Wednesday 28 November 2012

Renewing Seats for Guelph

By now, Tiger-Cat season seat holders have had their renewal information mailed to them regarding what the procedure is for renewing season seats for the 2013 season in Guelph. This information has been out there for a while, but I wanted to wait until I received my annual renewal form in the mail before commenting on the rumours.

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.


  1. Great article!

    Just a few points.

    1) I agree with you about the lying. To be fair to the Cats, there were many issues that were not foreseen when planning was previously done. But I too am not happy about the extra $5 per game (no big deal but it should have been explained in the email from "Bob") and the tiered system inplace for 2014.

    2. I don't think the tiered system will fly because it was my understanding that you will be slotted based on where you sit now. If you sit 3/4 of the way up on the 25 yard line on an end of an aisle, they will put you in a seat similar but with fewer seats, you might be moved due to your lack of seniority. I don't see the ticket reps calling all 15,000 - 18,000 season ticket holders to ask for what seat they want.

    3) As for sitting together, this was a question I asked as well. If you renew before Dec 14, you will be in the primary seating group. If you have people you sit with who buy their own season seat, you might be in trouble as they can't promise anything.

    4) As for sitting together in 2014, I refer back to #2.

    5) Honestly, if you complain enough, you will get what you want. They are going to try to accomodate everyone.

    6) I think when the stadium plan was unveiled, they should have started on matching you up so that you have 18 months to straighten out where you are sitting in the new stadium.

    7) There should have been a schedule released for the Guelph games. I am guessing all Friday nite and Saturday games. With a heavy emphasis on Saturdays. With Labour Day probably at the Rogers Centre and with the Cats playing at "home" in Moncton vs SSK, as has been reported. We are only going to pay for 9 games + $5 per game. Like I said above, the $5 doesn't bother me, just the not being told about it.

    8) There are still way too many questions out there being asked not only by you but also on the forums. I think the Cats needs to put together an FAQ to ease everyones minds.

    1. Yeah, I was a gung ho , supportive Cat fan for decades.I agree with the blog, 100%, and I'd even add that the lesser quality stadium issue in Guelph is a valid one, simply because choosing to go back to Ivor Wynne's location is a terrible choice for many reasons, one being the need for a temporary stadium and then expecting fans to pay for that poor choice.

  2. Nobody should get Tiats season's tickets. With a 6-10 season, no playoff appearance, and the ONLY TEAM not to play in a Grey Cup in the 21st century, this team is regressing, not progressing. If I want to reward incompetence I'll keep on paying my taxes, not support an inferior on-field performance. I am a consumer and I choose not to spend my hard-earned money on a team that does not take itself and its fans seriously.

    1. Sorry - that should have been 6-12 season - what a pathetic last 10 years!