Friday, February 06, 2009

Rip City asks, "Recession? What Recession?"

Which one doesn’t fit?

a) Housing prices are falling. Bye-bye equity.

b) Car dealers can’t give away inventory.

c) The unemployment rate is soaring.

d) The Blazers are raising their ticket prices 6.7 percent

The correct answer is d) ... I guess.

It’s all a matter of supply and demand, sports reporter Jason Quick of The Oregonian tells us today.

The supply part I get. The supply of seats in the Rose Garden is fixed. The Blazer franchise finally has managed to hire law-abiding, yet competitive players. The place is selling out — at current prices.

It’s the demand part I can’t figure.

Blazer fans apparently don’t turn the pages from the sports section to the business section. Or open their 401 (k) statements.

If they did, they would join the rest of us in thinking about how to hack away at discretionary spending. You’d think Blazer tickets would be right up there at the top of the cut list — along with a spur-of-the-moment trip to Paris, a new car and a five-course dinner in the Pearl.

You’d think. But you’d be wrong.

When it comes to sports fans, we are in the world of fanaticism and fantasy. What do reason and a bank statement have to do with the thrill of victory on hardwood or turf?

The economy can be tanking, but as long at the Blazers are on a Rip City tear, Blazer owner Paul Allen can jack up his prices — the real world economy be damned.

For the ’09-’10 season, that means that the best seats in the house will go for $140 a pop, up from $130. The whole season will cost a cool $6,160.

It’s anybody’s guess what Paul will be asking for beer and parking.

If there is any consolation, it’s that the nose-bleed, blue collar sections won’t cost more next year. For the pleasure of watching ant-sized millionaires race around on a court the size of a playing card, you still will pay $9.

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