The Trail Blazers gathered various local media on Tuesday in team president Chris McGowan’s office to discuss a various range of topics pertain to the business-side of the organization, including ticket sales, improvements to the Moda Center and the Rose Quarter and television ratings. Some of the highlights …
· “As an aggregate,” according to the team, “prices (for season tickets) are increasing overall by about 5 percent …” The team notes that some price are going up, while other customers will see their season ticket prices drop. For example, seats in the “Fuchisia” sections, which include sections 103, 105, 108, 110, 114, 116, 119, 121 and areas of 106, 107, 117 and 118, will go up 7.7 percent. In contrast, some “Blue” seats, which include parts of sections 106, 107, 117 and 118 are decreasing in cost by 21.5 percent next season.
The changes were made after an “analysis of the Moda Center determined that ticket prices were not aligned with market demand. In some areas, we were priced high, while others were underpriced.” The Trail Blazers are in the “top tier” in tickets sold among NBA teams, but have season ticket prices which are “in the bottom half of the league.” The team says they will continue to avoid blanket discounts in order to make sure season ticket holder continue to get the best deals.
According to the team, “Season ticket holders have experienced average savings of 29 percent this year over average individual ticket sales price (saving range from 12 percent to 56 percent).”
· The Trail Blazers currently rank fifth in average attendance at 19,625 and have 15 sellouts this year, which is one more than at this point last year. Though pointed out that, since there’s a wide range of what constitutes a “sellout” in the NBA, the use of the word doesn’t mean much.
· The team is moving to Ticketmaster as their ticketing service. McGowan said one of the main complaints they hear from season ticket holders is the difficulty of using the current system. They hope that switching to Ticketmaster, which almost every other NBA team uses, will alleviate some of those issues. Ticketmaster will be the ticket service provider for all events at the Moda Center.
· Food and beverage vendors Stumptown Coffee and Salt & Straw ice cream will join the expanded list of local concession options at the Moda Center. McGowan said it is likely those will be the last two additions to concessions at the Moda Center, at least for the foreseeable future.
· The team has three large scale capital improvement projects that they’ll embark on this offseason, which will be announced in March. The projects will not impede the upcoming arena football season.
In addition, there will be new LED lighting installed outside the Moda Center that will allow for differnt coloring to be projected on the arena on a night-to-night basis. There will also be new “Moda Center” branding on the arena.
· There will be a new restaurant opening in the space formerly referred to as “The Game” which is directly across the Rose Quarter from the south entrance at the Moda Center. It will have a “Portland” feel and menu and will be open only on game nights and during events. The open date for that is scheduled for March 3 of this year.
The team is also in the middle of re-landscaping the Rose Quarter, as you may have noticed if you’ve attended a game at the Moda Center recently, that will feature plants with a “sustainability focus.”
· In regards to the team broadcasts, ratings have improved 62 percent on KGW games and 55 percent on CSNNW games over last year’s ratings. Current ratings are at their highest since the 2006-07 season and of Western Conference teams, Portland ranks second for local broadcasts and third for cable broadcasts.