Cubs slash season ticket prices, but that doesn’t help average fans

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) /

There’s no better place to take in a ballgame than ‘beautiful, historic Wrigley Field’. That being said, when the on-field product is what it’s been since last July, you’re likely to see as many empty green seats in the stands as fans, especially early in the season or even during midweek contests in the summer months.

The Cubs know this. They understand that, post-2020, fans’ behaviors are much different and they need to find ways to lure more folks to the ballpark in 2023. The first thing that would help would be fielding a competitive roster, but the next-best thing is making the experience more affordable.

I’d like to give the organization credit for cutting its season ticket prices for next year by more than 5 percent – which might be the biggest cut the team has ever made – and, according to The Athletic (subscription required) – it’s, at the very least, the biggest one in three decades. And while that’s certainly a step in the right direction, the move does little to make Wrigley Field more affordable for everyday fans.

Cubs have more work to do to make Wrigley Field more affordable

Most people don’t have season tickets. There are significant hurdles to making it worthwhile, ranging from the sheer cost to logistically figuring out how to make it to the Friendly Confines 81 times each year, especially if you live outside the city. That’s not to say there aren’t folks who will appreciate having a few more bucks in their pockets, but what the Cubs really need to do is take a long, hard look at the game day experience at the iconic venue.

The Cubs have long ranked as one of – if not the single most – expensive teams in the league to see. From parking to ticket and concession prices, it’s not cheap. The days of buying a $5 ticket on a Friday afternoon are long gone.

I’m not saying the Cubs need to shoot free tickets out of confetti cannons like teams like the Athletics might. They have something to sell: Wrigley Field itself in bad years and the dream of another championship banner in good ones. But they owe it to the fans to more a concerted effort to cut prices and make it easier for families and casual fans to take in a game moving forward.

The organization had no choice but to cut season ticket prices. Fans who’d waited years and years quickly passed on the opportunity when their number was finally called over the last 18 or so months. Given how much revenue those packages generate, the Cubs know that, by cutting prices in such a manner, they’ll more than make it up.

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Now, it’s time to make that Friday at 1:20 experience more affordable for everyone – not just those who can stomach shelling out for season tickets each year.