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Desperate Discounts On Opening Night Is Concerning

Desperation comes in many forms. A very big tell for a sports organization suffering from desperation is when franchise executives believe that your product is bad AND conveying that messaging to every fan. The way it is pushed out is through discounting, especially in today’s area, where there are social media posts thrown out into the ether, by ticket sales professionals, athletic departments or franchise executives, extoling that there are Opening Night discounted tickets available.

In the words of Tennis great John McEnroe: “You cannot be serious!?!”

Discounting Opening Night tickets is a futile, desperate attempt to get people through the door, and is a disgusting practice. Those that advocate it should be questioned, seriously, about their lack of judgment and expertise in the field. There is no higher time of interest, or aversion to the reality of where a team will end up at the end of the season in the standings, than at the beginning of the year.

Every fan of the Seattle Mariners believes their team will take home the World Series and sells out SafeCo Field in a mass delusion of over-expectations. When in reality, Mariners fans all know that a World Series appearance, let alone winning the World Series, will not happen in my lifetime. Theirs neither.

Opening games of any season are a gift from the lords above. And should be treated as such. Every team is undefeated, new hope surrounds everything, and the entire populace is focused as well as curious about what the product looks like for the upcoming year. Because, who knows? It might be your year.

This is when franchises should be building up expectations of being sold out, not providing perceptions that not enough people care.

By offering discounts on Opening Day, its shooting your own marketing plan in the foot. These types of practices should not be discouraged, but viewed as a reprehensible malpractice.

On one of my social media channels, I was taken aback by seeing a discounted offer for an Opening Night NBA game, posted by a franchise vice president. Seriously?!? When even the top brass are dumping tickets from the start, that should be considered problematic.

And yet, leagues blame ticket brokers for selling inventory for low prices on the secondary market. Yeah, right. No ticket broker in their right mind tries to move Opening Night tickets at a discounted rate. Otherwise, why bother with buying season tickets at all?

If you are so willing to heavily discount your Opening games, when excitement is at its peak, what do you price your regular game tickets at, throughout the season?

This is a completely absurd mentality. At no time should the first game, when every team is undefeated and excitement is at the highest it will ever be until the playoffs, be offered at a discount.

This isn’t just a price devaluing problem. It’s also a sold-out perception issue.

During my college years, I had a radio-tv professor who would call out students in his class that were producing bad work: “I could get a guy from Diesel Tech to come in here, and do it that way. What makes you unique if you aren’t going to use your talents to be better than the average?”

I think some franchise executives should be taking a long look in the mirror, and asking themselves the same thing when they discount their opening games.

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