Yes, age old complaint. I realize I have readers that say I shouldn’t complain about ticket price increases because I’m blessed to be a Bears season ticket holder. And as I say every year when the Bears increase the price of my seats (emphasis on every year), I used to think the same thing when I heard my father complain.
The complaint is that yesterday, the PR-challenged Bears organization, led by President and CEO Ted Phillips, said “Here’s the reality: Every year there is going to be some ticket price increases in different parts of the building.” So there they say, flat-out, that I should expect to pay more every year, as I have for I believe all but two years since 2005. My tickets that cost $50 per seat ten years ago are now $93 per ticket.
Because I’m a realist, I understand this, but the complaint is that Phillips could have at least let me think there will be one year going forward that I won’t have a 3% to 10% increase in my prices every year. Now I know there will.
I was being sarcastic. Actually the only bone I have to pick, because I know the reality is that I will pay more and more every year, is that Phillips has told us for the SIXTH time in the last three years, that “the Bears have the smallest stadium in the NFL.” (Yes, now second-smallest since the Raiders will be covering up 15,000 seats). Phillips continues to say this as if every ordinary Joe fan like me will come rushing to his door with $20,000 each (or more money than any of us have ever seen at a time in our life) to build him a new stadium.
Steve Rosenbloom of the Tribune summed up how I have always felt this morning in the print edition. And I’ll be damned if I can ever find an electronic link to his Talking Smack blurbs, so I will only post this portion:
“So the Bears will raise some ticket prices every year without necessarily making the stadium better and without necessarily making the team better. Nice. Here is another reality: Blame Phillips and the Bears for the second smallest stadium capacity in the NFL. Phillips negotiated that deal after Michael McCaskey won the Super Bowl of incompetent politics. The only way to get a bigger and better stadium was by threatening to move. Not just threaten, but have a deal in place for a new stadium with modern revenue streams. But no, the Bears got pantsed.”
Thanks for speaking up for fans like me, Steve.
Ted-STOP TELLING ME THE BEARS HAVE TO CONTINUE TO MAKE ME PAY MORE BECAUSE YOU BUILT THE SMALLEST STADIUM IN THE NFL! And I mean *you* built it, you were the one that negotiated for this. You’re there for 20 more years until the city pays the bonds off, because YOU AGREED TO THIS DEAL! The Bears, with Phillips as CEO, head a business estimated to be worth ONE BILLION DOLLARS. Stop insulting me by insinuating that the only way for you to remain competitive (which you haven’t, by the way, for 13 of the last 17 seasons) is by continuing to tell me that I need to pay you more money.