Every April, hope springs eternal for all 30 teams across Major League Baseball. For some teams, that hope can peter out after a poor couple of months. The knock on Major League Baseball is that the same few teams make it to the playoffs every year, without the parity seen in other leagues. like football’s NFL.
But today, in July, MLB wants to give you a reason to believe in your team. More specifically, they want you to give them some cash to give you a reason to believe in your team.
That’s why they introduced Postseason Ticket Reservations, the newest and boldest ruse by MLB to get fans (along with their wallets) involved in the game. Pick your favorite team, and pay a fee ($10-$20 per reservation) to reserve the right to buy tickets for specific playoff games at face value. The fee is the same for every participating team — so yes, it costs the same to reserve a ticket for a Red Sox playoff game as an Orioles game. (I had to retype that last part a few times — I can’t type when I’m laughing.)
Anyway, every team participates, except the Yankees (shocking). The fee is not refundable, as you might expect. So if a Baltimore fan pays $41.00 for the chance to buy a couple of World Series tickets, and the team loses 112 games, the bookkeeper … err, uh, MLB pockets your money. It’s easy to complain about the League’s greediness here, but really, they are giving the average fan a chance at a unique experience and a monetary reason to stay involved through the dog days of July and August. Except for Yankees’ fans, whose team doesn’t seem to care about them.
So, do you like what MLB is doing here? Will you be betting on your team’s playoff future?
*Pat Griffin is the author of Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain where he explains how we have arrived at the confluence of media and technology, and how under this new paradigm neither will ever be the same.