When a Ravens PSL holder complained to Owner Steve Bisciotti about the price of preseason tickets (which are the same as regular-season tickets), Bisciotti chuckled.
"Yeah, that was my gripe too when I was a season-ticket holder," Bisciotti said during a conference call Wednesday night.
However, the Ravens owner was forthright in saying that he does not plan to change prices – at least not right now.
"This precedes my involvement [as owner]," Bisciotti said. "I think a couple teams this year may have changed the pricing, but from an income standpoint, we're not going to go backwards."
The New York Giants announced last month that they will cut preseason ticket prices almost in half this season. However, they are increasing the price of their eight regular-season tickets to make up some of the money.
The fan expressed dissatisfaction that he had trouble selling his preseason tickets, even at a discounted price. The business-minded Bisciotti began crunching some market numbers before coming up with some other suggestions.
"You might want to talk to your tax accountant because I think you can donate them to charity and then write them off," he said, inciting a laugh. "That might be a way for you to get some of your money back."
Perhaps the better idea is, as Bisciotti said, to "look at the preseason as something different."
Yes, the score doesn't matter all that much, or at all, but preseason games are still incredibly important in determining who makes the team and who doesn't. And while much of the focus is put on the starters, sometimes the last few players on the roster can make all the difference.
That was the case last year, as Bisciotti revealed.
"It came down to the wire last year and we had a hard time figuring out who our 51, 52 and 53 were on our roster," he said.
"We weren't sure whether James Hurst was going to make the team and thank God he did because he probably would have been plucked off our practice squad. And John Urschel, we considered moving him. If it wasn't for the injuries to Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore, and then I think we were putting somebody else on PUP, we would have had to possibly make us decisions that could cost us greatly."
Hurst started seven games in place of Eugene Monroe and Urschel started three when Kelechi Osemele was sidelined, and then when Rick Wagner went down, sending Marshal Yanda to tackle. Hurst and Urschel started both of the Ravens' playoff games.
"I am thrilled to watch backups because that can really turn the tide in your season," Bisciotti said. "We missed [the playoffs] by a game last year at 9-7, and then this year we just made it by the skin of our teeth. Urschel and Hurst had to come in and play significant games down that stretch that we were able to win. If we didn't have them in our bullpen ready to go, that could have been the difference.
"It's hard to kind of think about that in August when you're sitting in the heat watching that third preseason game, but what we're watching is of vital importance to us, it just doesn't show up that day because as you said, the score is meaningless."
Still, Bisciotti didn't rule out the possibility of altering ticket prices in the future.
"I certainly will look into it," he said. "I have no problem shifting the price around if it would make it easier to be sold on the secondary market. It's a fair question."