Friday, March 13, 2009

Doug Smith's wishful thinking for Raptors season tickets

As Neate pointed out earlier on in the week it truly is getting harder to write on the Toronto Raptors in a way that isn't just really an act of redundancy. The play on the court has not changed in a while, and even the TSN2 debacle is beyond frustrating. Unless Chris Bosh is given other gigs around town to match his weatherman appearance on CTV last night it pretty much is just looking forward for this squad.

But today the Toronto Star's Doug Smith, conjuring up a conversation that he hopes goes down in the MLSE boardroom. I too wish it would take place this way, but have my doubts it would be given consideration:

Wanna know what happens in my perfect world?

Wait, I take that back.

Wanna know what happens in my perfect world regarding one facet of basketball that I have to write about every day?

Here’s what happens:

The bean counters and tall foreheads over at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment are sitting around deciding when to spring the full season ticket renewal thing on the unsuspecting customers.

They call this guy, let’s say Mr. Grunt, and invite his input.

Them: “Mr. Grunt, oh wise one, what should we do?”

Grunt: “Sit down, folks, and listen closely.

“First, do not – I repeat DO NOT – even contemplate as much as a one penny increase in a single seat in your arena.

“In fact, you need to freeze the prices of every seat in the bottom half of the lower bowl and you have to reduce the price of the top half of the lower bowl by about three per cent.

“You need to reduce the price of seats in most of the upper bowl by five per cent and you cut the cost of seats in the corners by seven per cent.

“These are horrible economic times, people are losing jobs left and right, the amount of disposable income is drying up rapidly and if you want casual fans to augment your season-ticket base, those tickets have to be affordable.

“The Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, Charlotte Bobcats and Detroit Pistons have already announced they’ll reduce or freeze ticket prices so there is precedent in the league today.

“Oh, and one other thing, if season ticket holders want to pay over time, you allow them right now to make seven or eight equal monthly payments – with no interest charges – and if they want to pay it all up front, you give them another two per cent off.”

“You’ve put a substandard product on the court this season, you’ve been party to one of the all-time fan screw jobs in history with this Rogers, TSN2 mess you got yourself into and, trust me, you don’t have a lot of goodwill with the people.”

Them: “Are you out of your frickin’ mind!”

Mr. Grunt: “Power to the people, baby!”

Boy do I wish Mr. Grunt wouldn't get shouted out the Office...wishful thinking, of course. With other teams freezing their ticket prices who knows, maybe the MLSE will learn a thing or two!


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