To no one's surprise Dan Guerrero jumped on the opportunity to play up Coach Jim Mora's recruiting success even though he personally had nothing to do with it. He led his lame "blog" talking up Mora's recruiting success even though he has no clue about the details of our football program. Remember this is the same guy who has never been seen around Spaulding Field and literally has no clue about "what's wrong with Spaulding."
The clumsy, tone deaf, predictable, Baghdad-Bobesque PR play from Guerrero's lackeys is not surprising to us. We knew it was coming. What is worth taking note of is the cynically craven attempt by UCLA athletic department to fleece Bruin fans by appealing to their (once again) optimistic vibes around the football program. Here are Dan's words urging UCLA fans to buy football tickets for this coming season (emphasis added):
Football season ticket holders should have received by now your 2012 renewal information, complete with a video message from Coach Mora. Upon reviewing the email and renewal form, you may have noticed that the season ticket package is slightly higher in price than it was in 2011.
Let me assure all of you that those prices are a one-year anomaly, brought on by a rare confluence of events: namely a seven-game home schedule (there were only six home contests in 2011) and hosting marquee games against both USC (which has the same base ticket price as last year) and Nebraska. Keeping this in mind, we made sure that single game prices for five of the seven home games remained at their same levels from a year ago.
I hope this gives you better insight on how we set the pricing this year. What's very important to keep in mind is that Coach Mora and the team need your support more than ever in their quest to get us back to relevance on the national scene. This home football schedule is one of the most competitive we've had in years. Along with big games against national power Nebraska and our crosstown rival USC, it also includes match-ups with three bowl teams in Houston, Utah and Stanford.
There are so many issues with these grafs, I don't know where to begin. I will start with the note on Dan calling "seven-game home schedule" a "one-year anomaly." That is another data point that confirms our assertions that neither Dan nor any of his cronies in the department has any clue about strategic scheduling that'd put UCLA to make runs at big season every year. If Dan and his staff had any idea about intelligent scheduling in modern CFB landscape, they wouldn't make excuses for next year's schedule as an anomaly.
There is another huge issue that becomes apparent from Dan's words. They indicate that his athletic department has no clue how to leverage fans' excitement around the program into generating big crowds, as they only know how to go for short term dollars with no grasp of long term interest of the program. Let's get to it after the jump.
Dan says he "made sure" that UCLA kept "single game prices for five of the seven home games" same at last year's level. Here is how the prices break down for single game tickets for non-donors (via palafox):
Oregon State: $37
Southern Cal: $85
Per that breakdown UCLA is charging fans higher rates for 3 of home football games. I wonder if the Stanford rate is similar to the one from Cal game last year.
But here is the bigger issue. Think about the optics. Guerrero and his associates have given us program that has produced a losing season 2 out of last 3 years. Bruins have not gone to a Rose Bowl in more than a decade. We don't need to repeat our record against Southern Cal during Guerrero's failed tenure and how his football hires turned out to be total fails. At a time when UCLA athletic department should be going out of its way to accommodate UCLA fans - especially in these economic times - they are once again shamelessly jacking up prices, jumping on cheap opportunity to market around an opposing team. BTW, they did the same thing for the Texas game last year - jacking up the price for that game - which eventually was played in an half empty Rose Bowl.
There is another important and relevant issue pertaining to jacking up the prices so heavily for the Nebraska game. School is not going to be in session yet for that game which will be the first marquee national appearance for the Mora regime. One would think UCLA athletic department will pull out all the stops right now to make sure the student section is all filled up at the Rose Bowl. Instead of jacking up prices making the game less attractive to fanbase in LA, it should be engaged in an all out campaign pleading students and their families to come out for this game and support the Bruins. They send the exact opposite message when they come out and charge twice as much for this game compared to other ones and make excuses for it.
To build a fan base, the Athletic Dept. should heighten the sense of scarcity. Reduce the ticket prices and ironically, the perceived value of each ticket will rise. If people know there's more competition for a ticket, which happens when tickets are more affordable, they'll try harder to get one, and then attendance will rise. Immediate ticket revenue for UCLA will be lower (90,000 fans at $18 a ticket < 60,000 fans at $37 a ticket), but overall benefits will be higher (more fans supporting the team at each game, more merchandise sales, larger base of fans who've been to a game and will attend future football and basketball games, more donors to UCLA over time, better media imagery, greater attraction for top recruits, etc.). These things should be obvious to the Morgan Center's staff, but apparently they are not.
None of that it's surprising to us. After all this is the same Chianti Dan run athletic department that wanted more Fresno State fans to show up for our home game at the Rose Bowl. It's the same athletic department that has no clue about how to repair our program's tarnished brand. Still it is incredibly insulting to see this athletic department try to fleece excited UCLA fans for few bucks, when it is too cheap itself to pay for soda and refreshments at its own signing day event.
So to sum it up this is yet another cluster you know what from Chianti Dan. His awkward and pathetic weekly spin this week once again exposed the total dysfunction and incompetence that has paralyzed UCLA's athletic department. Of course all of that raises the same disturbing question about how does UCLA still justify retaining Guerrero as the highest paid athletic director in the conference, making over $700,000 a year only to oversee the total degradation of our major revenue programs? How long will Bruin alums, students, fans let Chianti and his cronies to gouge away?