Cubs season ticket holders can start thinking about next year. The team sent a letter Friday to its season ticket holders to explain the renewal process for 2016, prepare them for an increase in cost and offer a chance to relocate if desired.
The Cubs posted a 24-game turnaround and won 97 games in 2015, reaching the postseason for the first time since 2008. Colin Faulkner, vice president, sales and partnerships, said Friday that nearly 1.2 million people sought to purchase Cubs postseason tickets. There now are more than 73,000 on the Cubs' season ticket waiting list.
According to the Cubs' data, the average ticket price increased more than 20 percent from 2014 to 2015 on the secondary market. Postseason tickets often were being sold for three to four times face value. The Cubs expect the secondary market pricing to continue to increase in 2016.
"It's clear there's demand for our tickets right now," Faulkner said. "Weighing all the data available to us, we've made the decision to adjust prices to all sections of the ballpark. It will vary on season ticket holders' location, but the average increase is around 10 percent. There are some that will be slightly lower than that, some slightly higher."
Faulkner said he understands no one likes to pay more but said "the goal is to remain competitive for the long term and provide our fans with great facilities, great customer service and value as a season ticket holder with meaningful baseball."
How much a season ticket holder's increase will be is outlined in each individual letter. If they want to renew, season ticket holders must make a 20 percent payment by Dec. 2. The remaining 80 percent balance is due Jan. 12.
If a season ticket holder wants a different view, the Cubs will offer a relocation event online on Dec. 8. This is the second year the team has offered this option online because of ongoing construction at Wrigley Field. However, Faulkner cautioned that he expected the majority of season ticket holders to renew, which would mean there will not be many options to move.
The Cubs have kept prices relatively flat over the last four years under the Ricketts ownership with minimal increases for the best seats, Faulkner said.
"This year, we saw tremendous progress both on and off the field and have made good on a lot of the promises we've talked about to our fans over the past few years," Faulkner said. "It's apparent we've turned the corner and gone deep into the postseason, and playing meaningful games in October has illustrated that we're going in the right direction and things are different than the last few years."
The Cubs will announce the date when single-game tickets go on sale at a later time, although it was expected to be in late February. Next week, the Cubs will expected to provide information on the ticket packages available, which will be for sale in time for the holidays.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.