The Packers Already Heard My Voice-In the Cash Register

lambeau field

The email surprised me.

As a subscriber to the Green Bay Packers email feed, my inbox is often flooded with emails from the team that tend to hit the trash folder before they are even viewed.

Advertisements from the Packers Pro Shop and updates from the official blog are the most common topics received from the team. Periodically, they get clicked and receive a cursory glance. More often than not, the delete button is pressed in earnest.

Not this email though. This was one I was going to open.

The subject of the email I received on Tuesday was “Your thoughts needed regarding playoff tickets”. Interesting subject line, and one which I was more than willing to give my thoughts on.

Before continuing, a little background for those who had not heard about this.

In light of the Packers’ inability to sell playoff tickets and facing a near blackout situation on TV, this email was being sent to season ticket holders, as well as others who are on the season ticket waiting list. While I am not fortunate enough to own season tickets, my 69,ooo and change place on the waiting list enabled me to receive the email.

Inside the email was a link to a survey, which started off with “Your voice is important to us both on and off the field.” 

Well, if this is the case, I had better proceed with the survey.

The survey began with the question “Did you purchase tickets for the Jan. 5th Packers-49ers Wild Card playoff game?” Logical enough question, as the email indicated the team wanted to know my thoughts on playoff ticket pricing. As I had not purchased tickets, “no” was selected and the survey advanced.

The questions which followed were standard when trying to determine why 40,000 playoff tickets were available for purchase just a few days before the game.

“Where did you watch the Packers-49ers Wild Card playoff game on Sunday, Jan. 5?”

“I did not purchase tickets for the playoff game because:”

“From the choices you selected in the previous question as reasons you did not purchase tickets, which reason most effected your decision not to purchase tickets?”

All are questions I would want answered too if I was Mark Murphy. Why could this team not sell tickets to a playoff game?

When playoff tickets went on sale in early December, the Packers were 5-6-1. Dead in the water by many fans’ estimations. So asking season ticket holders to plunk down money on tickets that they most likely would not be able to use should not come as a surprise to anyone. The fact they passed a second time later in December should be the bigger cause for concern. And an even bigger concern is why the general public passed until the last possible minute?

Now it is true that the forecast for the game was for brutally cold conditions. But these are Packers fans we’re talking about. Whether rain or snow or wind or hail, they are out there supporting their team, right?

Going to a sporting event-any sporting event-is a minor investment. It often requires creative budgeting to afford the cost of the tickets, let alone the cost of travel, concessions, parking, etc. It is expensive, and the Packers know it.

Unfortunately for the fans, the Packers are in the business of making money. They are a business, and make business decisions which best suit them-not the average Joe. It’s a harsh reality to face, but it is the truth.

Ticket sales are the key to the Packers’ revenue stream. Without ticket sales, the fans stay away, which means concessions don’t get purchased and Pro Shop sales suffer. It is a cyclical effect across the board.

The Packers sent this survey out for one reason and one reason only-to find out why they almost didn’t make as much money as they were supposed to. They don’t really care about our voices. They care about the dollars we can pump into the Lambeau Field machine.

Does this mean I am going to stop being a Packers fan? Absolutely not. I am a die hard Packer fan. Always have been. Always will be. But I also realized some time ago that in the eyes of the Packers, I am nothing more than dollar signs. And I am totally OK with that.

 

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John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.

He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.

You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at johnrehor@yahoo.com.

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6 Responses to The Packers Already Heard My Voice-In the Cash Register

  1. Horse says:

    Ha ha. I filled it out. You may want to give them a chance see if they revert policies back to something more fan-friendly before you condemn them. For a supposed Packers fan, you certainly take the dimmest view possible pretty consistently.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • John Rehor says:

      “For a supposed Packers fan, you certainly take the dimmest view possible pretty consistently.”

      I know. How dare I voice my opinion. Guess it’s all rainbows and puppy dogs.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  2. Randall Mott says:

    John, I think the most obvious reason the tickets did not sell in advance was the new format in which the money would not be returned to Season Ticket Holders if there were no games or fewer games than they would be required to pay for up front. Instead of returning the money the team changed policy and no longer gave the option of applying the balance to the future Season Ticket Payment, there would be no option. Instead they would automatically apply it to the account holders next payment for Tickets.

    While I think some people would apply the money to the payment many people were not only offended by the lack of options but there were several other issues at play. The team did not look like they were going to go to the Playoffs and to put out that much money with Christmas around the corner was an uncomfortable reality for our mostly Blue Collar fans. Some of the complaints I heard were that there would be no interest applied to their account and they would be charged interest by their Credit Card Company. I live in Colorado and did go to the game. I was able to use tickets my friends have had for years since I am still on the Season Ticket waiting list #2088.

    I also believe / predict, we will see many fans who finally came off the list with the new seats last year fail to renew since it is an expense they either cannot handle long term or see a way to recoup the money they put out for the PSL. Following that line of reasoning I doubt I will be offered the opportunity to purchase within the next year or two but my number is coming up fast and I will buy. I also believe that you probably knew this shift in policy but I saw no mention of it in your story. I think the 72 hour rule was a factor, The game was selling out but not as quickly as the NFL Mandated deadline. The fans deadline would have been Saturday…the weather may have played a role as well but I think that is just an excuse. As it turned out the weather was not so bad during the game, at least from Section 120. Sincerely, Randall Mott aka PackerFever

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • John Rehor says:

      I was aware of the new policy of not returning the money to the season ticket holders, and that (in my opinion) just furthers my point that the Packers were/are more concerned with finance than fans. The team was able to hold to x number of dollars that they normally would have had to return to those who had purchased tickets. That I completely disagree with.

      Will I continue to go to games at Lambeau and support the Packers? Absolutely. Want to make that perfectly clear. But their focus is on dollar signs, as is the case with every major corporation. They can disguise it in the form of a survey asking for our opinions, but it doesn’t mean they will listen.

      They could very well learn their lesson from this one game. Hopefully they do.

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  3. […] John Rehor of PackersTalk.com broke down the financial aspect, so I won’t dig much into that. I’ll just say that first and foremost, the NFL is a business, and I agree that the team’s primary motivation is learning why they were nearly unable to get every last possible dollar for the Wild-Card game against the 49ers. […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. […] John Rehor of PackersTalk.com broke down the financial aspect, so I won’t dig much into that. I’ll just say that first and foremost, the NFL is a business, and I agree that the team’s primary motivation is learning why they were nearly unable to get every last possible dollar for the Wild-Card game against the 49ers. […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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