Just when fans of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers thought the team's CFL season couldn't get any worse, club officials are planning to raising season ticket prices for next year.
The football club has been sending renewal notices to season ticket holders saying the team will be raising season ticket prices for five out of the seven seat-categories at Investors Group Field.
A look at what some other CFL teams are offering as their lowest season ticket prices:
- B.C. Lions: $265 (2014; Touchdown end zone)
- Edmonton Eskimos: $246 (2013 prices; Bronze section)
- Calgary Stampeders: $215 (2014; White section)
- Saskatchewan Roughriders: $315.15 (2014; Yellow section)
- Toronto Argonauts: $167 (2014; Blue section)
- Ottawa RedBlacks: $179.20 (2014)
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers: $249 (2014; Section P7)
For four of the categories, the increases will be by two to three per cent only.
But the biggest increase will be in the P7 category — the cheapest seats — which will see a 25 per cent hike.
Season tickets in that section cost $199 this year, but it's going up to $249 next year.
Bombers chief operating officer Jim Bell says the increase is because the seats were originally priced below market value.
"We feel that that's an adjustment to fair market value for that seat now that we're in Investors Group Field, have a chance to experience it for a year [and] compare it to other markets, other stadiums," he said.
Bell added that the P7 seats still have a great view and are probably still some of the cheapest in the CFL.
"That may still be the lowest-priced ticket in the league, and if it's not, it's probably second-lowest. But I do think it's the lowest pricing category in the league at $25 a ticket," Bell said.
The price increase for P7 could affect a lot of fans, as there are approximately 4,400 seats in that section.
Seats in the P1 section, also known as the Stadium Club, have already been sold out, according to the Bombers' 2014 ticket centre website.
The other sections and their 2014 season ticket prices are:
- P2: $814.50
- P3: $597.00
- P4: $464.00
- P5: $388.50
- P6: $334.00
- P7: $249.00
With a record of 3-13 so far in the current season, the Blue Bombers have two games left: a matchup with the Argonauts in Toronto on Thursday evening and a home game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Nov. 2.
Bell said since the team has just launched its 2014 season-ticket renewal campaign, officials will see what happens in the coming weeks.
"But we have a very loyal fan base and I expect that will continue," he said.
Bell said the football club is working towards a better season next year, and the ticket price increases are not just because of the new stadium.
Message from Bombers acting CEO
Below is a message recently sent by Wade Miller, acting chief executive officer of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, encouraging season ticket holders to renew their seats for the 2014 CFL season.
The CFL season is quickly winding to a close and this is the time of year when we get the opportunity to send out a heartfelt thank you to our loyal Season Ticket holders.
With great pride, we opened the doors to our spectacular new home in 2013: Investors Group Field. Bomber fans, players and visitors alike have marveled at our state-of-the-art facility, enjoying everything a brand new football stadium has to offer. You, our loyal fans, stepped up and filled the seats, game after game. It’s been said we have the best fans in the CFL and once again, you have left no doubt. Now that we’re moving back to the Western Division in 2014, we get the chance to show everyone on the other side of the country just how incredible Bombers fans really are.
However, it’s no secret 2013 has been a challenging time for us on the field. When I accepted the job of Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Winnipeg Football Club, I fully understood the magnitude of the task at hand, to return our team to the winning ways of years past. I can personally promise you we are working tirelessly behind the scenes to field a competitive team in 2014 and beyond, a squad worthy of the great history and tradition of this football club. I can only thank you for your patience thus far and ask you to keep the faith. Change is right around the corner and we are excited about what’s to come, especially with our move to the Western Division in 2014.
Back when I was a player with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, I recognized the importance of fan support. I realize it even more now that I have the great honour of leading this football club back to its former glory. I sincerely hope you share my feelings of excitement and optimism, and are ready to renew your Season Tickets for 2014.
Thank you again for your support in the past and moving forward. Without our fans, we wouldn’t be here. This is always your team.
Acting Chief Executive Officer
Winnipeg Football Club