There are very few sure things in life; death, taxes and ticket price increases are among the few of them.
Yesterday, the Blue Jays announced their 2016 ticket pricing structure and to the surprise of very few, ticket prices went up about 10% across the board. After the season they had, the Jays were justified to hike their prices by a small percentage.
But it’s not really the price increase that has some fans irked, it’s the changes to the current ticket programs; namely the Flex Packs. There have been some substantial changes to the programs, with the most noteworthy items listed below.
So before you go ahead and call the Blue Jays ticket office and plunk down your hard-earned money on a 2016 Flex Pack, here are a few things you should know first.
Home Opener Tickets are Not Included in 10, 15 and 20 Game/Ticket Flex Packs
This is a big one. Home Opener tickets will no longer be a part of any of the 10 or 15 Game Flex Packs or 20 Ticket Flex Packs. Home Opener tickets are only built in to the 40 Game Flex Packs (and Season Ticket holders).
Instead, Flex Pack holders will be given the opportunity to purchase additional Home Opener tickets in advance of the general public.
This is a slight inconvenience for fans that used to build their ticket packs starting with the Home Opener game and then plan the rest of the season outwards. Now you’ll have to buy your Home Opener tickets on top of your Flex Pack.
Service Charges Now Apply on Additional Tickets
Yeah, so those additional Home Opener tickets you want to buy? Those are now going to be subjected to regular service charges … as well as any other additional tickets you want to buy on top of your Flex Pack.
One of the benefits of purchasing the Flex Packs was not being subjected to individual service charges for additional tickets, but these are now unavoidable as of 2016.
I can’t remember the exact amount of the service charge, but it may have been something like $6 dollars per ticket.
Flex Pack Holders Get Access to the MyBlueJays Program
See, all the changes aren’t necessarily bad! Flex Pack holders will now have access to the MyBlueJays program. Previously, this rewards program was only open to Season Ticket holders, but now encompasses all Flex Pack holders as well.
This past season, you might have remembered seeing some sort of bonus code flashed during the Jays broadcast; you can now punch in that code and use the points towards eCash which can be redeemed for points towards Blue Jays auction items or items in the MyBlueJays marketplace.
Flex Pack Holders Are Not Guaranteed Playoff Tickets
Remember how Flex Pack holders received an advanced window to purchase playoff tickets? Well, that benefit may no longer apply. Admittedly, it was one of the huge perks of being a Flex Pack or 20 Ticket Pack holder this year, as they received a big head start ahead of the general public.
The club hasn’t said anything definitive about it right now, and VP of Business Stephen Brooks said the Jays would try to implement the same benefit for 2016, but nothing is set in stone as of yet.
All Games Must be Selected at Purchase (But Can Be Changed Until April 1st)
In previous years, ticket holders could wait until mid or even late-season to finalize all their tickets for the 2016 season. Last year, the deadline to select tickets was July 31st; this year, that deadline has been moved up until April 1st.
As a faithful 20 Ticket Pack holder, one of the unique benefits of that system was you could pick a few games, bank the remainder of your tickets and wait weeks and even months later to select your next set of games.
The “play it by ear” approach can no longer be applied here as all games need to be accounted for at the date of purchase. However, the games can be changed up until April 1st; so games can be selected as placeholders and you can firm up the dates closer to April 1st, 2016.
Image via 24News.ca