Contribution By: Z. Ficht
As we’ve all learned this week, our Detroit Lions have raised their ticket prices for the upcoming 2014 season. The move comes after arguably one of the worst second half collapses in franchise history, so it makes perfect sense. Seriously though, as a season ticket holder this decision is mind boggling. From a business standpoint, how can you justify increasing the cost of your product, when the on field performance has been below industry standards? I would like to state for the record that I am a season ticket holder, and have been since the 2006 season. My grandfather -who has since passed his seats onto my uncle-, has had Lions tickets since 1955. A Ficht has always been present at a Lions game for over 50 years. That was a fact that I used to be proud of, that my family has stuck with this organization through thick and thin (so much thick). But now it seems that the front office could give a shit about its season ticket holders.
The staff of Motownmeltdown is pretty pro-Lions; we currently have three writers who have season tickets (M.Jones, M.Pawlak) and each one of us were absolutely blown away at the choice to raise ticket prices.
Myself (backwards hat) along with M. Jones (shades on the head) with some fools raging for the Lions pre-ticket price increase. [Not Pictured M. Pawlak]
That hike comes out to be 8.2 percent higher than they were a year ago if you’re looking to put a number to it. Let’s take a step back and assess the choice shall we? Two years removed from a playoff berth, no home playoff game in 20 years, went 1-6 down the stretch, fired the head coach, hired the most unpopular new coach they could , and raised ticket prices. Now do any one of those things seem like it would generate a positive response from a fan base? Not in the least, but yet here we are. A favorite saying of mine whenever I or any of my friends are having trouble coping with the decisions of this organization on and off the field is “who do we root for?” The answer of course is the Detroit Lions, and that is how easy it is to explain away decades of dumb decisions. You know that it’s coming yet we are always outraged because in our heart of hearts we KNOW that this organization couldn’t make the right decision if it jumped up and bit them in the ass (Walking Dead style). They are destined to screw you over, destined to pull your heart out, look at it beat a few times and then fuck your mom. Just why? WHYYYYYY?????
All this city does is support you Lions, year after god forsaken year. And we are rewarded with a price increase, hidden behind the disguise of a new ticketing system that breaks down games into sub categories to determine the desired ticket price on a game by game basis. Teams like New Orleans and Green Bay will be in the “Touchdown” category. Ooohhh, how exciting! But wait, you can now come in and see shitters like Minnesota and Tampa Bay and pay the “Field Goal” price! What a time to be alive. This pricing structure may sound familiar as the Detroit Tigers implemented a similar style several years ago, which for the record is working out great. I’m sure it’s due to the business model and not the fact that the Tigers have been to three straight ALCS’s.
This move is a slap in the face to a fan base that already has taken about 300,000 across the bow. Can you throw us just one bone Lewand? I know that you think that we’re right on the verge of breaking through but [spoiler alert] “who do we root for???” That shit is never, ever going to happen. In a year where God almighty split the proverbial gridiron sea, knocking out quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Aaron Rogers, with Minnesota taking a drastic step back you would think that you could have fell into a division title. Not in Detroit. There isn’t a fan in all of Michigan who truly, TRULY believes that this team can win a meaningful game. Why? Because they never have, not since 1991 at least, when the current twenty somethings were still in diapers and when the aging fans were twenty somethings. This was the year and Detroit blew it in monumental fashion. For this organization to ask their championship starved (hell I’d settle for a home playoff game!) fans to dig into their pockets and pay more money to support this team is insane. Draft another D-lineman and ignore our needs at wide receiver and cornerback Detroit and I swear I will throw in the towel.
Before this ticket hike the Detroit Lions ranked 29 out of 32 teams for lowest ticket prices. Pretty reasonable I must admit, but also appropriate for their overall product. According to a press release from Lions Pres Mr. Lewand “The decision to incorporate an increase in overall ticket pricing was made after careful consideration. To remain competitive in the NFL and offer an extraordinary fan experience, we need to be able to invest right back into our product, and that’s exactly what we’ll continue to do.” Extraordinary fan experience? That’s interesting Tom, I don’t think I’ve ever had an extraordinary experience at Ford Field. Especially not when paying for my $9 a beer, waiting over a half an hour in line to get into the stadium, or watching the Lions lose game after game in an awe inspiring display of ineptitude. I’d happily pay more to alleviate those inconveniences, but sadly I think they are here to stay. So the experience isn’t changing, how about competitiveness? Seems like we’re going pretty strong Lions, fans consistently sell out Ford Field season after season. If your front office could put together the right collection of players that actually win, I think that Ford Field would become one of the premier venues in all of the NFL. However, as I pointed out earlier the Lions are incapable of success. Like, someone should take every member of the Lions organization to the doctor and get tested for allergies to winning. Left untreated, the city may riot.
Despite years of failure and fan frustration, the Lions can still pull this off because it’s the NFL and we Americans eat that shit up like candy. So raise the prices Lions, draft Johnny Football, bang my girlfriend, and take my job.. it doesn’t matter. I can bitch and moan until the cows come home, but come September, I will be downtown getting wasted and cheering on our Lions because this is the year! My name is Zach and I have a problem: I’m a Detroit Lions fan. Someone help me.