Chicago Sun-Times

Hard times lead to hard decision: Bears freeze ticket prices

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After raising ticket prices in at least some manner for eight straight years, the Bears will freeze their prices for 2009.

In light of a struggling economy, the club decided that it was the best strategy even as occupants of the smallest stadium in the 32-team league. The Bears average ticket price was eighth in the league last season.

``Frankly, it's really no more complicated than taking a look at the very challenging economic environment that every fan, every person in America is facing,'' team president Ted Phillips said. ``It's not not just a down economic year, it's an unprecedented situation that has huge impact on every citizen and we felt for that reason it was the right thing to do.''

The decision means the organization will generate less ticket revenue in 2009. For starters, the city raised the Amusement Tax that is a part of every ticket by one point to 9 percent. Second, the Bears will offer fans the opportunity to pay for season tickets by credit card for the first time. That will cut into the team's finances as well. Non-club seats will range from $68 to $108 and club seats will be between $245 and $350. Season-ticket holders will now be able to manager their accounts online through Ticketmaster.

The bottom line on the field is that Phillips said the decision will not affect the budget for football operations. Free agency and the NFL shopping season opens Feb. 27 and general manager Jerry Angelo did not take a cut from the amount of money he has to work with for building the roster.

"I think the short answer is no,'' Phillips said. "We've set that budget for the cash that we can spend on players. It's typically pegged right around the cap and so it will be again this year. That being said, we are taking a look at every department and trying to find ways to cut back expenses and try to make operations more efficient and we're in the process of doing that as we speak."

Phillips indicated all areas of the organization are in the process of evaluating how they operate and the team is looking for ways to become more efficient. It's Phillips' goal not to implement staff reductions.

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2 Comments

Not to hide at all....just forgot to name it
it's the same, no reason to read again...if you read it the first time lolol

The McCaskey's realize that most Bears fans are very upset the Bears Team has regressed since the Super Bowl appearance. Instead of adding the correct pieces to the puzzle (younger better Olinemen)and getting better they actually dropped the pieces they needed (Jones,Tank,Rivera etc..)and did nothing to add to the team's talent. Now while some fans feel Tank was a detriment I feel he was very much needed and has been missed in the middle of that D line, see Harris and the DE'S unproductivity since Tank left as well as the entire D going downhill with Rivera departure, and while those players/Coaches could have been replaced the fact is they were not. Look at the way the D rallied around Tank when he was incarcerated and you get a feeling how much the entire D liked and depended on him. Now sure it can AND SHOULD be argued that he simply failed to `rehab' and that might be true (no new incidents in Dallas) but the fact remains that the Bears failed to replace him with equal talent.
Here's hoping that Rod and Harrison can replace Tank and Rivera (finally) and JA/Ted understand that they have to add to the talent of the team or they are history, and the McCaskey's understand that without a good product fans will not be buying their expensive popcorn because now that we the Fans got a taste (small) of the big dance we want to dance more often and better..imagine that, after 20 years the Fans actually want to go back to the Super Bowl and are getting very upset with the owners mediocre talent.
If you thought I was going to thank the McCaskey's for not raising prices due to the economy - NOT - I will thank them when they use my money to buy me a great Super Bowl winning product instead of hogging it in their piggy bank. Let them raise prices then and it will be worth it.

Ticket prices won't increase, but enjoy that $10 beer
They'll find a way to make up the extra $$$ in the stadium. It is nice to see them making the nosebleed seats remain under $70.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 5, 2009 9:00 PM.

Four Down Territory, Feb. 5: Does Angelo know the value of a receiver? was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears president Phillips talks price freeze, free agency, Lovie & Jerry is the next entry in this blog.

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