Name one team in Houston and sport with more tradition and history than the Houston Astros and baseball. The Houston Texans and Dynamo are automatically out of the conversation because they were established in this millennium. Houston Aeros no longer exist, but even if they were still around only the name is the same. However, they were not the same team that had Gordie Howe in the line-up in the 70s.
The Houston Rockets are only the only team that’s even in the running, because they were moved here in 1969 from San Diego, 7 years after the Astros. Only taking into account age, the Astros have been here longer when you count the Colt .45s. That’s not even taking into account the fact that professional baseball has actually been around in Houston since the late 1800s.
This history and tradition is something I wanted to personally be a part of and that’s why I became a season ticket holder for the Houston Astros. I had been attending games since I was born, and you did not have to pay for parking at the Houston Astrodome. It is with great honor and pride that later in life, I became an owner of a pair of seats from the Dome.
When the day came to sign up for tickets, the Astros were already part of the 100 loss season club,and were going to be starting their final season in the National League. It’s obvious I did not join the team because of their winning ways. My love for the team was just so great that I wanted to support them financially even though it is difficult to attend 80+ games a season.
However, I will not be renewing next season, and the tragic part is that I finally have a bright future to look forward to with the current prospects on the team. Who doesn’t dream of George Springer‘s sophomore season and think of him playing with a year of major league experience under his belt? That’s just who we can see on the roster now, because there are still many players at Oklahoma City, Texas, and California that are future major leaguers.
The reason I’m not renewing is because my loyalty has not been rewarded by the front office. I’ve been a season ticket holder for every single team in Houston and I’m including the Aeros. When I compare the customer service among the teams, the Astros are second to last only behind the Texans. I chose to look past because I thought eventually things would change.
However, all of a sudden, I read that prices are going to be raised even though we were just dealt dynamic pricing a couple of seasons ago. All of this after not really witnessing that much of an improvement in the standings. Sure we may not have another 100-loss season, but we aren’t exactly in playoff contention. Our prices are being raised solely on the hope and hype of a few prospects. All of this while having one of the worst customer service personnel in the Houston sports landscape.
It was then that I realized there are two reasons why our prices are being increased. We are being charged for two things, the past and the future. For anybody that’s been attending games regularly, there are people around the park that have become constants in their seats. There is an older couple in my section that has only missed games when one of them have been hospitalized, but after being discharged they were at an Astros home game the next day or shortly thereafter.
The Astros organization knows that people that have accepted Astros tickets as just another expense in their weekly budget will not leave the team because they don’t recall a time without season tickets. Then there is the other end of the spectrum. There are currently people that have been attending games on just pure hype and hope that they are witnessing the stars of tomorrow. Why shouldn’t they take advantage of the hype surrounding George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Jon Singleton?
This increase also comes at a time when it has been reported that a TV deal is close to being reached that’ll give more people access to the Astros’ games. This added exposure will only make more people want to purchase tickets to future games. If I were a businessman this would seem like a great opportunity to make some money.
However, sometimes loyalty should be rewarded and not punished by an organization. This city may not attend Minute Maid Park in record numbers like they have in the past, but there is still some sort of demand for merchandise and tickets. We are not like the Miami Marlins, this city still has a special place in it’s heart for this team. These fans deserve to be rewarded not robbed because of a business opportunity.
Tags: Houston Astros