose wisely and forgo any beverages I might be able to make it last 4 games. As for the team shop voucher, I would need to chip in another $12 just to get a jersey personalized. I have no idea what it means when it says that I would receive 2007 Post season tickets and only pay for games played. From what I can tell that means that if the Diamondbacks make the play-offs then I am able to get tickets to the game. But that has been the case every year since the Diamondbacks were first awarded a franchise so I don’t understand how that is a benefit for paying early. So basically I would get $100 worth of free stuff for prepaying for 2 seats in Section 132 which according to their price sheet would cost me $3320. This seems like less of a deal than last year. At least when I renewed for 2007 I got a Sedona Red authentic jersey and a hat.

Option 2 – Place a Deposit requires me to make a 25 percent deposit on or before July 10 with additional payments due September 10, November 10, and February 10. In exchange for this I will be able to lock in my seats at their current price for the 2008 season. I will also receive 2007 Postseason tickets and only pay for games played. Again I have no idea what this Postseason thing is but if I am right that I get to pay only for games played then that is already a benefit so this doesn’t buy me anything. Selecting Option 2 does mean that I forgo the $25 food voucher and the $25 Team Shop voucher. But since the food does not include Hungry Hill sausages and Ribbies doesn’t have the beef brisket sandwiches any more I’m probably not going to miss the food voucher so I am really only missing out on $50 at the Team Shop. I can’t even buy a replica jersey and a hat for $50 so that doesn’t seem to be much of a loss. Sure it would be cool to have a $50 gift card to Team Shop but I’m not sure it is worth prepaying $3220 for my tickets.

Option 3 – Fall Renewal is basically what the Diamondbacks have offered since their inception. I will be sent an invoice in August 2007 for the opportunity to purchase Postseason tickets. I would guess that I will be asked to prepay for the Postseason package with the price from any unused tickets being applied to my 2008 balance. I will be sent 2008 renewals with 2008 pricing in the fall and can choose from traditional payment options. The risk of Option 3 is that there may be a price increase next season and I would have to pay the extra.

None of these options brought up the obvious question of what about seat relocation. What if I want to move next season? Most people of course would ask why would I even attempt that after my 2007 experiences but I am always trying to improve my seat position. My ultimate goal is to somehow justify tickets in Section G or Section H above the Diamondbacks dugout. I just have not found the magical justification so that Trina or my bank would understand how cool it would be to sit in Section G. In the meantime I will continue to try to get a little closer to seat nirvana. If the Arizona Diamondbacks wanted me to renew early and pay in full what they needed to do was give me an Option 4. This option would have given me the choice of a) a personalized authentic jersey chosen from any of the 4 colors, b) a guarantee of successful seat relocation to one of my top 9 choices out of the 40 that I submit, or c) a Diamondback experience where I could go out and steal second base and keep the base. Now that would have been an incentive! For now I’ll hold onto my cool full color brochure and dream about what the 2008 season might hold and where I could be sitting.

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