Thursday, January 23, 2014

Demand for Reds season tickets on the rise

This may come as a surprise to some, especially given the team's lackluster offseason thus far, but according to a report by Steve Watkins of the Cincinnati Business Courier, demand for Reds season tickets is actually on the rise.

In fact, demand for Reds tickets has gotten so big that it has forced the team to rethink the way they organize season ticket packages. Namely, the technical definition of what it means to be a "season ticket" holder. In years past, fans who purchased 10-game packages or more were designated as season ticket holders. However, the new season ticket holder threshold stands at 20 games or more.

So, what does this actually mean to the common fan? Well, a lot. For example, season ticket holders receive a bunch of perks, including early admission into the stadium on game days, complimentary Redsfest tickets, and first chance opportunities to purchase postseason tickets, if applicable, among others.

The increased demand for tickets comes on the heels of a record-breaking attendance year for the Reds. The team reportedly drew nearly 2.5 million fans in 2013, which was the highest total for any single season since Great American Ball Park opened in 2003. Furthermore, the record-setting mark is even more impressive when you consider that the Reds did it in just 80 home dates, because one of the scheduled home dates was made up at AT&T Park in San Francisco, if you recall.

Employees in the Reds ticket department are aiming even higher for 2014. Maybe not as high as the 2.63 million season total the Big Red Machine helped produce in 1976. But somewhere in between last year's total and 1976 would be optimal.

Shelling out lots of dollars for season tickets is not a luxury that many hard-working Reds fans can afford nowadays. And understandably so. But for those who are in a position to pick up the tab, and may be on the face about ordering, should know that the price of ticket packages are set to increase 5 to 10 percent after Sunday.

Fans who wish to purchase single-game seats will have the first crack to do so around March 1.

This upcoming season will feature a new look and feel for the Reds. Gone from the dugout is manager Dusty Baker as new skipper Bryan Price will patrol the premises, instead. Additionally, the rest of the coaching staff will feature new faces, too.

Shin-Soo Choo will no longer be batting leadoff and holding down center field. This job will fall upon top prospect and stolen base extraordinaire Billy Hamilton.

Ryan Hanigan is gone. Bronson Arroyo and Xavier Paul is, too. But mainstays such as Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Johnny Cueto, and Aroldis Chapman will be back. So will Mat Latos, Mike Leake, and a whole host of other core players, as they collectively attempt to guide Cincinnati to its fourth playoff berth in five seasons. However, the larger goal should be to advance beyond the first round.

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