Let me begin by saying that I’ve been a WNBA fan from Day One. I went to most of the Phoenix Mercury’s home games the very first season and have been a season ticket holder ever since. But though I will continue to be a fan, I will no longer purchase season tickets. I am going out on strike.
I have had season tickets through thick and thin, when it was fashionable to be a Mercury fan and when it was not. I have come near to blows defending my team against the stupidity of insecure little men – and women – who bad-mouthed them. But when I got an invoice for the 2011 season and saw that it now cost over $800 for my two tickets, I decided to draw the line. Enough is, quite simply, enough. They must charge as much as they are because precious few of the fans are willing to pull their share of the load.
The product is excellent, and improving all the time. Those who claim that it isn’t are too ignorant to understand the game of basketball. The team and league have meant a lot to me, and I will always be a fan. But it will be interesting to see how many of us will pay nearly a thousand dollars for something that lasts just over three months. I’m guessing there will be a lot fewer season ticket holders this year.
I would not pay the exorbitant new price even if I had a job right now. Not even if it was a very, very good one. The WNBA is taking it out on its most loyal and longtime fans because, even after fourteen seasons, it still hasn’t figured out how to market women’s pro basketball. I refuse to pay more for tickets to subsidize their incompetence. And when you see only 3,000 fans in the stands on a Saturday night near playoff time, you know you are dealing with rank marketing incompetence.
In addition to that, what stalwart regulars like me are being expected to do is carry the dead weight of fair-weather fans.
The last I heard, the NBA was still supplementing the WNBA to the tune of $12 million per year. Now, that bothers the hell out of me, but whenever I mention it to other Mercury fans, I get blank looks. “So what,” they usually say. Women were oppressed for years, so the NBA owes it to us! And if the men’s league ever pulled the plug on us and the WNBA went down the drain, these same women would scream “sexism” and “homophobia.”
Most of them are too damned cheap to buy season tickets themselves, and every time they have a hangnail, or their dog has a birthday, it’s an excuse to miss a game. This is exactly the sort of entitled attitude too many WNBA fans seem to have. The NBA simply “owes” it to us to go on raising their ticket prices to supplement our league.
Not surprisingly, most of these women are Leftists. Getting a free ride, and accusing anybody who objects to that of bigotry, has been standard operating procedure for them their entire “adult” lives.
Well, I’m doing right now what the NBA all too soon will, too. I refuse to subsidize other people’s free rides anymore. Let them pay 800 bucks every summer for a pair of season tickets. This league has been given every advantage. It’s time for it to sink or swim on its own.
Let’s see what kind of whiz-bang marketing strategy they can come up with to replace us.