Just when I thought baseball franchises couldn’t get anymore money hungry, they go out and do something completely ridiculous to squeeze out that extra penny from their fans. The latest example comes from the Chicago Cubs who have decided to auction a select grouping of season tickets off to the highest bidder. But these are not just any seats. These seats are the 71 newly constructed Chicago Board Options Exchange seats located between the dugout and the bullpen on the 3rd base side. That’s right! They are sponsored by the CBOE.
Can we all just take a moment and laugh (or cry)? I’m not sure which part of this financial move is more greedy: auctioning seats off to the highest bidder, or offering naming rights to a particular grouping of seats.
In case you don’t believe me or you are more of a visual learner type, you can go on the Cubs website and participate in this auction right now (ends March 13th, so hurry). They are selling CBOE seats in groups of 2, 4, or 5 as season ticket packages averaging out at about $200 a game per seat. So unless you have about $40,000 laying around, you’re going to have to sit up in the nose-bleeds like the rest of us.
But beyond the fact that the Cubs are so desperate for money that they are auctioning these seats along with front row seats behind home plate is the fact that the Cubs organization is dumb enough to put fans even closer to the playing field. Didn’t the Cubs learn anything from Steve Bartman and that painful incident that kept them from going to the World Series? You’d think that a Post-Bartman Cubs World would be smart enough to start putting electric fences around the playing field to keep the fans away, not bring them closer and tempt them even further! And even more so, the Cubs should be worried about the liability issues of putting fans so close to the dugout that they might catch a stray punch from Carlos Zambrano which is intended for whoever his new catcher is that week. If you are paying that much for baseball tickets, then I’m assuming you have a very good attorney (if you aren’t one yourself) and won’t have any qualms about suing the hell out of Zambrano and the Cubs organization. I hope the Cubs have written up the release forms.
But on a more serious note, whoever ends up in those seats is probably going to be pretty stoked. I’m just curious about how they will end up justifying paying 40 large to watch the Cubs not win the World Series for the 99th consecutive season.