When you have a state-of-the-art ballpark, All-Star players and a winning team that has sold out 123 straight home games, chances are you can expect the following: a boost in ticket prices.
When the Phillies hiked ticket prices in November, no one was especially surprised.
In a survey conducted by the Daily News with Temple's Sport Industry Research Center, before the Phillies signed star free agent pitcher Cliff Lee, 52 percent of the respondents who identified the Phillies as their favorite team said they expected a ticket price increase.
Sixteen percent were "surprised." Fifteen percent said they were "worth the extra money, 13 percent were "disappointed," 3 percent were "angry" and 1 percent were "not sure."
How will that impact the ability of the fans to attend games?
Brian Reed, of West Chester, said he plans to go to even more games. "The product they put on the field is worth paying more to see," Reed said. "This is the most exciting time in Phillies history during my lifetime . . . There are no guarantees we will be this good forever. I plan to enjoy the ride."
Charles V. Marinelli, of Cherry Hill, expects to do the same. Marinelli said, "I will go to as many as possible - [it is] still the best dollar-for-dollar ticket in Philly sports. The ownership has gone above and beyond to make this team one of the best teams in baseball. I will support the Phillies before any team in town."
David Kahn, of Meadowbrook, agreed that the Phillies are an excellent value even with the increase. "As a season-ticketholder, I expect prices to increase each year," Kahn said. "I will still go when I want and share the rest with my partners, or sell them on StubHub. I think people who go to one to five games will find a way to continue, despite the economic hard times. I know I would."
But some say the ticket price increase will hinder them from attending games. "Higher ticket prices would definitely affect my ability to attend as many games as I would like," said Carl Stacey, of Philadelphia. "As much as I enjoy [going], the other financial responsibilities I have take precedence."
Barry Mortzfield, of Downingtown, echoed that. "I love the Phillies and am a huge fan," Mortzfield said. "However, I will go to [fewer] games. . .It is became my own financial situation has changed."
And Bud Shaffer, of Hatboro, said ticket prices were "already too high for my ability to attend more than a game or two.
"Higher [ticket] prices likely would eliminate them from my buying checklist," Shaffer said. "That is OK by me. The beer is cheaper at home." *
- Mark Kram