One of the challenges of being a Ticket Manager for a brand new professional baseball team is that there are no past results to build on. Just ask Ticket Manager Adam Tabakin ’06 of the newly former Sugar Land Skeeters baseball team.
“The newness of everything is both a challenge and a blessing,” Tabakin said. “We are tabula rasa, a completely blank slate. The ballpark is still new and under construction. The ticket system that we have is not only one that I haven’t used before, but one with which nobody in our entire front office has any experience.”
Tabakin, who received his Sport Management degree at Rice and his MBA from Vanderbilt, says that most teams in minor league baseball are understaffed which calls for front office employees to go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to making ticket sales and creating interest in an area that has never before had a professional sports team. However, Tabakin says that the Skeeters on target to reach their goal for full-season ticket sales.
One of the challenges that the Sugar Land Skeeters face is keeping a packed stadium day in and day out with a brand new team.
“Much of our focus lately has also been on the launch of our mini-plans packages,” Tabakin said. “These have been amazingly popular, and we are trending well ahead of our goals. Also, 10 percent of sales from mini-plans will be donated back to local Little Leagues, so it is a great tool for community outreach as well.”
The mini-plans are a package of a series of games that can be purchased as a group. These games average out to be less than buying tickets for each game individually. So far the sales of mini-plans has exceeded expectation.
I asked Adam what the Skeeters’ goal was for the first season and he replied back to be that their motto was, “Every seat, every game.” Of course, this will be hard to achieve, but having this attitude in creating events and fostering ideas to boost attendance is what makes an organization successful.
“From a personal perspective, it’s more of a commitment to operating smoothly and excellent service,” Tabakin said.
“We’re not going to be Six Sigma smooth in our first season. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try. When our ticket stock comes in this March, we need to make sure season ticket holders, mini-plan holders, and group buyers get the seats they signed up for. We need to be completely functional with day-of-game ticket sales windows and will-call lines. Any issues that come up will need to be resolved immediately. It’s hard to quantify this, but learning and improving with experience is a constant.”
Brock Wilson, a junior from Beaumont, Texas, is majoring in Sport Management.