Cubs Chairman Says Economy a Factor in 2009 Ticket Prices

Kenney: "We don't think we're immune because we're the Cubs."

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Will the recent economic downturn make it tougher to for fans to head to Wrigley Field?

    It's usually pretty much a cause and effect reaction.  A team goes to the post-season and that team raises it's ticket prices for the following season.

    But it appears at least on the Northside, the Cubs are considering all options in this struggling economy.

    "Certainly we understand the economy will impact the ability of our fan base to support higher ticket prices so it is a concern," admits Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney.

    The Cubs average ticket price in 2008 was a whopping $42.49, the 2nd highest rate in the league, and a 23.9 percent increase over the year before.

    Kenney, speaking during a conference call to announce the contract extension of general manager Jim Hendry, didn't say the team wouldn't raise ticket prices, but did express concern about how the team could be effected by the financial downturn.

    "We sat down last week with the sales and marketing department and I personally reviewed every account with the team,"  Kenney acknowledged.  "(We focused) in particular on financial services industries, many of whom are big sponsors of ours to assess vulnerability going forward from a sponsorship end."

    "We don't think we're immune because we're the Cubs or because we're in sports and it's something we're very focused on."

    The Cubs franchise has been essentially for sale since the beginning of the 2007 season.  Once believed to perhaps command a price of upwards of one billion dollars, the team's sale now seems questionable in the short term.

    "The business doesn't stop because we have a sale process going on."  Kenney pointed out.  "What we've tried to do ... is to make good long term decisions for the organization and if we use that as a guiding principal for what we're doing we assume the new owner will appreciate those things."