Friday, August 1, 2008

The building sports fan backlash, part 2

Another gauntlet was thrown down in the press today regarding the absurdly high price of renewing season tickets at new professional sports stadiums, this one with the NY Giants. As I wrote the other day, this is a public relations nightmare in the making.

How will the NY Giant-owning family respond publicly to large articles like this column written by the New York Times' Harvey Araton? My reaction to reading it was: "Ouch!"

Once these stories like this reach ground level real people proportions, it's like igniting tinder in a forest. Araton paints the sad tale of 75-year-old lifelong Giant ticket holder Lou Palma:

"Palma never left during the lean years, and might even have talked himself and his sons into cobbling together $700 per ticket per game in the new stadium for the equivalent seats that he said this season will cost $100 per.

But $80,000 in four installments for the right to pay a staggering ticket markup in the midst of an economic downturn? He could go to Europe and live lavishly, or finance his grandchildren’s college educations. After all these years, all the money spent, he was put on the clock, given a month to respond, to peel the sticker containing his personal information, attach it to the application on the interior back cover and surrender to a $371 million fan-fleecing scheme."

The final part of the column just nails it right through the heart:

“There is no sports franchise in the world with a greater history than the New York Giants, and no sports franchise has more loyal fans.”

And Lou Palma says, “Where is their loyalty to me?”

OK, Mara family and their public relations machine... how do you respond to this?

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