Since 2017, Ali Beach and her husband have shared two tickets to the Crew season with her parents.
Last weekend, when the crew faced off against FC Cincinnati, Beach and her husband considered buying two tickets for one game with two friends who don’t go to many games but want to enter the “Hell Is Real” competition.
For tickets that weren’t at the top of the ballpark, Beach said the best price she could find was $100 per ticket, after fees. Her friends were not interested.
For non-season ticket holders who wanted to make a purchase in June, the cheapest seat outside the Nordecke fan section was $72. A week before the game, the same seat in the top corner of the court was $85, before fees.
While FC Cincinnati is the most expensive game of the year, other Crew tickets can still hit the wallet. Dispatch’s analysis of all 28 teams for seats outside the fan divisions showed that the crew offers the third most expensive ticket in the MLS.
“If I wasn’t a fan as hard as I am… I’d be like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m not going,'” Beach said.
The Crew only had one sale at Lower.com Field in 2021. There are a number of reasons for this, but price was undoubtedly one of them.
The Crew has five sales already this season, and with the team playing well – not to mention the recent addition of an exciting new player in Cucho Hernandez – they are on track to break the record for a single-season sale of seven set in 2015.
However, the crew is adjusting the prices to increase the selling rate.
“The goal is to always fill our building. If we need to adjust prices in certain areas to improve sales in that area, we will,” said Kristen Bernert, Chief Commercial Operations Staff.
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Crew tickets are among the most expensive in MLS
The Dispatch compared single-match ticket prices for all of the remaining MLS competitions this season and calculated the average for each team. Tickets had to be listed as club verified on Ticketmaster or the club’s website, and this analysis includes only those teams that had resale tickets listed.
The most expensive ticket in the MLS, listed as a resale, was Austin FC. LAFC was the only other team that cost more to watch in person than Columbus.
Compared to the new stadiums in Cincinnati and Nashville, the average single-game ticket price for a crew was more than $10. When The Crew visits Cincinnati, fans can enter to watch the “Hell is Real” competition for just $56.
Why is the crew lowering the costs of season tickets
After looking at the first two seasons at the new stadium and seeing which sections sold well and which sections didn’t, the crew is making major changes to their 2023 season ticket options, leading to lower prices in most areas.
“If they don’t find the value, we will work with them to find the seats that (will give them) the value and experience they want,” Bernert said.
Analyzing the season ticket base, the crew noticed that a lot of people were moving a section or two of the lower side seats to corner seats to save money, specifically to save about $30 per game. To counteract this, the crew raised the price of corner seats by $9 per game to $55 and lowered the price of the nearest side seats by $12 per game to $64.
In general, the crew is reducing ticket costs per game next season in all but two areas – corner flags and the last 10 rows of the upper midfield. The total price of a season pass could go up because fans will get 18 matches with the addition of the League Cup competition between MLS and Liga MX starting in 2023. However, on average per match, season tickets for seats on the East Side, the closest lower and upper bowl have been reduced. Corner flags are between 16% to 41%, with the cheapest season ticket now priced at $33 per game.
Fans can expect single game tickets to drop as well in those divisions as they are tied to season ticket prices.
“It’s natural to constantly evaluate your prices, just as we constantly evaluate the benefits we offer,” Bernert said. “It’s about making sure we’re right about the value we offer and the experience we provide.”
The main focus now for Crew on building their fan base is bringing in groups, specifically youth football teams and organizations. To date, the crew has provided more than 5,000 tickets to different communities in disadvantaged areas.
“We feel very strongly about our ability to own Ohio,” Bernert said. “We see a lot of fans coming from Northeast Ohio. We see a lot of fans coming from Northwest Ohio. We feel like this is really building out of Central Ohio.”
Crew fan Robin Duffy and his wife chose not to renew their 2022 season tickets. Their tickets from 2019 at Historic Crewe tripled to $3,000 because they converted seats for the club, and while they purchased those tickets for 2021 with some credits remaining from the 2020 season, no They can justify more spending.
“Football for All” is a great slogan, Duffy said, “but if not all the people in our city and region can afford to attend games, that slogan rings a little bit.”