There is only one actual major league team in Houston to ever win a world title. The Houston Rockets. And there is only one legit major league team in Houston that ever makes the effort to field a winning team every season. And yet there is only one legit major league professional team in this city that has continued problems with attendance.
This team is, of course, the Houston Rockets.
(I'm sorry soccer fans, but to me, the Dynamo don't count. Even with my limited understanding of soccer I know that MLS is considered throughout the world to be a minor league.)
The Rockets attendance figures have dipped a bit this season, and realizing that the economy is in the crapper, the Rockets announced yesterday that season ticket prices for next season will be frozen or reduced for 98-percent of Toyota Center's seats. Wow, a Houston team reducing ticket prices.
The Houston Astros didn't raise ticket prices for this season, but the Houston Texans thought the best way to reward mediocrity was to jack up the prices again. But then again, the Texans have never really seemed to care that much about the actual fans anyway.
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Now I like what the Rockets are doing. If the economy continues tanking, and there are no indications that things are suddenly going to turn around, then people aren't going to keep paying high prices for seats. But if the Rockets really want to impress me, if they really want to help out those poor souls who have to sit up by the roof, then they wouldn't stop at just reducing the ticket prices.
They should do something about the concession prices. That's what kills the fans, paying for the food and drinks. It's nice that Les Alexander wants to help out those people who are struggling because of the economy, but cutting a few dollars off of the price of the ticket doesn't mean anything if somebody still has to pay five bucks for a Coke or a bottle of water. I think that people have been convicted for price gouging during hurricane evacuations but who have charged less than what Les Alexander charges inside of Toyota Center.
If he really wants to become fan friendly, then cutting ticket prices is a start. But it's a pretty useless start if there is nothing done about the rest of the costs associated. And the same thing applies to Drayton McLane. Sure it's nice to keep ticket costs in check, but failing to control concession costs wipes out all of the savings associated with the ticket costs.
Then again, perception is what counts most, and the perception is that costs are dropping. So bravo to the Rockets and the Astros for winning the war of perception. It's a shame they won't really do anything about reality, though.