First of all, I haven't been on here much as of late. Reggie's retirement, while I knew it was coming, really took the air out of me, and just seemed to be the final nail in the coffin of this horrible season.
To put it plainly, I've dreaded going to games lately. I played the good soldier and cheered like it was the playoffs post-11/19. I was patient with the team during the ups and downs, and was glad we reached my goals of being .500 when JO came back (12-12), and over .500 when Jack came back (20-19). Then, to put it succinctly, everything seemed to go to hell in a handbasket. Logically, I knew that we were losing because Tinsley was out, and I needed to wait until after the break to judge the team on it's merits, but emotionally I was too far spent to feel better about it.
This week's been better, but I've been too busy with work to be on the board. Yesterday I had a nightmare day with a client, and was too exhausted to go to the game last night. I caught the tail end on tv, with Reggie hitting all the FT's, and thought it would have been nice to see, but talking to my sister, we agreed we'd already seen Reg hit for 30+ twice this year, so it was no great loss.
Before I continue, this is what my sister wrote recently:
Tonight, Pacers Sports and Entertainment did their best to push me out the door, and they succeeded.
So, I get home from another nightmare day with the same client, and in the mail is a big folder from the Pacers. I think "well, they're finally hitting us up for playoff money", though I did note that that it was a big folder like they did for season tickets this year, not just a regular envelope like in years past.
I'd had a bad enough week as it was, and resolved not to look at it. But tonight, it was just sitting there, and against my better instincts, a little voice in my head said, "what the hell."
Inside it begins with a letter, which starts with the obligatory "Yeah, it's been tough this year, but thanks for your support". Then it gets interesting.
For those who don't know, this is how it usually works. In February, they send you a bill for the entire playoffs. Since, hypothetically, the Pacers could play 16 home games, if they had homecourt through out the playoffs, every series went 7 games, up to and including the Finals. So yeah, it's a bit of a scam. Even in 2000 we only played 12. So, they end up sitting on a grand or two of your money over the summer, collecting a nice bit of interest when you think about how many season ticket holders there are, then apply that leftover money towards next year's season.
As I said, that's a nice setup. But they just had to go and screw with it.
Now, they want you to reup for next season by March 15th. The inclosed invoice has the full playoff run and next year's season on it. Since they don't expect everyone to come up with so much money so quickly, they divide the amount into 3 installments, payable March 15th, May 15th, and July 15th. Any playoff money left over would then apply towards the July payment.
So, in affect, they want your money sooner. Instead of paying for next year's season in August, per usual, they want it asap. Interesting. Seems kind of strange they'd be doing this now, but whatever. I'm thinking, well, the invoice states that you can just reup for the playoffs, so I'm thinking I'd do that, and if we really do want tickets, we'll just reup for those later.
Here's the kicker, though. The letter states that "Since we are asking for a commitment from you, we offer a commitment in return..." Yada yada. To be brief, they're increasing ticket prices next year, and if you reup for next season now, you won't pay the increase. Again, I'm thinking, "Ooo, what I can get my tickets at $30 as opposed to $32? No thanks, I'll just wait and decide later on what I want to do."
So, I start thumbing through the packet. After the letter and invoice, there's a picture of Reggie from his rookie year, thanking him for his service. There's a sheet talking about account access on Pacers.com, which I've seen about 20 times. Then there's two pricing charts. One for if you reup before March 15th. One after.
I think you know where I'm going here. My tickets go from $30 to $48, per game.
That did it, right there. After everything that's happened this year, after all the **** we've all put up with, there is a ticket price increase coming up, and in some cases (like mine) it's massive.
Now, to be fair, it could be said we had this coming. When Conseco first opened, we sat in 225, row 15. After a couple years, we moved down to row 11, which was the first row of the $32 seats. Last year, they changed things up, where they not only decreased those seats from $32 to $30, but they made the whole of 226 $30 as well. So, we jumped at the chance to sit in the front row, and have greatly enjoyed our seats. Even with the ****ty year, at least I've got a nice view of the Pacemates.
But of course, it was too good to be true. Next year, the first two rows are going back to the $45 range, which is of course being increased to $48. We can't even move back to our old seats, because the $48 range has been increased in that section to the first half.
So, that's it. I called my sister to confirm with her before I posted, and she was ready to call it quits when I told her they wanted to charge us for next season, before I even got to the price increase. She said something to the effect of "You can tell them to go **** themselves."
When I look beyond the two of us, who granted were tetering on the brink of not coming back, this still looks like an unbelievably stupid move by PS&E. Taking a cursory look at the new price chart, most everyone's seats are going up by some amount, be it $5 or $100 per (the later being courtside seats, of course.) I was already thinking that the Pacers were going to see a major decline in ticket sales next year, be it Reggie retiring, Ron being an ***, David Stern being a bigger ***, it's more fun to stay at home and watch the smokin' Stacey Paetz, etc. But to pull something like this, on top of all that, it just makes no damn sense to me, whatsoever.
Of course, I should note something. The letter I've described, it was not signed by Donnie, as has always been the case, but Larry Bird. Welcome to the new regime boys and girls.
And for those who care, we are gonna get playoff tickets. As much as I don't want to give one more red cent, I'm not missing Reggie's last game.
But hey, there's good news. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they win the title next year. Murphy's law and all. But we got tickets this year because we thought this was "the year." We're not falling for that again.