The Phoenix Suns need to fully convert on-the-fence fans…like me

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Winning over on-the-fence Phoenix Suns fans: Make games more accessible

Whether you want to believe it or not, most ticket revenue is not generated from the average fans buying single-game tickets in the upper level. The real money is made by selling out suites to corporations not just for a few games here and there, but with season-long packages.

So when news broke that ticket prices rocketed up for next season to help pay for Talking Stick Resort Arena’s $230 million renovations, understandably, many average fan season ticket holders were outraged.

At the time, I argued ticket price increases were a necessary evil for the ultra nice environment that will be introduced next season (whenever that will be), and while I still think this is true, a gradual progression would have been more palpable.

And speaking of the in-game experience, how about some more reasonable prices for concessions? Look no further than what the Atlanta Falcons did when they unveiled their new arena to see a great example of how to do this successfully.

In 2018, when the majestic Mercedez-Benz Stadium opened, the team decreased the price of food and drinks by 50 percent and total revenue actually went up. It turns out more fans are willing to buy a hotdog and nachos at the game when they aren’t the same price as a filet at Mastro’s.

And while the Atlanta ownership excluded alcoholic beverages in this discount, the in-town Arizona Diamondbacks are known to have the cheapest beer deal in Major League Baseball, an attractive headline for those looking for a reason to come see a team without much success in recent years play in person.

The renovated arena boasts what is being dubbed as the largest sports bar in Phoenix, but $14 beers don’t exactly lend themselves to high patronage no matter how fancy the countertop is.

More than just saving the fans a few bucks, this inviting message sends a message to the average, on-the-fence fan, that the team ownership cares about creating a community where everyone can come and cheer on the Suns, not just cater toward corporate executives.

The new arena renovation will be great, but let’s make it so that those borderline fans will come see it not just once, but regularly.