'Our fans weren't happy with it': Wind Surge drop extra ballpark fee after complaints
If you walk inside Riverfront stadium to watch the Wind Surge, you might notice something on your receipt if you buy food or some merchandise, or rather, something that's missing.
“We pulled the plug on the BDF, effective with this home stand, Tuesday, the 21st" team CEO Jordan Kobritz told KAKE news Thursday. The BDF, or ballpark development fee was an 8% fee imposed on all sales inside the ballpark stating this season.
Kobritz says the money was being collected to "help a recover the investment that the team made in the ballpark, almost $10 million. And also, because that investment covered a lot of the technology that is used to run the different systems in the ballpark, the scoreboard, the PA system, things of that nature."
But the team faced push back when the fee was first discovered, both by fans and city leaders. Kobritz says "One fan that I talked to say that he went to 13 games last year, brought his son 11 times. And he said, honestly, he was a little offended when he heard about it."
So Kobritz says after talking with his staff, they decided to cut the fee. "Gas cost has gone up 60% In the last year, and food costs have gone up 15%. Plus, and in our business, labor costs have gone up 20%. 8% didn't sound like you know much of a fee to, to impose, but our fans thought otherwise. So, we pulled the plug on it."
This move will save fans at the game money this year, as Kobritz says the team will not be raising prices the rest of the season. However, next year could be a different story.
"At the end of the season, looking forward to 2023, we're going to have to take a look at pricing structure, there's no, there's no way around it. We went the BDF route rather than a price increase because once you increase prices, you're not going to decrease it. With the BDF, you know, we could be flexible with. We could sunset it. We could continue it for a period of time, etc. But price increases stick with you forever."