Since then, the Cubs have periodically stated that season ticket renewals have been going swimmingly and that they are very pleased with the renewal rate. The implication was that season tickets were still a hot item and thus single-game tickets would likewise sell extremely fast, so we better run out and buy packs of 13 or 6 ticket bundles to guarantee seeing at least one game that might have some interest. Of course, the Cubs being the Cubs, they were always nebulous about exactly what rate the season tickets were renewing so we were left to speculate and guess.
Today, Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com got Wally Heyward to at least commit to a percentage range:
#Cubs marketing chief Wally Hayward says season-ticket renewal rate is above 90 percent.
Let me get out my Cubs B.S. Decoder Ring to translate that:
A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch.
Actually, what it means is that somewhere between 2,500 and 2,700 seats went back to the Cubs and became available for the people who have been hanging around patiently on the waiting list. Last year, the non-renewal rate was something like 2%. This year, it is closer to 10%. That is a lot for the Cubs and they can't be very happy about it.
I mean, it is still ridiculously high for a team that is no better now than it was last year and hasn't won anything since before World War I was fought, so they have that to be happy about. Plus, the cushion of 118,000 people on the wait list to fill up those vacated seats means that they won't lose any revenue on season tickets this year. But trend arrows pointing down isn't something for which they will be popping champagne corks.
And those trends are now clearly pointing down for the Cubs. The honeymoon is over and patience is finally starting to show signs of maybe, possibly wearing thin with the fan base that Tom believed (and then convinced his Dad) would buy tickets win or lose. Good luck turning around those kinds of trends with this team, Tom.
I'm sure Matt Garza will fix everything.
My anonymous friend in the comments reports that he has seen evidence that someone with a wait list number in the 10,000 range was called to purchase season tickets this winter. That means the Cubs are getting about a 75% decline rate from the folks who have been waiting the longest to get tickets. That's pretty bad. Anyone else know of a higher number that got "The Call?"
Again, the Cubs have their buffer, so even though it took a decent hit, I don't expect the Cubs to change their strategy of telling fans to be patient as they pay the highest ticket price in baseball.