The Cubs sent out season-ticket invoices Thursday, and there are price increases for some of the most popular seating areas.
According to the Cubs, "nearly 80 percent of our Season Ticket Holder invoices are going down or staying flat."
Season ticket prices will increase, however, in the popular Club, Field and lower Terrace Reserved Infield sections, which Cubs officials consider as "some of the best seats" at Wrigley Field. According to the Cubs, the average increase in these popular seats is 6 percent.
While Cubs officials point out this is the first increase in four years since the Ricketts family assumed ownership, the team also has not has a winning season since 2009, and attendance at Wrigley Field has shown an annual decline since 2008.
The Cubs began the 2014 season with the third highest average ticket price ($44.16) in Major League Baseball, and the highest in the National League, according to figures compiled by Team Marketing Report for its 2014 MLB Fan Cost Index. In addition, average attendance at Wrigley has fallen every year from the 2008 season (40,743) to 2013 (32,626), according to baseball-reference.com. Attendance this season, which has included a yearlong 100th anniversary celebration at Wrigley Field, is slightly up with the Cubs averaging 32,649 per game through 68 games.
There also are several new elements to the renewal process this year, according to Cubs officials, including an earlier time line for payment. Ten percent must be paid by Oct. 13, with the final balance due Jan. 13, 2015.
Here are the key points:
"First, we moved up the release of Season Ticket Holder invoices by a month based on overwhelming feedback to add more time between the invoice release date and final payment due date," according to the statement by Cubs officials. "The final payment due date will be January 13, 2015 adding an extra month of time in the collection process for final payment."
"We have also changed the format of the Season Ticket invoices for 2015. Previously, the Season Ticket invoice was sent via email as an attachment with several pages of information that needed to be printed and returned. To eliminate the cumbersome and time-consuming printing process, the 2015 Season Ticket invoice is hosted on a personalized webpage. As part of this new feature, Season Ticket Holders can share with this web portal with ticket partners. The webpage is organized with tabs to allow Season Ticket Holders to easily access information about their account and the renewal process."
New installment-plan option:
While season ticket holders can utilize the traditional option of one early 10 percent payment followed by the 90 percent balance due Jan. 13, 2015, the Cubs also have a balanced payment option as well.
"Wwe are offering a four-month installment plan with 25 percent of your Season Ticket balance due at each payment date," according to the Cubs.
Fans who purchase the Double Play Plan also will see a slight increase due to one additional game being added, Cubs officials said. Those who purchase the Combination Plan, however, will have a slight decrease in cost due to one fewer game in that package.