Maybe this will finally put an end to the asinine trope that Wrigley Field always sells out no matter what. That hasn’t been true for a while now and the team’s latest move proves it, not that it’ll make a difference to the folks who repeatedly claim that’s why Tom Ricketts won’t spend on free agents. After several years of highly suspect manipulation of the season ticket waiting list — remember when you were like 36,569th in line and got a message that you were eligible to purchase? — the line has been eliminated.
The Cubs announced Monday that the waiting list has been cleared and fans can purchase season tickets immediately. Available options include full-season, half-season, and a new 20-game package. The latter has four plans that run anywhere from $922-$1,748 per ticket based on location (no bleachers) and includes a smattering of weekend games and high-profile opponents.
“We do have a limited amount of season tickets still remaining,” Cale Vennum, senior VP of ticketing, told the Tribune’s Meghan Montemurro. ”We’ve seen that growing back since COVID, as you’ve seen attendance increase each year since we returned to full capacity.
“So our belief is that prior to opening day, we probably will reach our full capacity and probably need to reinstitute a waiting list. But as of right now, fans can go and purchase immediately.”
Part of this is due to a sharp decrease in demand as many longtime ticket holders dropped out because of increasing prices and decreased results. The addition of several premium suite experiences sent what had already been expensive seats into the stratosphere price-wise, but the mediocrity of the product on the field tanked resale value for all but the most prime games.
There simply haven’t been enough new buyers willing and able to replace those who have fallen off, hence the nebulous list. A lot of people signed up believing they’d never actually get called, or that they’d be in a better position financially once they were. But when they find out that two bleacher tickets run nearly $10,000 for the season, they end up having to decline.
This clears up the administrative hassle of ticket reps having to call through a list of leads colder than those being worked by the guys at Premiere Properties. Rather than sending Alec Baldwin in to whip them into shape, Vennum probably thought it best to simplify the process. As long as it’s not a matter of cutting anyone in the sales department loose without so much as a set of steak knives, I think this makes a lot of sense.
You know what else would make a lot of sense? Spending a bunch of money on free agents and making a big trade or two to ensure these tickets actually get sold. So for those wondering why Ricketts would be willing to shell out more than twice as much money for Shohei Ohtani as the Cubs have ever spent on a single player, this latest announcement gives you part of the answer.