Playing Chicken With The Blues: Gambling My Season Tickets

Unlike the rest of (soon thereafter angry) Blues Nation, I did not receive my season ticket renewal package when they were mailed out during the Olympic break. While I like to believe that I was intentionally left off the mailing list due to my affiliation with this cursing little piece of the non-mainstream media, I think it's probably about 1,000 times more likely that my wife saw the envelope and thought, "Maybe douchebag won't notice" and simply tossed it in the special file we keep for faxes from corporate.

So imagine my surprise when I arrived at the first home game after the Olympic break and rather than the normal exuberance of seeing all of our home game friends again I instead ran into despondent and upset and angry and bitter season ticket holders. I hadn't seen the news myself, but I heard about it quickly and repeatedly: everything just went FUBAR.

For those of us who sit up high in the corners (Blues attack twice though!) our cheapo tickets went from $440 a seat for the season to $720. If you have a couple of seats, as I do so I can bring one of my kids or one of my boozer friends, your total went from $880 to $1,440 (plus a $15 processing fee - because I'm sure some lackey is being paid $15 a swipe to run my card information throught the Devil's machine).

And that's the cheap seats. I feel bad for the people who sit down where they don't have to call their friends at home to find out if the goal being reviewed was actually in or not.

Since that time I have not renewed my tickets. Normally I would have, too. In each of the last three or four years, I have been one of the first renewers. Not for any exciting reason or because I really wanted whatever incentive they were throwing at me (this year it was a replica of the forthcoming Brett Hull statue that will be placed outside next to the Plager, Federko and MacInnis statues). I just knew I was getting a full season's worth and why not just sign up and get it over with.

This year, however, I'm in no hurry.

And apparently, this year, I'm really risking it. I've gotten a couple calls, a few emails and have now apparently missed my chance to Save My Seat! by skipping my appointment with the Blues sales staff back on Monday (or Tuesday or whatever). Apparently, my seats are now at risk to be grabbed up by some other eager new Season Ticket Holder who wants them. They could have been claimed already (!) for all I know. I've been told that I'm really blowing it. I may regret the decision I have yet to make because while last year I may have been the Last Piece Of The Puzzle, next year someone else may be sitting in my seats as they watch the young Blues really take off.

And then I'll regret my lack of initiative.

On the other hand, over in Sec. 307, where I've been for the last three or four seasons and despite the fact that the Blues Attack Twice! I know of plenty of fellow STHers who cannot afford or will not pay for the price increase and won't be back. Are their seats all gone too? Scooped up along with my two seats by the hordes of New Season Ticket Holders eager to jump on the Blues bandwagon?

Um, bandwagons seldom form around teams that finish ninth, y'know?

My guess is that my seats are still available. Along with most of the seats around them. The same block of seats that have been occupied by the same people for the last three or four seasons. My guess is that the Blues ticket reps spent way too much time waiting for someone to show up to say they were there for Select A Seat at the assigned time and that, Brett Hull statue or not, I'm probably playing a pretty safe hand by holding out. As others have pointed out, sometimes you can build a better package by waiting and holding out until the Blues start offering partial season deals and better incentives to come back.

There's an advantage to season ticket holding. I like having the same seats every game. I like knowing everyone around me. I like having that family away from my family. But right now, the Blues aren't treating me like family. But whatever. You love me and I love you, but let's climb into our cars and go play Chicken anyway.

My guess is that this time I can drive right at your headlights with no fear. You're not going to sell my seats out from under me with an underperforming roster and a price increase. My guess is that your car will swerve before mine does. My guess is that at the very least I'll get my two seats back in the same, if not better, spot. I may not pay less for them than I would if I ante up right now, but at least my money is not your money for the next few months. My guess is that the worst case is I pay the same as I would right now for seats that are virtually the same as where I've been for years.

Oh, but I probably lost out on that Brett Hull statue, didn't I?

Whaddaya say, Blues? Wanna play some Chicken?

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