My story at the top of today's News Tribune is big news for anyone who's thought he or she was shut out from getting affordable Seahawks tickets for a regular-season game at virtually sold-out CenturyLink Field.
Put another way: You have more of a chance to buy a ticket to a real Seahawks game this coming season than you do to sold-out training camp that begins July 31:
After years of fruitless waits, fans on the Seahawks’ long wait list for season tickets now have their chance to get into what is virtually a sold-out stadium.
I've learned the team will also announce on Monday it is creating new opportunities in the coming weeks for the general public to buy single-game tickets for the 2015 home schedule at CenturyLink Field -- more tickets than the Seahawks have made available in their previous Super Bowl seasons.
All while they become among the first NFL teams to use “dynamic pricing” in single-game ticket sales.
Why the sudden availability of more than 2,000 season tickets to the team’s “Blue Pride” wait list and another 1,700 single-game tickets available for “Blue Pride” members? Why are the Seahawks selling an additional 1,700 single-game seats on a first-come, first-served basis at the stadium box office in Seattle on July 20?
It’s the result of the team taking about 4,000 tickets back from brokers who had been selling them at a premium for years.
“With 105 consecutive sellouts and a (season-ticket) renewal rate of 99.6 percent the last two seasons, we are pleased to reward our Blue Pride waitlist members and increase the availability of Seahawks tickets,” team president Peter McLoughlin said.
The team is also introducing the sports-industry trend of dynamic pricing to its single-game tickets. Locally, the Mariners and the University of Washington have been using higher prices for tickets to their more attractive games for years. This is the first year the concept has been used in the NFL.
On July 13, the Seahawks will partner with Ticketmaster.com to sell 2,000 single-game seats from sections throughout the stadium beginning online at 10 a.m. They are pricing those based upon the perceived quality of the home game. Tickets to the home games on Nov. 15 against Arizona on a Sunday night, a national-television showcase against a big NFC West-rival, plus on Nov. 29 against six-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh will cost more than, say, the game against recently woeful Cleveland five days before Christmas.
On Monday, July 20, the Seahawks will sell 1,7000 tickets to single games at $62 each out of CenturyLink Field’s northwest-side box office only. Those seats are located in the corners of the upper level and in the “Hawks Nest” bleacher section behind the north end zone. Fans will be able to purchase from the box office a maximum of four single-game tickets per person on a first-come, first-served basis. The team says that $62 price is a “league average low ticket price.”
The 1,700 single-game tickets are about 700 more than the team made available to the public for the 2014 season.
Additionally, the Seahawks are selling 1,700 more single-game tickets at $62 apiece through exclusive email offers to “Blue Pride” waitlist members, who for years have paid to stay on that list, plus returning groups.
A check this weekend on the league’s official ticket exchange showed the otherwise sold-out game against Arizona had seats available in the corner of the upper deck at $188 each.
How extensive is the wait list? The Seahawks say they have 54,000 people waiting for the right to pay to wait on the higher-priority, “Blue Pride” list.
Season tickets for 2015 are sold out. The team has capped season ticket memberships at 61,500.
With the addition this year of a new “fan deck” of 1,000 padded seats in the upper level above the south end zone near the “12th Man” flag plus eight new, already-sold “pocket suites” above the corners of the end zones, the Seahawks will now have a seating capacity of over 69,000. So for the second consecutive season they will be setting stadium attendance records in 2015.
The Seahawks taking tickets from the brokers and allowing those previously shut-out the chance to buy seats directly from the team comes at an apex of Seattle fans’ ire against brokers.
Five months ago, many complained of much-publicized fiascos with brokers for Super Bowl 49 in Arizona who reneged on ticket orders for Seattle’s championship game against New England.
“Lauri Olson of Tacoma burst into tears when she saw an email from her vendor telling her she wouldn’t be getting her pre-purchased ticket hours after arriving in Glendale, Arizona, for the Sunday game,” The News Tribune reported days after the Feb. 1 Super Bowl.
Olson told The News Tribune then: “I’m a huge Seahawks fan and to be able to go was the trip of a lifetime. This wasn’t something I ever thought I’d get to do. I spent most of Friday night in tears. I was devastated.”
At least Olson’s broker refunded her $2,300. But she didn’t get to watch the game, one the most thrilling in Super Bowl history, from inside University of Phoenix Stadium. The Seahawks lost from the 1-yard line on their final offensive play.
Olson was one of thousands affected by the shortage of Super Bowl tickets. A record price surge and limited inventory kept most fans from being able to get their hands on last-minute seats. Some of those offended filed lawsuits in Washington.