For years, Randy Barber has wanted to identify himself as a Cubs season ticket holder.
“There’s a certain level of prestige you get when you tell business associates that you own season tickets,” said Barber. “It makes it sound like you’re a bit more successful.”
Barber says that despite the potential prestige factor, several things held him back from following through and becoming a season ticket holder. “First, there’s the expense and, second, there’s the bigger issue of then feeling like you need to make use of the tickets by showing up to watch the Cubs. This usually isn’t a team you want to watch.”
But now Barber can call himself a season ticket holder while still being spared the agony of watching the Cubs play, thanks to the new “Zero-Game” ticket plan announced by the team. Under the new package, purchasers pay $300 annually to receive nominal benefits, but do not receive tickets to any games.
Crane Kenney, head of business operations for the Cubs, said the response to the no-ticket plan has been “overwhelming.” Faced with a decline in ticket sales and a mediocre team, Kenney said the Cubs were looking for ways to replace lost revenue but still meet the preferences of many would-be customers.
“It’s a win-win for everyone. So far we’ve added a thousand new season ticket holders under this plan without forcing any of them to actually attend a game,” said Kenney. “They get the privilege of being part of an elite group and we get extra cash.”
For his part, Barber is thrilled with his no-ticket plan.
“I already used the whole ‘season ticket holder’ thing to close a sale at work and pick up a girl in a Lincoln Park bar last weekend,” he said. “Absolutely the best $300 I have ever spent.”