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Will Lower Prices Help Fill Mosaic Stadium?

Published: Wednesday, May 24th 2023, 4:05pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


At Saturday’s State of the Franchise Address in Saskatoon, President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Roughriders Craig Reynolds took questions from media and from fans regarding the state of the team. Rider Writer & Historian Rob Vanstone put out an article outlining some of the interesting tidbits from the event and there are a few things that stick out to me.


First, Reynolds said they are really focusing on the fans and game-day experience. Good. For the last decade or so, it’s been too focused on corporate love-ins. I get it though, they put in a lot of money to the team, it’s a business, I know how it all works. But truthfully, the fans don’t care. Maybe it’s my absolute love for old Taylor Field, but I feel like there is just something missing at new Mosaic Stadium regarding the entire game day. Yeah, there’s the party in the park before the game, but it’s just not the same during the game. I’d love to know more about what specifically the team is going to do during the game to keep fans entertained during TV timeouts, but I guess we’ll see in just under a week when the Riders have their first preseason game against BC. I do hope that there is stuff happening with fans, especially younger ones, not just corporate commercials playing on the big screen. 


Reynolds also mentioned a price drop for around 9,000 tickets, which is great, get people in the doors! But the thing that stood out to me was when Reynolds said they are close to announcing a $5 menu at the concessions. FINALLY! I have stopped buying food at games because it isn’t worth it, it’s just too damn expensive. And that’s just me, I couldn’t imagine what a family of 4 thinks when it costs them nearly $100 just to feed themselves after spending at least another $100 on tickets. We’ve all been harping on the team to get prices on concessions lowered since Mosaic Stadium opened, because it’s simply astronomical now. Hopefully, a cheaper concession menu will convince more people (like myself) to spend a bit more in-stadium and it can stop deterring fans from going to games in the first place. 


Is it time to look at the pricing model of ALL seats, not just a quarter of them? I just looked at what tickets are still available for the team’s home opener… and yikes. It appears there are still about half the seats available for the game. I knew that they lost a big handful of season ticket holders over the last couple of years, but I didn’t think it was THAT bad. I know as a business you don’t want to devalue your product, but is a price drop for only 9,000 of the 33,000 seats enough? Will that get people in the doors in the first place, allowing them to spend more money on merchandise or concessions? So far, it doesn’t really look like it. Granted, we are still a few days away from preseason and the casual fan hasn’t started caring yet, but even Labour Day has about a third of the seats still available, when there is normally just a thousand or two left at this point.


Ultimately, a winning product will get people in the stands, but has the damage been done by the Riders to the fans? Have they outpriced themselves out of a full stadium? As of right now, it appears so. Hopefully, a cheaper food menu, focusing on fans first instead of corporate love-ins and lower priced tickets can get Mosaic Stadium filled again.


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