Atlanta Braves Selling Tickets For As Low As $2.60/Game. What’s The Catch?

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As a lifelong Phillies fan, especially one whose formative years were spent watching the Atlanta Braves repeatedly mow down the rest of the National League for the better part of two decades, it’s not without some joy that I revel in the fact that the last-place Braves have had to resort to rock-bottom pricing to get fans in seats. At the same time, as someone who cares about protecting consumers, I have to point out the fine print in this bargain.

The Braves, who are in the final year of play at Atlanta’s Turner Field before moving out to their new SunTrust Park digs in the suburbs, are now offering “Monthly Passes” for $39 to convince deal-minded Braves fans to come out to see a team with a current home record of 6-23.

It works like this: You pay the monthly fee and get access to all the home games for that month. There aren’t any assigned seats, but with Turner Field frequently at less than one-third capacity, you won’t be stuck in standing room.

On game day, you’ll get a text alert telling you where your assigned seat is. You accept your seats and get your scannable tickets through the MLB Ballpark app.

As points out, the $39/month price means tickets are as cheap as $2.60/game, a fraction of the regular ticket price. So what’s the catch?

There’s nothing terribly evil about the deal, but there are a few things to keep in mind before signing up for the Monthly Pass:

1. Auto-Renewal: Atlanta and other teams — including my currently lackluster Phillies — have offered monthly passes before, but it’s usually only a one-off thing. For example, here in Philadelphia, it’s only for home games in the month of June.

The new Braves pass will continue through the rest of this season, and subscriptions will auto-renew each month through September unless you cancel. However, the team says is will send out an email before each monthly renewal, instructing subscribers on how they can cancel.

2. No Prorating: The $39/month price is not flexible. If you sign up for a pass mid-month, you won’t get a reduced rate.

So, for example, say you don’t subscribe until June 16. You’ll still pay the $39, but you’ll only get a maximum of nine games, as opposed to the 15 games for someone who takes advantage of the full pass.

While that raises your per-game average price to $4.33, that’s still nothing compared to a regular ticket price.

And remember, that while the tickets might be discounted, food and drinks are still the same price, so attending 5-6 games in a row can really add up, even if you’re basically getting in for free.

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