Not Ready For Prime Time

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cubs fans are apparently finding better ways to spend their time than watching an underachieving fourth-place ballclub that is 10 games below .500.

Crain's Chicago Business reports that ratings for Cubs games on Comcast SportsNet are down almost 40 percent from last year.

Which reminds me of Bobby Valentine's assertion during Sunday night's Cubs-Cardinals game that there are a lot of empty seats at Wrigley Field for weekday day games because ticket holders are fearful of playing hooky from their jobs in this economy.

Nice theory, Bobby V, but that isn't true.

The reason for the no-shows is the fact that season ticket holders have been left holding the bag. There is a large percentage of season ticket holders who attempt to make their tickets pay for themselves by selling a portion of them at marked-up prices to ticket brokers and on Stub Hub. It is pure speculation. This year their tickets are the equivalent of worthless stock.

There is nothing immoral or illegal about the practice and I am not advocating that "something should be done about it," but it does harm the average fan who would be more than willing to attend a game by paying face value for a ticket, but now finds tickets at the box office to be a scarce commodity.

And why should the Cubs care? A season ticket waiting list assures that ticket revenues are in their coffers well before Opening Day and also puts a premium on single-game tickets because there is less of a supply coupled with high demand when they go on sale in February.

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