The Cubs sent me a survey about their recent Season Ticket Holder event they held about a month ago. You may remember it from such posts as this one. They wanted to know how well they were perceived and if it had helped to persuade me to renew my season tickets.
Most of it was grading various aspects like the videos, the Q&A, etc. as Very Satisfying, Satisfying, Moderately Satisfying, Unsatisfying or Very Unsatisfying or some variation of that theme. Pretty standard stuff that was all kind of spun to reflect that THEY thought it was awesome and you should too, but they were just checking how they could make it MORE awesome. I found myself giving them decent marks because the event itself was nice. They're under no obligation to communicate with us beyond sending us an invoice and menacing letter about the wait list. We'll call that the Trib Way. So it was nice. But it didn't make me want to commit to purchasing 38 games again (what Kris and I bought last year as our part of the package), so I wondered if I should change my answers to reflect that until I reached the end.
One of the last questions asked:
If this event did not impact your decision, please share why.
And they provided a text box for a free form answer. So this is what I wrote:
It was a very nice event, but it was a show. You are looking for feedback to improve your show, and I don't know what more could be done to improve on that (realistically).
At the end of the day, the point of all of the videos and presentations was to get attention away from the losses on the field for which we are all paying an extremely high price. That was done very well and we all saw the announcement that renewals are up as a result, so in that regard, keep up the good work.
However, given that I have become a connoisseur of the spin machine that works non-stop on Cubs fans since the Tribune days, it wasn't effective in changing my group's mind to drop our tickets.
Personally, I have been a supporter of the rebuild and the horrors that would result on the major league field as a result because few fans truly realized the dumpster fire the organization was in the last days of Trib ownership. It had to be burned to the ground and rebuilt, and I think the job so far has been amazing.
However, I am extremely disappointed in the continued lack of attention to the product on the major league field in the 3rd year of this project. After 2 years of absolute tanking, it would be nice to see some acquisitions that aren't simply trade bait or roster fillers.
At what point is the major league team going to learn to win so that the minor leaguers that are now moving through the system have a winning atmosphere to uphold, rather than having the weight of a crappy team and an impatient, pissy fanbase that will turn on any of these golden prospects the minute they show a weakness in their game?
I understand the TV deal isn't done. I understand the rooftop owners and other neighbors around Wrigley are making every step in the renovation a Sisyphean ordeal. I get it. Nothing has been as cut and dry as I'm sure even the most pessimistic models would show when the team was originally purchased from Zell. Revenues aren't what everyone thought they would be at this point in the process. I get it.
But where is the good faith on ownership's part? Cubs season ticket holders have been operating on good faith for the past two seasons with absolutely nothing to show for it. Tickets to most games haven't been worth the paper they've been printed on. But we buy them because we have faith in a future product. The last two worthless seasons have been the opportunity cost of a future we believe Theo and Jed and the rest can eventually deliver.
But when will we see anything besides slickly edited videos and promises of a bright future?
Part of the selling point in the rebuild was that this wasn't going to be like the Pirates or the Royals where they have to hope and pray that a good number of their top prospects all hit at once before they become too expensive to keep. We have been sold on a product where resources would be spent while the infrastructure was maintained and developed to keep a steady pipeline of cheaper impact pieces coming to the majors. So far, all we're seeing is the pipeline being built, but there is nothing for it to supplement.
So here we are on Year Three of the official rebuild and Year Five of the Ricketts ownership where we have paid a Top 5 average ticket price for absolute crap and nothing tangible to show for it. It is time for some good faith on the ownership's part knowing that the revenue will eventually be there (especially when the team starts winning actual baseball games).
We should get SOMETHING for all of the patience and loyalty through this process because let's not pretend that the ticket prices won't shoot through the roof the moment the games are actually worth attending. It was a nice hat, though.