The seemingly endless availability of tickets to sporting events, particularly on the secondary market, has had many implications for the teams trying to sell them. But while it might have been easier to create demand in days of yore, the modern way has forced teams to get creative in determining what their customers want.
If done properly, it can be a win-win for teams and fans. Such appears to be the case across the border with the Milwaukee Brewers, who recently rolled out a “timeless ticket.”
They’re limited to 1,000 buyers and sold for $1,000 — quick math says if they sell out, that’s $1 million in revenue. The holder gets vouchers for nine regular-season Brewers games. The real prize, though, is the 10th ticket. It can be redeemed for any Brewers game at any time in the future — including the postseason.
It also comes with a commemorative brass ticket that weighs one pound and is engraved with the holder’s name. Though the tickets are “subject to ticket availability at the time of redemption” and “early redemption is strongly encouraged” — leaving the potential for disappointed customers — the concept is intriguing.
“We obviously had to account for what the most expensive ticket would go for, a World Series Game 7,” Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger, who came up with the idea, told ESPN.com. “But we also didn’t want it to be completely out of reach.”
Indeed. A World Series ticket wouldn’t necessarily cost that much, but holding a timeless ticket is like the ultimate trump card. As the Brewers — or any team who tried the promotion — neared the playoffs, the buyer would know he or she had a seat.
Maybe that kind of thing is nearly guaranteed on the secondary market, if you’re willing to pay the price, so some of the appeal is the guarantee and the sentiment. When I asked Twins President Dave St. Peter about the timeless ticket concept, he said the fact that it’s a keepsake, combined with the intrigue of when to cash it in, makes it a lot of fun.
“I personally love the idea and wish we would have thought of it,” St. Peter said via e-mail. “I imagine they will sell through the limited inventory very quickly.”
The ESPN.com story said the Brewers have already sold 240 despite limited promotion. The Brewers were eighth in MLB average attendance last year; the Twins were 19th. Maybe it’s not too late and it’s an idea worth stealing?