Friday, December 16, 2011

Premium Season Ticket Inventory Sold Out - how do I get those dang seats??

During the season, we get a lot of people in the stadium who ask how seats sell out so quickly in premium areas. I love that question! Here is why - we have a dedicated ticket sales and service staff that works hard to provide great customer service and renew existing season ticket holders early in the fall. Like any business, we have attrition - about 15% don't renew for various reasons (moving, change in personal economics, couldn't make as many games as they would like, they hate us, etc), so how is it that once again at Christmas time we are looking at a situation where premium seat inventory for season tickets is sold out? Sales and service - and the priority list!

From the first day we started selling tickets in December of 2009, we have kept a master list of the order in which fans bought season tickets. That list is dutifully maintained - when someone at the top of the list renews their season tickets, they preserve their spot in line. If someone on the list fails to renew by the designated date, they lose their seats and their spot in the list, while everyone behind them that has maintained moves up. "Maintaining priority" is just that - you have the priority to renew your existing seats, or if better ones are available when your time on the list arrives, you have the option to upgrade to those seats. It is a system that protects the loyalty of our most consistent customers.

The thought some in the community have is that "the list never changes" - that is not true! As I mentioned above, every year we have about 15% not renew for one reason or another. When we expanded the seating behind home plate in 2011, almost all of the new season ticket inventory went to folks who had maintained their place in the priority list. Once again, this renewal season saw some people who had wanted seats in a particular location get them - because they had maintained their place in the priority list by renewing. In the event of special events at Borleske Stadium or other Sweets events like the annual hot stove (working on a NW baseball legend for this year's event), we start first with fans on the priority list - ensuring that they get the first crack at the best inventory. A great example of this benefit was game one of the WCL Championship series in August - while many in the general public waited 1-2 hours in line for tickets at the Sweets Shoppe, season ticket holders already had their seats secured and paid for the day before, ready in will call or already printed at home. Considering we sold out the game in 18 hours, and more than 2,300 people were packed into the ballpark, season ticket holders had the hottest ticket in town in their hands before the rest of Walla Walla woke up the day tickets went on sale.

How do you get on the priority list? By buying season tickets - either premium seating (diamond, premier or field box seats), reserved seating (first base grandstand) or general admission seating (third base grandstand, outfield grandstand). In addition to saving over the price of tickets at the box office, they include great benefits that are in addition to the priority list. We are also enhancing benefits of season ticket holders this season (to be announced a little later this spring) to make it absolutely the best deal in Walla Walla for real summer entertainment. We also provide this handy list with ideas of how to utilize season tickets if you can't make it to every game.

Is this a shameless plug to get season tickets? Absolutely. With some of the top amateur players in the country coming to Walla Walla this summer (rumor has it that the general manager is in the final stages of signing the top three pitchers in the 2012 amateur draft, and of course the All-Star game will be here), if there was ever a season to dip your toes in the season ticket holder water, this would be it.

Have a great Christmas and holiday break - the sooner the new year turns, the sooner baseball will be back at Borleske!

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