For first time readers, Project Mayhem is a series of tasks Bengals fans can perform to revolt against ownership and hopefully force the changes Who Dey Revolution catalogs on this site and that are written in our Manifesto on the left sidebar. Project Mayhem has two stated goals:
- Disrupt the natural order of Mike Brown's Bengals
- Hurt Mike Brown's Bengals profitability
This task, boycotting all season ticket purchases (club, regular and suite), represents the most effective and direct method of hurting Mike Brown's revenue. Revenue from ticket sales are shared (not club seats or suites) with the NFL, but empty seats still impact Brown's bottom line as well as ability to secure advertising. Stadium advertising and luxury suite revenue are not shared with the NFL and go right to Brown's pocket.
The previous Project Mayhem Tasks have succeeded in bringing local and national attention to our cause and disrupting the natural order of Mike Brown's Bengals. But we understand that only when the revenue stream for the team and Mike Brown dries up - jeopardizing his families income and his succession plans - will Mike Brown be convinced to relinquish control of the team and cease his futile attempt to prove to himself that he can succeed at the same rate as his father.
This task is the most demanding task we are asking of Bengals fans. We know people enjoy going to sports events for many reasons that don't just include seeing a wining team (tailgaiting, watching the other team, etc.). But at this point, the case for boycotting season ticket purchases of all kinds is beyond clear: over 18 years the Bengals have not matched your commitment as fans with a good faith commitment to win. WDR believes without doubt that continuing to buy season tickets does more harm to the Cincinnati Bengals prospects than it benefits individuals who purchase tickets. We are therefore comfortable asking fans to make this sacrifice.
For PM #8, we ask that all Bengals fans either cancel their current season tickets, do not renew expiring season tickets, or do not purchase new season ticket packages until the Bengals do either of the following:
- Hire a GM who has meaningful power
- Increase the scouting department to a level competitive with the rest of the NFL
- Publicly state that their goal each and every year is to do everything in their power to win a Superbowl
- Institute a pay-for-performance program like that proposed by honorary WDR member (and suite owner) Rick Brunsman
As WDR readers may recall, another honorary WDR member Dustin Dow of the Enquirer ran an article on this very issue in December. In it, Dow describes how Brunsman is trying to work with ownership on a pay-for-performance plan. This would also be acceptable to WDR.
The point is, all Bengals fans are revolting, from corporate suite owners to individual season ticket holders, and it will not take much more to reach a tipping point where the Brown Family must address the problem by making changes.
To increase the effectiveness of the Task, a couple of administrative details need to be addressed. For those who participate, we ask you do the following:
- If you are a current season ticket holder, please send the following to firstname.lastname@example.org: your name, the number and location of the tickets you are canceling, and whether you will permit us to publish your information on our site.
- If you were considering buying tickets but are no longer going to, please send the following to email@example.com: your name, note that you were a potential buyer, and whether you will permit us to publish your information on our site.
- If you received a renewal contract from the Bengals, please hang onto it as we have plans for how to dispose of those contracts in the works.
- Send us this information by January 31st as that is the deadline for suite renewals and we want as much cumulative pressure on Mike Brown as possible leading up to that date.
- If you would like, compose a letter to the Bengals outlining why you are canceling your season tickets and send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winning writer will receive a free tee shirt and have their letter posted on WDR for people to print and send in to the Bengals.
This will help us catalog the extent of participation and allow us to plan potential events in the near future.
Ticket packages come in all shape and sizes, too, so we will address the consequences of non-renewal for the major different ticket holders out there.
Current regular season ticket holders. Not renewing your season tickets will cause you to forfeit whatever remaining value you have in your COA. We point out that unless you have some incredibly good seats, this value is not much anymore. To realize the value of your COA you will have to transfer it to someone else, which means that person will probably purchase season tickets, which is the opposite of our goal here anyway.
Potential first time season ticket buyers. You have the serious potential to damage our cause. First time buyers must pay the one time expense of purchasing a COA, which range from $300 to $1500. That is a bonus cash flow the Bengals would not otherwise receive from holders who simply renew. So for any prospective first time buyers looking to score tickets on the cheap, resist the temptation at all costs. You will hurt the Bengals far more than you help yourself by making that purchase. Also, don't tempt current ticket holders by offering to buy their COA from them (likewise, current holders don't offer your COA please), this only encourages folks that might otherwise have the Bengals long term interests in mind.
Some might say to you that regular season tickets don't affect Mike as much because the revenue is shared with visiting teams. Well, the split is 60-40 with the visiting team. Thus, Mike loses 60 cents for every dollar you don't spend, which matters. Also, it costs visiting teams money. As much as owners may like an easy win on their schedule, they do not like being welfare providers to the Brown family.
Club Seat Holders. Club seats are a) expensive and b) not part of shared revenue and are therefore crucial to keeping Mike entrenched as dictator. Mass non-renewal by Club seat holders would be catastrophic to Mike Brown which is why it's so important that club holders cancel. Club season ticket holders fall under three sub-categories:
- Expiring contract up for renewal - all you lose by not renewing is your COA, which as we noted, is probably not worth much anyway. To buy one form the Bengals fresh at this point is $750 (in a few installments) at this point, which is only a fraction of club seat costs. Just make the sacrifice.
- Contract with one or more remaining years - you will lose your COA and you will pay for tickets for the seasons remaining on the contract. You can simply choose not to pay for those remaining seasons, however, as the License Agreement does not explicitly say the Bengals will come after you. WDR encourages all club seat holders to read the Agreement and make their own choice (the more aggressive the better in our opinion).
- Original club seat holders with 10 year contract - your contract expires in one year. All you really lose at this point is your original COA, which was only $150 at the time you bought it. We encourage you to forfeit that remaining year and join in on the lawsuit filed by some of your fellow contract holders.
And, it goes without saying, if you were thinking about becoming a first time club seat holder, please resit the urge. In fact, let's get this out in the open. When it comes to higher end Bengals seating (club seats and suites), WDR Official Policy is: take your business to the UC football team. Brian Kelly and the administration know what it takes to compete for championships and they need support at the high end level to get it done. Give your money to a team that cares about giving their fans a winning product and bringing pride to this city. If you simply must spend money on high end football seats of some sort, choose UC over the Bengals.
However, we realize attending Bengals games may be a tough habit to break. We wrote earlier that it required Bengals fans to sacrifice, but we ask now, how much of a sacrifice is it really? Consider the following questions:
- Given the tough economy, is spending thousands of dollars on the Bengals, a team that has treated their fans as chumps for 18 years, a wise allocation of your money?
- Does the cost of forgoing one year of Bengals tickets really outweigh the financial savings and the potential to force the team to change the way it does business?
- Do you still want to subsidize the Brown family's way of life or feel the Brown family deserves your money after the way they have manged the Bengals and treated you as a fan?
- Will your Sundays really be that much worse if you do not go down to a Bengals game 8 (or 10) times for one year?
- If you are worried about forfeiting the value of your COA you purchased with your tickets, how much do you really think you could sell it for at this point and is that amount really worth perpetuating Bengals misery?
- If you consider yourself a true Bengals fan, and you want to see this team improve, how can you justify purchasing season tickets and thus allow the Brown family to run things as usual?
Bengals fans, do the right thing. Walk away from your desire for season tickets. And, just as important, encourage anyone and everyone you know who loves this team to do the same. After all, the first rule of Project Mayhem is: Tell Everyone About Project Mayhem.