To Renew or Not Renew: Some are asking the question

30 Sep 2015 12:11 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

The following is a letter Timbers Army season ticket holder, Erica Goode, sent to the Portland Timbers front office. It is reprinted here with her permission.

The opinions she expresses are her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the 107ist board of directors.

I renewed my tickets today, but I thought about it for a long time. As much as I love the Timbers, I am finding it hard to justify giving money to a front office, in particular, an owner, which seems to disdain its supporters. Many of his comments on Twitter reflect someone who is more concerned with his own ego rather than the progress of the club. I am often embarrassed by the immaturity in his tweets. But that is obviously a personal reaction that I have – one shared by many others but not universally.

A more tangible example is the charging for Trimet tickets, which is incredibly tone deaf and really short-sighted. Partnering with Uber, an organization with questionable business practices for its “non” employees, makes the situation worse, but it is really the money grab regarding the passes that bothers me.

I understand that the club is a business. I understand the need to make a profit. But it is a football club. Its purpose is to win. But I do not see that happening very often, and I do not see an owner that values winning over maximizing profit. That is extremely disheartening, especially as I was a huge champion of the MLS2PDX campaign. I attended the march to City Hall and attended the hearing. Through the years, I have given my tickets to cashiers at grocery stores, bank tellers, people I don’t really know, in an effort to spread the love of the club. Long before current ownership was anywhere near the club.

The financial and marketing success of this club in MLS have been on the backs of supporters who have given their all to make the best atmosphere in the league. But what has the organization done to put the best eleven on the pitch? I hear a lot of whining about referees and excuses about the weather, the altitude, the schedule, etc. Winners rolls with the punches; they don’t petulantly tweet about them and then delete those tweets an hour later.
I have pride in the supporters and the history of this club. But it is hard now to feel the same about the current situation. I always hate venting to you about these things, because you cannot change them. Still, I felt you ought to know.

RCTID,
Erica


Comments

  • 28 Sep 2016 11:32 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Ryan D Pollard says:
    Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 9:07 am 
    I sent the following to my ticket rep over a week ago:

    Thank you, Nicole.
    With the perplexing price increase, the reduction in service (the trimet tickets had to go? really?) and yet another disappointing season, I’m still deciding whether I want to renew or let someone else on the waiting list have a crack at being a season ticket holder. I’ll make sure to let you know within the next week.
    Thanks again for reaching out.
    I never heard back. Seems like a sign of the times with this club. I mean, yeah, I’m gonna renew. We both know I’m gonna renew. And I did, in fact, renew. But come on, maybe make an attempt to address the situation with more than just a pat on the head.

    John says:
    Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 9:50 am 
    Pretty spot on. Some FO changes need to happen, unfortunately with the waiting list they realize they’ll still be able to fill the stadium regardless of our opinions.

    David K says:
    Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 10:12 am 
    This isn’t a decision I have to make: on the waiting list, but at the present rate of turnover/seating capacity, I’ll be long dead before my number comes up. But if it were something I had to decide, I’m not sure which way it would go. Not just because I’ve got issues with some FO decisions and such, but because I can’t help but think of my Thorns and T2 season tix as better values. I don’t have a huge entertainment budget, and Thorns/T2 tickets are inexpensive. Timbers tix are certainly not. I guess I’m okay with going to as many Timbers matches as I can afford and all of the Thorns and T2 matches.

    Brad Arnsmeier says:
    Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 11:14 am 
    Here is what I sent. They may think it is an orchestrated campaign with so many similar responses, but I had no idea so many people felt the same way as I.
    “Hi Nicole,
    Thanks for the reminder email. I have renewed for next season. However I have to voice my concern over the trend that I am seeing with the organization. It seems as though we get less and less for our loyalty as the years go by. I was surprised to see that Tri-Met passes are no longer a part of my season package. I was also a bit disappointed when I saw that friendly matches with some of the historic clubs from Europe and South America will no longer be happening. The sad reality is that your organization knows it has all the leverage with us loyal supporters and really doesn’t care if I give up my seats because there is someone waiting in line to take my place. I don’t anticipate concession prices to come down as a result of fewer offerings so I guess all I can do is chalk this email up as a vehicle to vent. Could we at least change the silly bottle cap policy on soda bottles? This summer we were able to bring bottles of water into Prov Park and I didn’t notice a spike in bottle cap related injuries so please consider a change. Thanks for listening and see you next season.
    Brad Arnsmeier
    Sec 217 Row e 17-18″

    Bob says:
    Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 1:05 pm 
    I’m a season ticket holder but live out of town. As a result, I can’t always make it to every game (especially mid-week games). I appreciated the trimet tickets that were included with the season tickets as it made getting to the game effortless. With this change, I now have to pay for a trimet ticket to every game – even full well knowing I will miss several.
    Sadly, it isn’t even that much additional revenue for one of the most valuable clubs in MLS. Attendance 22,000 x $42.50 for trimet tickets = $935,000 max (assumes 100% take rate) of incremental revenue due to passing costs to ticket holders. I’m really surprised someone in the FO though it was worth giving up all this goodwill with season ticket holders for less than $1M.

    Michele says:
    Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 5:59 pm 
    If all that profit doesn’t get some investment in creating a winning team, the numbers of that waiting list might just start dropping. Keep raising those season ticket prices and cutting viable incentives like Tri-Met passes though, PTFC. If all that money being made and saved by that isn’t going toward investing in a winning team we may not just be grumbling about it after this next season, we might not renew at all. And if many TA diehards drop out, PTFC will also lose the best fan base in the league, leaving the North End packed with newbies more interested in taking selfies than singing their lungs out for the full 90. After this season of heartbreaking disappointment and frustration, I’m fed up with the excuses. I want to see Paulson spend the damn money on what the team needs to win.

    Larry Shaw says:
    Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 2:53 pm 
    yeah, i waited until the last possible moment, but i did renew. at least i’ll get a timbers usb charger. what the timbers won’t get next year from me is a single penny in concession nor merchandise revenue. the timbers can have their sleazy partnership with uber and can keep their $85 savings from trimet passes, but they just lost upwards of $800 in revenue from me!
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