After studying the issue and surveying fans, the Panthers are reducing season ticket prices on thousands of seats for the 2009-10 season and offering tickets in the upper bowl for as low as $7 a game and in the lower bowl for $35 a game.
The team had promised to freeze season ticket prices, but is instead reducing prices in 11 of 14 seating categories across BankAtlantic Center, marking what Panthers President Michael Yormark calls the “most aggressive price reduction we’ve had in the history of this franchise.”
Price reductions for full season ticket plans range from $2 to $17 a game. Among the reductions: Terrace level seats are dropping from $9 to $7 a game; Goal Zone from $17 to $12; Lexus Club from $60 to $55; Lower Bowl Sidelines from $77 to $65; and Premium Plaza Middle from $82 to $72. Half-season and mini-plan prices are also being reduced.
“The goal is to get fans to come to more games,” Yormark said. “We think we’ll also be able to attract the casual fan.”
The team sold close to 9,000 season tickets last season, Yormark said, meaning there’s still plenty of inventory. He says he wants fans who attend a couple of games a season to come to five or six; those that came to a half dozen games to purchase a mini-plan, for example.
The cheapest seats in the lower bowl are the Lower Bowl End Zone, which are dropping from $50 a game to $35. The seats in the shoot once end in sections 105 to 114 Rows 18 to 28, are being redesigned and renamed the “Panthers Locker Room.” Sections of the seats will be named after individual players. In keeping with the team’s effort to provide fans more value with their tickets, fans who buy tickets in those sections automatically become members of that player’s fan club, receiving benefits such as merchandise, birthday cards from the player, pre- or post-game autograph sessions and a learn-to-skate clinic.
“It’s a way to get fans a little closer to the product,” Yormark said.
The team has also renamed the first row and Panther Club rows 2-4, the Premier Lounge and is making it a new all-inclusive club with dining and lounge location. The first row stays at $207 a game, but the Panther Club drops from $132 a game to $115.
Fans who have already purchased season tickets have been informed of the reductions and will receive either refunds or other benefits such as BankAtlantic Center bucks good for concessions, Yormark said.
As part of their plan to market the price reductions, the Panthers have enlisted the help of NFL super agent Drew Rosenhaus. Rosenhaus is appearing in TV, print, and radio ads to promote the team. The ads break today: