Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Renewing Seats for Guelph
The rumours are now indeed true: Tiger-Cat fans will be paying an extra five dollars per game for seats next season. The surcharge is to help offset the cost of erecting temporary seats at the Alumni Stadium.
There has been a lot of uproar about that, with many angry that they will be paying higher prices when promised no increase and that they will pay more for worse facilities. The increase when none was promised bugs me a but, but not all that much. I understand why others would be angry, since the team promised one thing and gave us another, and that does anger me, but paying the extra five dollars does not. The idea that fans will pay higher prices for worse facilities is, to me, a non-issue. I didn't pay my money, and I doubt any of you did either, at Ivor Wynne Stadium because of the world-class amenities. I paid my money so I could watch a football game live in person. I paid more money to watch games in Moncton and Montreal, and neither of those places had great facilities. Moncton was a bunch of portable toilets and food tents, while McGill's bathrooms and concession lines were no better than Ivor Wynne's. So paying more to get less isn't a big deal for me in this situation. If others are bothered by paying these prices at Guelph, I understand; however, it doesn't bother me.
That said, there are a couple of things that do bother me, and bother me quiet a bit. The first thing is asking us to renew by December 14th to ensure 2012 prices for our seats. That falls 10 days before Christmas, which is not exactly a time when many people have extra cash floating around. But that's just a small quibble about the timing. The bigger one is that they are asking for our money before we know when the games will be played. I know that is standard operating procedure, but nothing is standard about this upcoming season. The team should have given fans a chance to see the schedule before forcing anyone to make a commitment. With the extra commuting time, some who will put down money might wish they hadn't when the schedule is released sometime in February.
The other thing that bugs me is the tiered access to seats at the new stadium in 2014. When we all reupped in 2011 for 2012, the promise was that 2013 would have no impact on 2014; now they've pulled a bit of a bait and switch and are now tying 2013 purchases to 2014. This annoys me on a couple of levels. For starters, newer season seat holders could jump the queue over those that have held season seats for decades simply because they have no problem travelling 10 times to Guelph. Secondly, I sit in a large group, so if one or more of us do not decide to purchase seats for 2013 (which I am still on the fence about) we cannot be guaranteed seats with one another the following season. I'm more annoyed by the former than the latter, because I will simply not buy tickets in 2014 if my group cannot sit together. But people who have been loyal patrons of the Tiger-Cats for three, four, five decades shouldn't need to worry about whether or not they will have their seat in the new stadium.
I have been pretty supportive of the Ti-Cats in every stage of the stadium mess, but this I cannot support. The tiered access to 2014 seats and forcing fans to pay before knowing what the schedule will look like is just wrong. The promise going in to 2012 was that those purchases, not any potential 2013 purchase, would be the determiner for 2014 seats. Now they are saying something else. And by making fans pay six months in advance, they are treating this season as if it is no different than any other season. The problem is, that 2013 is completely different. I understand that paying for seats before the schedule is out is standard operating procedure, but there is nothing standard about this upcoming season in Guelph and the team needed to recognize that and adjust for it.
I am disappointed in the Tiger-Cats for what looks like outright lying to their fan base last season. When they didn't know what 2013 held, they were fine with making promises to their fans; now that they know where they will play in 2013, it seems is if they are fine with breaking those promises. They are acting as if this season is like any other when it is very clearly not. Circumstances changed and the team needed to be more flexible when asking for season ticket commitments. They did not and I find that very disappointing.