The shit has hit the fan, and everyone's chiming in on the Blue Jays new idea of targeting fans in Boston and Detroit, and soliciting them tickets to Jays games before fans in Toronto. Opinions are being formed, and they're all pretty consistent. People are pissed, and for good reason. For me though, the outrage is a little bit guarded, mostly because I am empathetic to the front office's objective.
The outrage, I believe is based on two main factors:
1. The Marketing of the Jays product to the “enemy” thereby filling the stadium with people actively rooting against our franchise
2. Giving these people access to tickets before fans and supporters of your product
I don’t have much of a problem with #1, but the 2nd is pretty shady and unnecessary.
But let me address why I don't have much of a problem with the first objection. Firstly, let's throw out opening day, because apparently this plan does not include that game. What we are talking about are all the other April/March games involving the Red Sox and Tigers. Here's my unscientific breakdown of people who occupy the good seats for these early Spring Games:
40% Season Ticket Holders
30% Single Ticket Buyers
20% Comp Ticket Holders (through Rogers promos)
10% People from 500 level sneaking in.
It seems reason to believe that with new scheme the team has undertaken, they will be trying to take people out of the seats that fall into those last two demographics, not to mention selling seats that have no bums in them at all.
Opening Day: 50,560
Game 2: 28,765
Game 3: 22, 845
So it’s not unreasonable to agree that having half the stadium empty, and having a clear disinterest from the city for those seats in April, that the team should explore other avenues to getting those seats filled.
The problem though, has it has been well expressed by the DJFers is the unusual policy of allowing visitors to go ahead of the line over locals. It’s something that makes no sense, and seems to be a short term solution that could bite the team in the ass pissing off their long term fans.
Time will tell, but it will be interesting to see what the backlash, if any will be.