Friday, April 14, 2017

The Next Lambeau Experience

If increasing ticket prices every year, raising parking rates, inflated concession prices, a share of the largest TV rights package on the planet, licensing of the name and logo, renting property to brewpubs, upscale hotels and sporting goods stores, and operating the most-successful team owned pro shop in the league isn't enough to "keep the Green Bay Packers financially competitive in the NFL" I have a potential new revenue source for them--and it comes from, of all places, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

For the first time in more than a decade the Edmonton Oilers have made the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Demand for tickets to the potential four first-round home games was so great that they sold out immediately.  That's when team officials got the brilliant idea to sell "Concourse Passes"--which would get several thousand more fans in the arena. 

Don't confuse a "concourse pass" with a "Standing Room Only" ticket.  With SRO, you actually get into the seating bowl and are allowed to stand behind the last row of seats in some sections, or maybe in an obstructed viewing area.  But with a "concourse pass" all you get to do is wander around the concourse outside the seating bowl--watching the game on tv screens set up every fifty feet or so--and drinking beer from the concession stands.  You are not allowed to stand in the walkways to the seating bowl (that's a safety hazard) where you might actually see the ice.

And amazingly, the Oilers sold several hundred of these "concourse passes" for the unbelievable price of $80 Canadian (about $60 US).  Again, these people could not see the game--except on the TV's.  Of course, When you live on the Canadian Plains in Edmonton, you are probably willing to do anything just to get out of the cold during the winter and early spring.

Now if Oilers fans are willing to shell out good money just to be inside Rogers Arena for a game,  think of how many Packers fans would willingly fork over big bucks "just to be part of the Lambeau Field Gameday Experience"!  You already have people that will line up for an hour every Sunday to be one of the first in the parking lot--paying a jacked up price--just to tailgate....and they don't even have tickets to the game.  They watch the game on a tv by their car and just keep eating and drinking.

The Packers could run cool commercials telling fans they can stand in the same spot where their grandparents stood to get out of the wind at halftime and not freeze to death at the Ice Bowl.  Or you could share the experience your uncle had when he started heading back to the car to beat the traffic and Brett Favre threw his first TD pass to Kitrick Taylor to beat the Bengals at the last second--and he missed it.  Heck, the Packers wouldn't even put the game on any screens in the concourse--you are there just to experience the "Lambeau Mystique".

Considering that Lambeau is twice the size as Rogers Arena, the Pack could easily sell four times as many "concourse passes" as Edmonton.  And $60 for no view of the game sounds like the kind of cash Packers fans would be willing to pay.  Like Terrance Mann told Ray Kinsela in Field of Dreams "They will pass over the money without even thinking about it". 

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