I’m kind of an idiot when it comes to the concept of seat licenses, mostly because I’ve never considered buying season tickets for anything and thus haven’t been required to think much about it. Beyond knowing that they have been a part of every new park, stadium, and arena to open over the past couple of decades, I don’t know how they really work.
One thing I thought I knew about them, however, was that you don’t go selling seat licenses to people who already have season tickets. I guess I was wrong about that, though, because the Cubs seem to be at least thinking about doing just that:
Seat licenses. On the final day of the last convention of the Tribune Co. era, the idea of selling seat licenses at Wrigley Field was termed a “possibility.”
Asked about handing down season tickets to relatives, Frank Maloney, the director of ticket operations, said the “fundamental rule is you can’t reassign tickets, but if it’s in your immediate family, we certainly will do that.”
Mark McGuire, the executive vice president of business operations, followed by saying: “This is the positive to a controversial thing called seat licenses. If a seat-license situation ever came up, it sort of makes a legal right to whoever holds the license to do what they want with the tickets. We don’t have that. Consequently, we’re left in some sort of a fine area. Sometimes we joke there’s a percentage of the season ticket-holder group that’s deceased.”
Asked directly about seat licenses, McGuire said the new owner would “look at all opportunities to figure out what they’ve got to do to renovate Wrigley Field to make it the way they’d like it, and that would be one of the things that’s a possibility.”
So what, do you institute a seat license each time a season ticket holder dies, or does everyone who already has season tickets get socked with a big fee in order to hang on to them? The former option seems like it would be hard to administer, the latter seems really damn unfair. If I’m missing something, someone please fill me in on how it would work.