I continue to hear about how rough "this economy" is, but I can't find too many examples to support the argument.
Last week, the Philadelphia Eagles raised ticket prices $5 to $10 per seat. The Phillies raised their prices by $2 per seat (but remember there are 81 home games). Eagles season ticket holders squalked like eagles, but sent in their renewal notices. Likewise, Phillies season ticket holders (me) complained but keep going. In fact, season tickets are up from 20,000 last year to 24,000 this year.
A spokesman for the Philadelphia Orchestra said that, in spite of the difficulties they are having in meeting their financial goals, they feel that they cannot further burden their subscribers by raising ticket prices. I'd like to go to a few orchestra concerts, but I can't add the $60 it costs to go to a concert to my already sapped entertainment budget. So, where does that put us in the sports versus culture argument? It merely proves that sports has us by the short hairs and such things as an orchestra playing classical music is hanging on by a thread. Forced to choose, I picked baseball.
Tickets for a few prominent concerts go on sale this weekend. Aging rockers Billy Joel and Elton John are teaming up for a tour. My guess is that Elton is the designated driver. Anyway, the top price is $177, and you can't get in the building for less than $75. Kings of Leon is on tour. Their tickets are $55, and Chris Cornell's show is $60 per. Try being a kid on a date, trying to impress someone with your hip taste in music. Before you leave the house, you're out $125. Who has that kind of money to shell out on a concert? Old people.
That's why you see people my age at shows now instead of kids who spend their days in paper hats and coffee aprons. Who else can afford to see these shows? When I started going to concerts in the mid-70s, tickets were $5.50. I was earning $2.10 an hour (minimum wage in those days), so I had to work roughly two hours to earn enough money for a ticket. Fair enough.
How many people earn $30 an hour? It's the same show - big stage, loud music, lots of popular songs - yet the shows are now well beyond what most people earn in two hours. I think they're testing us to see how much we'll take before we won't go anymore. So far, we're still going.
Am I missing something here? Below are a few samples of my collection of concert tickets from my youth. You'd pay a Hell of a lot more to see these bands now, playing the same music they played 25 years ago on the same stage.
Plus, it was better then.