Detroit — The Tigers will be offering full refunds to those who purchased tickets to games that have been wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic in April and May.
But that may not be the most prudent way to go about it.
Ticket purchasers were informed by the club Thursday of two options:
►Take a straight refund for games missed in April and May.
►Or leave the money that was spent on the account, and receive a 30-percent bonus credit.
“We are grateful for the loyalty of our dedicated Detroit Tigers fans,” read a statement from the Tigers. “Given the extraordinary situation we’re facing with the pandemic, we have updated our ticketing policies and offerings, placing a priority on providing flexibility and peace of mind during these challenging times.”
The money on account, with the 30-percent boost, can be used for future games, upgrades, additional tickets and suite products. The Tigers also are offering behind-the-scenes experiences such as throwing out the first pitch, delivering the lineup card, batting-cage access and an opportunity to watch the post-game fireworks show from the dugout. Also available are opportunities to be an honorary member of the grounds crew or experience the press box and broadcast booths.
Season-ticket holders who opt to leave money on account will be able to participate in a community goodwill program called Gift the Game, with which the Tigers will donate 25 tickets in the season-ticket holder’s name to honor those impacted by COVID-19: first responders, front-line health care employees, essential workers, or one of Detroit’s non-profit organizations that directly serve and support local youth.
Major League Baseball this week gave teams the go-ahead to start crafting and releasing individual policies for tickets. More than half the teams have made public their ticket refund policies and the 30-percent bonus credit is the most offered so far.
Chairman and CEO Christopher Ilitch has been aggressive and proactive throughout this crisis. He was among the first MLB owners to continue paying minor league players, the first to put up $2 million to pay hourly workers at both Comerica Park and Little Caesars Arena and last week announced he would continue paying non-player employees indefinitely.
All those who have purchased tickets for games in April and May have received an email from the Tigers.