I actually can buy it. It seems to be a sports business trend that I have noticed taking off in other leagues. I know both the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes did it in the NHL. Reduce or end comp tickets and stop dumping cheap tickets on secondary markets (something teams claim they don't do but it seems pretty well known that they do). It seems to be primarily an attempt to prevent season tickets from being devalued by ludicrously cheap secondary market tickets. The result can be that actual attendance declines but paid attendance goes up.
It's the age old question of whether to maintain a certain price point for your product or just try to get as many butts in seats as possible.
Some surprising news given that attendance is down. I guess they stopped providing so many comp tickets and flooding the secondary markets with cheap tickets (anecdotally this seems to be true; I was able to sell tickets for games I could not attend this season for a lot more than the past two years).
We enjoyed a tremendous year, due to the hard work and effort from the club’s executive leadership team and front-office staff. We generated the highest revenue figures in franchise history this year, which included ticket sales revenue growing by 14 percent. For the first time in club history, we had 100 percent renewal from our marketing partners, and increased the number of total partners by 25 percent. The food and beverage per-caps at Red Bull Arena reached an all-time high, culminating in a total revenue record for the organization.
Merchandise and apparel sales in the Bull Shop, our team store located in Red Bull Arena, increased over 35 percent in 2018, while online sales skyrocketed nearly 55 percent. This is largely due to the team’s success, our fan-friendly players and the pride our supporters have in representing the club with the new red jersey that was released this season after years of fans campaigning for a jersey that reflected the team’s campaigns of ‘Red Together’ and ‘NYisRED.’