Wizards Won' t Raise Ticket Prices

I'll be writing more in depth on this tomorrow but the Wizards will not raise ticket prices for next season and the team is coming up with a few creative ways to entice season ticket holders to renew, including offering rebates and long payment plans.

The decision is hardly a shocker given the disaster that has been this season. Official attendance numbers haven't been all that bad but as was the case for last night's loss to Atlanta, empty seats have been all over the place at a lot of games.

Note: Caron Butler, who sat out last night's loss with tightness in his hamstring, was limited to rehab work and did not go through practice today. He will make the trip to Oklahoma City for tomorrow night's game against the Thunder, though, and will be re-evaluated tomorrow.


By Ivan Carter |  March 3, 2009; 2:23 PM ET
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Sit it out CB 3. let the young ones play. Let see how McGee, Blatche, Mcguire, NY and Javaris match up with the Thunders.

Posted by: Dave381 | March 3, 2009 3:22 PM

As a season ticket holder, the Wiz need to reduce season tickets, especially for those who have been ticket holders for 5+ years.

Also, what would help with ticket sales would be seeing Arenas and Haywood on the floor for at least 15 games this year so there is so reason for hope. Ticket holders who renewed last year did so with the idea of Arenas being back -- and instead have been treated to terrible basketball and Ed Tapscott, a man who failed at American University and has zero NBA head coaching experience. The Wiz need to give people a reason beyond simply not raising ticket prices.

Posted by: Chad32 | March 3, 2009 3:43 PM


Tough loss. I'll give the Wizards credit, they fought back from a deficit to take the lead, even though they lost it in the 4th. If they can be more consistent in playing maybe there would be hope for the fans. But when your on a 14 win team, there is very little consistency involved and even much less hope.

Posted by: rcnasa | March 3, 2009 3:48 PM

Chad32 has a good point. I am also a season ticket holder and I am seeing nothing good on the horizon to say next year will be better. A price reduction or an offer of better seats for the same price will need to happen for the Wiz to get me to shell the $$ out again.

Posted by: lameotron | March 3, 2009 3:53 PM

I'm a season ticket holder and I won't be renewing. Six or seven months later, I still can't shake the feeling that the timing of the Arenas injury announcement and the season ticket payment deadline were related. It seemed shady and the time and still does, and as far as I know the team has never addressed it. If they knew before the deadline and held off on the announcement, that's borderline fraud. Ivan, I'm sure you saw the many, many, empty seats within the first few rows around the court at the Hawks game last night - why not let the season ticket holders who do show up sit in those seats for a game or two? When there are 4000 people in the building and the ushers are enforcing things as if the game is sold out, it feels a bit silly. Or why not give season ticket holders a discount at concessions for weeknight games? A lot of goodwill could have been generated in a losing year with little things, but they haven't seemed too interested. It's been pretty surprising, especially when you consider the financial hit the team is going to take next season.

Posted by: kmcass | March 3, 2009 3:56 PM


Chad,

Be more realistic, I'm sure your car payment or mortgage doesn't go down after making those payments for 5 plus years. Not increase prices is a decent thing, plus throwing in incentives is nice. If you don't like it, then forfeit your tixs and watch the games at home. Heck, the other Washington owner, Washington Redskins, would NEVER freeze tix prices. In fact, Daniel Snyder find ways to raise prices in parking, food and game tixs, for sorry a$$ team.

It's been a bad season due to injury, nothing around it, just hope the team can be 100% next season.

Posted by: rcnasa | March 3, 2009 3:56 PM

I disagree. When you're a 14 win team, there's plenty of consistency. They consistently lose.

Posted by: Matte | March 3, 2009 4:16 PM

Truth be told, any losing team just has to win and tickets will start selling. And I'm sure Abe is banking on a healthy Arenas and Haywood in the lineup next year. Hard to lower prices or make too many concessions in your ticket prices when you think you're going to have a top shelf product.

Now, as to making a gesture of good faith THIS season. Yes, I agree they should have done something or should do something for the faithful for the balance of the season.

Posted by: Matte | March 3, 2009 4:21 PM

Drop ticket prices? Sure, but in addition to dropping prices, the Wiz ought to: 1) give up the clichés and get real and 2) think about how to improve the team next year.

In that regard, before the Atlanta game, Tapscott was asked why the Wiz have fared so poorly in the second game of back-to-backs. He said the team needed to rely more on bench in those games and they have not performed.

What’s the reality? The starters have stunk in those games. The Wiz have been down more than an average of 4 points after the first quarter over the 12 losses, and the starters have averaged a negative 8 points each for the entire game.
In looking at what happened in the real world, the bench were accountable for only two of those losses – December 6th (a 7 point loss to Chicago) and January 10th (a 3 point loss to Charlotte). In those games, the Wiz lead by 7 and 8 after the first period, respectively, and the starters averaged -2 and +3 for those games.

This is just one more example of Taps and the team showing bias against young players. The result is that the Wiz are missing the one opportunity of a lost season – namely, developing the young players. They are also missing an opportunity to create some excitement and build fan interest for next year.

Posted by: Izman | March 3, 2009 4:49 PM

Trying to divvy up blame for wins and losses between the starters and the bench is pointless because, if it weren't for the injuries, 2/3 of the starters would either be coming off the bench or out of the rotation.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 3, 2009 5:38 PM

Man I don't even know what to think about what this team should do this season has become such a disaster.


#1 we need our guys back healthy. We need our vets to get healthy and our young guys to get bigger and better.

#2 we need a coach. We need an established coach who has had past success... be that Avery Johnson, Flip Saunders or Jeff Van Gundy. Mark Jackson is someone I would also consider.

#3 we need a rebounder at PF and a legit starting SG. Be that drafting Blake Griffin or Jordan Hill and trading for Larry Hughes (Etan, Pecherov and James) that's great. If it's dealing some guys with the pick to bring in a couple vets fine. Whatever. We need a starting 2 and a REBOUNDER at PF either a starter or guy off the bench. Guys I would not trade include Haywood, McGee, Blatche, Jamison, Butler, McGuire, Young, Crittenton and Arenas... unless some crazy blockbuster for someone like Amare or Joe Johnson can be done.

#4 we need to go back to Red White and Blue team colors, represent our capital and our country with some pride. This smurf blue and gold garbage has to go!

Posted by: Darnell1 | March 3, 2009 6:01 PM


#4 we need to go back to Red White and Blue team colors, represent our capital and our country with some pride. This smurf blue and gold garbage has to go!

Posted by: Darnell1 | March 3, 2009 6:01 PM

Amen.
And while we're at it let's change the name to something representative of the Nations Capital. Wizzies?????
No wonder we can only win 14 games.

Posted by: VBFan | March 3, 2009 7:38 PM

You list NINE guys as "untouchable" on a 14-win team?!?! I say keep Arenas and Haywood, everyone else is tradeable. I prefer Antawn over Caron cause Caron's "nagging injuries" are getting more common. Notice how Antawn never has those "nagging injuries".

Posted by: twigmuffin | March 3, 2009 8:42 PM

Nasa ---

The Wizards are not the Redskins. There is a multiple year waiting list to get season tickets for the Redskins thus Snyder has zero incentive to lower prices and so long as people are paying the price, Snyder can raise them. On the other hand, the Wiz are not selling out games and my guess is that season ticket sales will be much lower next season. Add in the corporations/law firms will likely be buying fewer tickets and the Wiz need to find some way to encourage loyal fans to remain loyal ticket holders. So your analogy is deeply flawed.

As for my car, if I had a choice every year whether to return the car or keep paying the same price, you better believe I would negotiate a discount if my brakes and engine had significant problems during the previous year. Again, your analogy is off base.

As for lowering tickets -- it can be done. The Wiz sold individual tickets in the lower level to season ticket holders at a price that was less per game than the season tickets. My tickets in the lower level cost $125 per game ($155 face value). I bought tickets to 8 other games in the lower level for $75/game directly from the Wizards. I had to pay $125/game for the Lakers or Cleveland. So it would seem to me that the Wiz could maintain the the face value of the tickets and offer a deeper discount to the people willing to commit to 41 games.

Posted by: Chad32 | March 3, 2009 8:50 PM

Washington, D.C.: Should the Wizards trade their lottery pick to Phoenix for the Suns medical staff?

Michael Wilbon: Ha! Very funny. But this isn't a Shaq case. The Wizards medical staff is fabulous. The problem their primary player had, Gil Arenas, was of his own doing...ignoring the prescribed rehab to conduct his own wildcat rehab...which led to additional surgery.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 3, 2009 9:25 PM

from Huffington Post:
NEW YORK, NY -- The global economic crisis has the NBA reeling...The crisis has even reached into luxury suites, many of which have remained dark for months. But while the suites are dark, not all are unoccupied. According to Brian Weathers, a league official, squatters have been found living -- quite comfortably -- in luxury suites at arenas around the country.

"There's hardly an arena in the league that doesn't have a squatter problem - in fact, we've found entire families living in luxury suites, some who've been there undisturbed for weeks," said Weathers. "They stock the refrig, use the facilities, and hang their clothes out to dry. You kick them out, but they re-appear in another empty suite the next day. And they're not just your garden variety homeless types - we've seen former bank managers, loan officers, financial planners and car salesmen with no where else to turn. We welcome the additional body count - have you been to a Clippers or Grizzlies game lately? It's like a morgue in there...we'll take warm bodies any way we can get them."

Morris Katz, a 49 year old former financial planner from Memphis, has been living comfortably at an undisclosed luxury suite for four weeks.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 4, 2009 8:03 AM

Wasn't there some other team who recently switched back to their original colors, and saw merchandise sales skyrocket even as the economy goes into the toilet?

Who were they again?

Oh yeah, the team that plays in the same building.

It worked for the Caps, it will work for the Bullets. Trade the lottery pick for a kid with a marketing degree.

Posted by: bryc3 | March 4, 2009 2:49 PM

You list NINE guys as "untouchable" on a 14-win team?!?! I say keep Arenas and Haywood, everyone else is tradeable. I prefer Antawn over Caron cause Caron's "nagging injuries" are getting more common. Notice how Antawn never has those "nagging injuries".

Posted by: twigmuffin | March 3, 2009 8:42 PM


Nah the 9 I list are guys I want to keep. That's the starting 5 plus top subs, or guys with upside.

I would consider dealing Caron OR Jamison to bring in a top shelf PF or SG, like Amare or Joe Johnson for example as I said. I would also prefer the keep the draft pick but would consider dealing that as well if the deal is right.

But if we can fill those spots by dealing from the group of Etan, Songaila, Pecherov, Stevenson, James, and the 2nd round pick (a good pick at the top of round 2), plus the rights to Veremeenko... those are what I see as the disposable assets.

I see the most likely scenario as dealing for Hughes and keeping the 1st rounder.

But I'd consider dealing the pick, or a player like Caron or Antawn, for a player like Amare, Joe Johnson, maybe a Michael Redd if healthy, Rip, Bosh, Durant, David Lee, Okafor for example. It would have to be the right deal, and leave us with a more balanced roster though.

Posted by: Darnell1 | March 4, 2009 5:19 PM

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