CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Axios) - Charlotte FC recently began sending out season ticket [renewal] letters, and prices are up an average [of] 4% compared to their inaugural season.
Jeremy Mikell, a season ticket holder, tweeted his premium, front row seats went up in price by 29%.
- “Is this any way to treat your Inaugural Season Ticket-holders? Who were there from Day Zero. Who are your ambassadors for the team. The ones spreading the gospel that IS Charlotte FC.” Mikell tweeted. “We are the originals.”
Why it matters: The club’s season ticket prices are among the highest in the sport, and they entered Major League Soccer earlier this year with the league’s highest season ticket prices.
By the numbers: There are less than 200 front row, non-club level sideline seats. These seats rose between 29-33%. Plus 45% of non-club level sections saw a decrease in cost for next season, per Charlotte FC.
The club’s current season ticket holders who opt to renew will receive founding member pricing, also called preferred pricing, meaning existing ticket holders are grandfathered in at a lower rate than someone who wants to buy a season ticket for the 2023 season.
Zoom out: Atlanta’s 2023 pricing also includes founding member pricing. For instance, a founding member’s supporters section general admission season ticket would cost $460 compared to a new member’s $530 season ticket, both of which are a decrease from 2022 by $8 and $28 respectively.
- Prices, however, for both clubs rose in some sections and fell in others.
- By comparison, Charlotte’s supporter’s section season tickets increased $2 per game per seat. Over 18 games, that’s an extra $36 for the season and a 7% increase for the section. The new average price for the section will be $29 per game compared to this season’s $27 average.
- Of note: Expect to see Charlotte’s single-game ticket pricing for the 2023 season after the regular season schedule is released. Season tickets are still for the lower bowl only.
Between the lines: Season tickets provide perks, like access to the league’s new streaming service through Apple TV and season ticket holder events. Plus fans are guaranteed an 18th match, with the inaugural League’s Cup between MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX kicking off next summer.
The big picture: Charlotte FC’s front office set an ambitious attendance goal of averaging more than 30,000 fans per match. They’ve accomplished that, with only one home match drawing just below 30,000. Their attendance is among the best in the league.
- The team also promised they would provide affordable tickets, and they’ve offered limited $15 tickets to every match, something they will continue to do in 2023.
- Of note: These tickets are available two weeks prior to the match and must be purchased from the box office at Bank of America Stadium.
The bottom line: Prices are going up, and it’s not just in Charlotte.
What happens with personal seat licenses? You can keep it and renew your season ticket.
- A marketplace to resell your PSL through the club is coming soon, similar to what the Panthers provide. You cannot sell your PSL unless it is paid in full.
- You can do a private transfer, as long as your PSL is fully paid. This will still require paperwork with the club, but it won’t be as public as the marketplace. For instance, you can give your PSL to a friend or a family member.
Of note: Charlotte FC became the first MLS club to institute PSLs, something the Panthers used to help build Bank of America Stadium. Money generated from PSLs helped fund $50 million in stadium renovations ahead of Charlotte FC’s inaugural season. They’re a one-time fee, not an annual fee.
- PSLs were meant to provide fans with a “sense of ownership,” former club president Nick Kelly told me.
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