Ticket Renewals

Earlier this season Arizona Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall stated; the team would be announcing Season Ticket Renewal for the 2009 season earlier than they had in years past. In the first year of their existence the Diamondbacks announced upcoming ticket prices which included a substantial price increase during Fan Appreciation week. That of course caused all kinds of problems and since that time the Diamondbacks have been very careful in how and when they introduce any price changes. I have been eagerly awaiting the Season Ticket Renewal package. First I wanted to see what changes if any there would be for next year and secondly that ticket renewal package usually contained information on the post season tickets for the current year. It is still relatively early to be thinking of playoffs but with the Diamondbacks having been in first place since April 4, the fans are pretty hopeful that October baseball will return to the valley. Today in the mail I received a large envelope containing invoicing and ticket renewal.

I opened the envelope and slowly removed its contents. There is nothing quite like getting mail from home. Contained in this package is the hopes and dreams of another 81 games at Chase Field. Although we won’t know who we are playing or when the games are, it is nice to know you’ll have a place to stay for 81 days of the year.

The Diamondbacks did a great job on the renewal package. Inside it has stories of several fellow season ticket holders along with their pictures. Many of these people I have seen around the stadium which is to be expected when you go to all the games. Some of the featured ticket holders are long time fans many who have had season tickets since the inaugural season. Others are new comers who just got season tickets this year. Regardless of their seniority they all have one thing in common, they love the game of baseball and in particular the Diamondbacks style of baseball.

I slowly read through each game looking at the cheerful faces and noticing where they were currently sitting. They were great stories and I was happy to be counted among them. Towards the back of the package was the 2009 Chase Field layout with the various sections and season ticket price points. I immediately rushed to find my section to see whether I was being affected by a price increase. Sadly my seats are not among those that the Diamondbacks announced were remaining the same price. My tickets will be going up $2.50 per game which for two seats for the whole season equates to an increase of $405. That’s still very affordable and I cannot complain considering I get at least $45 of entertainment and enjoyment per game for these two seats. Trina of course looks more at the big picture. She consistently questions whether we “need” season tickets which in my mind is equivalent to asking if we “need” air to breathe. Still, with two kids preparing to go to college and the tight economy it is hard to justify spending $3,652 on baseball tickets.

I was pretty confident I would be able to talk Trina into renewing our season tickets especially since if we do that we are guaranteed post season tickets. The Diamondbacks are also offering the “pay as you go” plan for post season meaning that after the playoffs are finished you are billed just for the games that were played rather than having to come up with the money up front. This is a very good thing considering the full post season package for my two seats is $2,040. It’s funny, the most the Diamondbacks could play would be is 10 post season games yet the cost of those would be $2,040 while I can go to all of the regular season games in 2009 for just $1,612 more. I won’t even go into that since the Diamondbacks have no say over ticket pricing during the post season. That is all set through Major League Baseball. It’s not just the tickets that that way either. Programs go from $3 in the regular season to $15 during the playoffs. I guess baseball has to get their money somehow.

I just assumed that I would be renewing my season tickets without any questions asked. It wasn’t until I read the payment terms that I started to worry. In order to take advantage of the post season ticket guarantee and keep my season tickets I need to have a first payment of $730.40 to the Arizona Diamondbacks no later than August 30. That is two weeks from now. This will be followed by another equal payment on September 30 and another on October 30. The final two payments will be due January 10 and the final payment on February 10. Again Trina reminded me of our commitment for housing and tuition for two kids in college. That coupled with the short turnaround time for the first payment now has me wondering whether this is even feasible.

So I began this exercise full of enthusiasm and excitement and I now find myself stressed and worried as to whether I can even make this a reality. Being a baseball fan isn’t supposed to be this stressful. I am just now realizing why so many fans are choosing to watch the Diamondbacks games on television rather than going in person. The one good thing is that I am suddenly a lot more involved in the bill paying aspect of our marriage. It’s funny how important that becomes when there is a possibility of going without season tickets. I wonder just how creative I am going to be able to get. If only had another 10 days things would completely line up. I guess it’s true in like it is in baseball, timing is everything.

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