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Thread: Rams Freeze Prices
Rams Freeze Prices
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
With an eye toward the economy, as well as the team's won-loss record, the Rams are freezing prices on almost all tickets for the 2009 season.
"We are sensitive to our fans and the choices that they have to make for the entertainment dollar," said Bob Wallace, Rams executive vice president and general counsel. "It's clear that the economy's going through a tough stretch right now. People are having to make choices. We don't want to add to that burden, so we've decided for our loyal fans — they have been great fans — to freeze prices."
Wallace did say that because of some refurbishment on the lower level of the stadium bowl, there may be a price increase on "a little under 2,000 seats" in the 66,000-seat Edward Jones Dome.
Those 2,000 seats, which most likely will be between the 40-yard lines, are being changed to something that's more like a club seat concept, according to Wallace.
With the above exception, this marks the second straight season that the Rams have decided to freeze ticket prices. What's unusual about this year's news is that the team didn't even wait until the end of the season to make the policy known.
Last season, the price freeze wasn't made known until the beginning of February. The early notice on the 2009 price freeze could be a reflection of concern over season-ticket renewals.
"Obviously, it's a lot better to come off a very, very successful season than it is to come off a season that we're all disappointed in," Wallace said. "Combine that with a tough economy and, yes, we are concerned about the renewals."
According to Wallace, the Rams have had a season-ticket renewal rate of more than 90 percent every offseason since the franchise moved to St. Louis in 1995. But with just one game remaining this season, the Rams have lost 26 of 31 games since the start of the 2007 season. Understandably, that has led to much unrest among the fan base. The past two home games have been blacked out on local television because they did not sell out.
Fans who buy season tickets or renew PSLs for 2009 will see a spruced-up stadium that will have undergone $30 million worth of upgrades by the start of the preseason. Bids are still out on the refurbishment, Wallace said, so not all of the plans are finalized.
But at a minimum, there will be new scoreboards in both the end zones, upgrades in some of the club seat lounges, and a major paint job to help lighten up the atmosphere in the dome.
"I'm 99.9 percent sure that we'll have two new scoreboards that will be substantially better than what's there now," Wallace said. "In this market we use as benchmarks what the other venues have. These (new scoreboards) will be similar if not better to what's in Busch (Stadium) or the new Chaifetz Arena."
As part of the upgrades some areas will be opened up where the current scoreboards are situated, allowing fans in the club areas there to view the field. That wasn't the case before; fans in those club areas could only watch the game on TV.
Another upgrade possibility is the creation of public space on the lower level of the stadium, creating an area where PSL holders can watch the game in what Wallace termed a sports bar atmosphere.
The exact plan for the upgrades will be finalized once the bids come back. "You may not be able to do everything," Wallace said. "You may be able to do a little more. You may say that something's not a good use of the money. But we're pretty far along with the things that I've mentioned."
Wallace said bids are expected to come back from contractors in mid-January, with work scheduled to begin almost immediately thereafter.
Re: Rams Freeze Prices
are they going to freeze beer prices in the dome also ?
-12-24-2008 #3Registered User
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