Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ravens, NFL sticking it to their customers

You don’t need me to tell you that these are difficult economic times. Costs for most necessities continue to climb outpacing the bump if any in salaries. Many families have even lost incomes. Yet despite it all, 70,000 plus strong make their way to M&T Bank Stadium for every Ravens home game.

The team has far surpassed expectations outside of the Ravens’ locker room. Today they are knocking on the door of a playoff berth and as a result, the NFL’s ivory tower in New York has given the Ravens the green light to issue playoff tickets.

If you are a season ticket holder, the Ravens want your cake by close of business TODAY! Despite the fact that there are no guarantees that the team will make the playoffs, they want your money right now. To make matters worse, they want your money for two playoff game tickets even though there is a very remote chance that the team will host even one playoff game, much less two.

Now when you take this non-negotiable demand into consideration in the midst of the financial strife that affects many season ticket holders, I have to say that the NFL has no compassion for the plight of the average American citizen. They have some really big stones!

Why can’t they wait until Monday for season ticket holders to commit? Then the playoff picture might not be so hazy and the Ravens’ customers who have supported the team faithfully with their PSL money and season ticket shekels can make a more informed decision.

Now the team and the league will tell you that today’s deadline is a requirement in order to get you your playoff tickets in a timely and orderly fashion. And if you believe that, I have some waterfront property around Lake Montebello that my friend Skip would like to sell you.


How much difference is 4 days going to make – or to put it in more appropriate terms, 2 business days? They are delivering via FedEx not the Pony Express AND it’s a bill YOU are paying for. So what’s the big deal? Why can’t they wait 2 more business days?

And don’t tell me they need the time to print the tickets. Look if I want to buy a plane ticket to California today, I can do so online and print it out on my computer. Southwest will accept it at the gate.

Look, even if the commemorative aspect of the ticket is sacred and it needs to look decorative and shiny, so what? There are tons of printers out there that would love to have the Baltimore Ravens and/or the NFL as a client and they would do back flips to meet the deadline.

Who are they kidding?

And by the way, there are no specifics on these playoff tickets because right now, no one knows if and when the Ravens will play. Will it be January 3rd or 4th? Day or night? We don’t know. So if the tickets will show only general information, why not start printing those tickets upon notification from the NFL?

Instead the Ravens and the league will make the customer responsible for the uncertainty. They will force the customer in these difficult times to fork over the dough even though they are paying in advance for something that may never even happen.

Yet the customers will pay by credit card and pay interest on the outstanding amount while the Ravens and Steve Bisciotti get an interest free loan from their far less affluent customers.

I love this Q&A from the Ravens’ official web site…

Q: Why do I have to pay for two games now?

A: Playoff tickets are sold as a two game package, representing the maximum number of potential home playoff games. Due to time constraints for the distribution of tickets, we must collect for both games now, even if it seems unlikely that two playoff games would be played at M & T Bank Stadium.

I hope you are wearing your boots!

And to add insult to injury, the ticket prices are significantly higher than what the regular season prices are. Now there’s nothing new about that and I can understand the economics of it. But if they are to be consistent with the argument of supply and demand, then tell me why preseason tickets are the same as the regular season tickets? Why do they stick it to the customers for those barely watchable preseason games?

Let’s face it folks, this NFL playoff ticketing gamesmanship is nothing more than a ransom. They don’t want to give you until Monday. They want to appeal to your passion as a fan. They want to prey on your emotions. They want you to put that proverbial gun to your head and force you into a decision today before the picture clears.

Because on Monday when it becomes clearer, you just might conclude that there’s little chance of the Ravens hosting a game in the post season.

And then there goes that $17,000,000 interest free loan for the Ravens and Steve Bisciotti.


Ravcolt said...

The true test comes when it is time to renew season tix for next year. Previously Bisciotti and CO have been among the league leaders in the percentage of the price increase they receive compared with other clubs. We are due for another raise this year. Will it happen? Considering the 2010 season may be 'uncapped' due to the uncertainty of the CBA, and clubs rich with $$$ will not have to worry about going over the (non-existent)cap, Uncle Steve may want to participate in free agency to get a wideout or pass protector. He will need $$ to do that. I think something will get done though, because an uncapped year is not in the players favor as it binds them to a club for six years, not four. This is a nice poison pill the owners stuck in the current CBA. Either way, WE WILL PAY.

Harryos29 said...

Harry O 29 Dec 12th
...The NFL should move their HEAD Quarters to CHICAGO!!! That is where major corruption and thievery exists.
..As the PLAYERS say, its a BUSINESS.. and OH my..are they ever right, on this subject. The country has been brought to its COLLECTIVE KNEES by all of the THEIVES in; CONGRESS: Fanny Mae: & and Fredi Mac...and the NFL has the Audactity to Demand money from the 'Ticket holders' who may be struggling to make their mortgage payments! When will it END?
.. This is just one of the Reasons that I am not a PSL, nor Season ticket holder. I Agreed with the late great JOHN STEADMAN, who mounted an effort to STOP the NFL and the COLTS from Imposing full price Tix for Pre-season games.
...Even tho JOHN is gone.. I still agree with him %100.
...Tony's Blog on this issue brings to mind the Old Train Robber Jesse James, who used to Rob Trains at GUN POINT.
.. Todays NFL, doesn't use a gun...they just want your credit card number .. NOW!!!.
.. I cannot print my feelings on this Public site, but if I could, it may resemble some of the Tapes produced by the FBI against the Chicago Governor, "BLOGGO" who is under fire right now!!!

Manfred H said...


Good article on the playoff ticket extortion by the Ravens and the NFL.

Thanks for speaking the truth! Here are my thoughts on some related issues.

*Ticket Increase*

The 25 percent increase in ticket prices was more of an outrage. Especially the owners comments. SB commented that if people were concerned about ticket prices they could scalp their tickets to pay for their season tickets and that the increase was justified because of the price you could get for
tickets if you scalped them. These statements were idiotic. The reason a scalped ticket costs so much is that most PSL owners are not traitors and want to go to the game. Therefore, when there is a severe shortage of something the tickets are worth more.

A number of sports teams have indicated that they will not raise ticket prices for 2009. Where are the Ravens on this????? SB is probably listening to the same idiots from the year before and is going to raise prices in the midst of a severe economic downturn.

*Superbowl Tickets To Be Selected by Random Weighted Draw*

Lets assume the Ravens go to the Superbowl and a few thousand lucky people get to go. Wouldn't it be more equitable if those who got Superbowl tickets the last time were removed from the lottery?

What are the rules of this lottery? Who is independently validating this lottery?

*PSL "Random" Drawing*

Sorry to vent on "random lottery drawings" but I still have hard feelings about the original PSL seat assignments back in 1998. I called the old Ken Rosenthal and nominated Roy Sommerhoff as "dork of the week" because I did not like where my seats, which were "random lottery selected", I made arguments like yours that there could have been ways for individuals to participate in their seat selections rather than "random lottery" and that
they really had the time, but just wanted everyones money and the quickest, easiest way to do seat assignments. It further drove me even more crazy when callers then called in to say that they pestered the Ravens to the point that they got the seats they wanted. At least five callers said they pestered the Ravens to the point that they "ensured they got the seats they wanted". Also the woman who sat in front of me who said that advertisers got to pick their seats before the random lottery." So when I hear about "random lottery drawings" I hope you can appreciate my doubts about the "randomness" of such lotteries.


Woodstock, MD