Friday, January 11, 2008

The Cauldron

There's been a lot of talk lately in blogs and on message boards about the Cauldron and it's location at Community America Ballpark. The arguments have gone from the pricing of the Cauldron season ticket to the support of the section.

The price for one season ticket in the Cauldron for this coming season is $299 for a 15 game regular season, and apparently 3 special game tickets. So over the course of the season, people are paying $16.61 for a ticket to the game. Of course that's if the Wizards use all 3 special game tickets this season. Which personally I don't see happening. Usually you get 2 special game tickets, 1 for the first round of the playoffs and one for the conference final. Does this mean the Wizards have a friendly with a team on the horizon for the coming season, or are they just adding the extra ticket so that they can make the ticket prices per ticket for ALL season tickets look lower?

Since we haven't played a friendly at home since 1997. I have my doubts that it's for a friendly.

Many people that have been part of the Cauldron for years are now having to look at possibly relocating to the berm where the tickets are cheaper. They aren't doing so without complaining though. A big part of the Cauldron's growth this past season was the fact that the Cauldron was the cheapest ticket for the games. Will it still be so without that fact this season? That's hard to tell.

What can Cauldron members who are pissed about the price and the move out of the section do? Accept it? Or do like La Porra has done and be organized? Kansas City's Argentine supporters group received discounted tickets last season for the Cauldron, and I would not be surprised to see them receive it again this season.

My suggestion is to get organized. Start the push for dues or to get the Cauldron more organized. Supporters groups all around the league are able to have some kind of pull with the front office because the group is organized. Paying members of the Red Bulls, ESC get discounted season tickets as a perk of being paying members of the group. Barra Brava lists some of their benefits on their website. Included in their benefits are discounted tickets and even discounted parking among other things. I'm sure that other supporters groups have similar benefits too. Why can't the Wizards work with the Cauldron's leadership to try to get similar benefits for the paid Cauldron members if and when they start collecting dues?

That can't be the only benefit for members though. There has to be more to it then that. And all of it can't come from the team. Barra Brava has t-shirts, the Midnight Riders list their benefits on their website. Those extra benefits have to come from the group itself.

This is not to say that the section should become a reserved section for only those paying dues, no. The section should still be GA for the group of the group.

If you agree, contact the Cauldron leadership, all their emails are on the website, and tell them you want the group more organized.

This has been,
Baines Right Leg


Anonymous said...

Even if not all 18 are played, the tickets are still basically 16.61 because unused tickets will roll over to the next season.

And it seems to me that the Cauldron has been trying to organize for a while - with much push back from the general group actually.

But good post overall.

I'd still rather pay almost 17 per game and stand on concrete than have to sit on grass.

Anonymous said...

But it doesn't make sense as to why they'd have 18 game tickets unless they did it to help justify the cost of the season tickets. The extra game cuts the price per game for tickets down so it doesn't look like as much of a raise compared to last year. There's no chance that all 3 will be used. Why add 3 "special game tickets" when chances are very low you're going to use all 3, unless you're trying to cover something else. The 3 were just added to make the price look better. Good post Right leg.

Anonymous said...

anonymous #2, you state "There's no chance that all 3 will be used." I would love to know where you get your information? I'm not saying all 3 will be used, but when you state as fact that all 3 will not be used, it makes me wonder how you know that already...

szazzy said...

Barra Brava's discounted tickets are still significantly higher than Cauldron tickets.

I can only imagine the moaning and insults from our group if we had to pay DC prices "just for RFK".

Being an expert in virtually everything, I'm sure Wizardscharter could give us a detailed rundown of why they should easily be able to have 10 dollar tickets, sign Zidane, and eliminate black from MLS at the same time...if only they cared enough about the fans to get their head out their ass long enough to let him run the franchise.

Anonymous said...

I state it as fact because the team hasn't hosted a friendly at home since 97. They're playing in a minor league baseball stadium, meaning attracting any type of opposition for a friendly worth having is not likely at all to happen.

Also, does anyone honestly believe right now that the Wizards are going to have 2 home playoff games next year? The way we're "rebuilding" (opps not supposed to say that word) we'll be lucky to make the playoffs.

szazzy, I don't think the fact that the BB's tickets are more expensive then the Cauldron was the author's point. His/Her point was that BB gets discounted tickets because their group is organized. It had nothing to do with the price.

szazzy said...

Barra Brava sell their own tickets. The Cauldron can't even get core members to email nominations in or respond to simple requests for help? The people that make up the two groups are different.

I'd love to see the group have more funds for projects but think people are overplaying what kind of price break their "organization" gets them over what the consideration the Cauldron already gets. In DC they would kill for the chance to buy 16 dollar tickets (or 10 dollars like last year).

If extra game tickets in KC that don't get used they are refunded or rolled over. What's the problem?

szazzy said...

The few families and individuals that are moving to the berm wouldn't have paid 25$ a ticket either. Yes it does make a difference what amount of actual dollars they are paying.

How much cheaper could a "Cauldron discount" realistically have made the ticket?

Anonymous said...

No it doesn't, the standard of living in DC is quite different from the standard here in KC. Making a $25 ticket less of a head turner for DC fans then for KC fans.

I bet a Cauldron discount could get down to at least $15 if not a dollar lower then that.

Anonymous said...

Okay so are we selling the tickets too? Are we organizing a boycott if we don't like their idea for a price? Where's our leverage when they do all the sales work and determine how full the section is?

I agree there is much that can be done to make the Cauldron better and I think some sort of paid membership would be helpful in raising funds, and making our group and voice stronger, but I've also seen firsthand the lack of people volunteering time, responding to calls for help, or offering any sort of viable plan or specific details.

People just expect 5-6 people to come up with all the ideas, make all the contacts, raise all the funds, and then voila - we have this amazing group!

Yet when said leadership asks for help and input, you can practically hear the crickets.

If you are unhappy with who was elected to leadership, you had your chance recently to nominate someone or yourself for these positions to affect change directly.

They are also always looking for people to take on a project even if a position didn't appeal to you - as it didn't to me - this website being a perfect example of why.

I'll tell you what. I'll give you $2.61 at every game. All you have to do is lead the way on creating the membership plan and solidifying all the details.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to include the Processing fee ($5 per season seat) and the Shipping fee ($10 per order)

Anonymous said...

I bet we could get a "Cauldron discount" on our season tickets, but we would have to have more than the usual 5 people interested.

I would LOVE for the Cauldron to become a full-fledged, highly organized, membership-paying section. However until more than the same 5 or 6 people are willing to be involved and make it happen, the efforts of the leadership group dont mean anything.

People are on here bitching about $5 processing fees, $10 shipping fees, and a $1.61 raise per ticket ($1.61!!!!!!!); do you REALLY think people are going to PAY to be a member of a Cauldron supporters group?

There has to be a group effort made for this to happen, and in that regards I thank you very, very much for posting about our needs to be organized. But to suggest that the leadership group is the reason why we are not more organized is flat wrong.

Anonymous said...

If you add in the processing fee and shipping cots and then compare this season's price to the $10 deal last season it is way more than $1.61 per ticket.

If you consider there is no kids ticket either, it becomes very difficult for Cauldron members with families to stay in the Cauldron and choose the berm instead.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be like 10 families choosing the berm. Who wants to sit on grass and be told to shutup all the time?

Anonymous said...

We can probably get rid of the processing and shipping fees too if they didn't have to pay employees to sell tickets to our section.

Still haven't heard anyone volunteer to do that one.

Anonymous said...

Including all hidden fees it is $315 for 18 games, that comes out at $17.50 per game.

Compared to $10/game last season.

It is not $1.61, it is $7.50 increase per game per person.

You bring a friend, spouse, a child? It adds up fast.

Anonymous said...

Wow – Baines posts again! Long time, no's been so long I almost forgot about the blog, but enough of the niceties.

Tell us please, how is it not conceivable that we could have 3 extra games this year? Try this on for size: 2 USOC + 1 playoff…or hopefully 2 playoffs + 1 USOC…or 1 USOC + 1 playoff + Atlas. There are other combos but you get the point. And worst case we get any unused games applied to 09 season ticks, which would take away 09 revenue if I’m not mistaken. So isn’t it in their best interests to play the games THIS year?

Another thought, the ballpark holds less than what we averaged last year. They keep the status quo and they make less money right off the bat. So how to make up the gap? One way is to raise prices, another is to play an extra game. Or maybe a little of both in this case.

Now on to the discount issue, the rest of the bleachers are $324 vs our $299. Are we not getting a $25 discount for what looks like better bleachers in a better location?? Am I missing something???

Baines you are right to bring up the power of getting organized. The Agries brought 40-50 people every game. How many full timers are there really in the Cauldron...10...15?? That’s barely enough to qualify for a group discount let alone trying to negotiate a better relationship with the FO. So come on, let’s get organized!

Anonymous said...

As for the right honorable poster who claims a $7.50 increase over last year. Next time, please, just say no...because you are smoking crack. But thanks for the laugh. Ever heard of apples and oranges? Cause that’s what that is buddy.

And if you are really want to compare things, wern't there service fees last year to? And as far as I know the Agries didn’t get any benies with their discounted tickets, like when we got the merchandise discounts, our own entrance, guaranteed free stuff and that party in the rain at the zoo? Did they?

Anonymous said...

The Argies didn't get any "benies" as you call them, because there tickets were free until very late in the season.

Anonymous said...

11:51 anon. Any USOC game isn't an acceptable way for the extra tickets. For years USOC tickets have been at most $5. So by that count, season ticket holders will be getting robbed even more if the team chooses to use special game tickets for USOC games.

Anonymous said...

3:00 anon. Well yes, at BV that was about right. Much cheaper to rent than the 'head = cheaper ticks for us.

But you gotta think those days are over. Now that the embilical cord to the 'head has been cut, would OnGoal really play a meaningful game at a HS field. Just doesn't seem likely to me. A full house at CA gives us a much better home field advantage than BV.

Anonymous said...

It depends on what the rent is for CAB compared to BV and what the schedule is for the T-Bones. That could force the Wizards to go to BV.