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March 29, 2010

Morrison: Price hikes not taken lightly

    Panthers team president Danny Morrison said he's sensitive toward fan complaints about ticket price hikes, though he defended the team's decision Monday as part of an extensive interview.

    We'll have more of the football-related portions in tomorrow's paper, but there was a lot to go through during the 45-minute session — which took place precisely six months from his first day on the job with the team.

    When asked about the Panthers ticket-price increase (their eighth in 11 years), he pointed out that the average cost is still in the bottom half of the league, while the other two teams with privately operated stadiums (New England and Washington) are in the top five. He said the Panthers spend approximately $20 million per year to run the stadium, costs which other clubs don’t have.

    He mentioned the fact the Panthers have spent $30 million total making improvements to the stadium (which opened in 1996) with another $1 million worth of renovations and additions this year, mostly for upgrades to the concession stands and televisions throughout the building.

    "Any time looking at what going to do from a ticket increase standpoint, you take that very seriously; especially since we've had such a good tradition here of great fan support," Morrison said. "In a competitive world, I guess everybody would like ticket prices or any other prices to never go up. But I think we've looked at our ticket pricing responsibly, we're in the lower half of the league, and we haven't gone up every year. Some would argue, why didn't you go up after a 12-4 season last year?"

    Morrison touched on a number of other topics Monday, including:

    — He’s been impressed with the schedule that Jerry Richardson maintains. The 73-year-old owner has kept a low profile since having heart transplant surgery nearly 14 months ago, but maintains a prestigious position within the league, leading the effort to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the players union. 

    "He's been engaged from day one since I've been here," Morrison said. "All I know is that I've seen him engaged and he's not only attuned to all that's going on on the Panthers side, but he's so active in NFL matters as well. It just speaks to his trust and respect that he has within the NFL, that's what's just so obvious. ... They trust him, they know he's going to do what he says he's going to do. And I think seeing him energizes the meetings. ...

    "To be the new kid on the block, and to watch that all unfold, it's clearly obvious how much respect and trust they have in Mr. Richardson."

    — He said he's been encouraged by talks toward new sponsorship deals in the soft-drink and automotive category. The Panthers lacked an automotive sponsor last year. "We feel good we're making some progress there," he said. 

— Darin Gantt

Posted by Observer Sports on March 29, 2010 at 08:00 PM | Permalink


Hey Morrison! The panthers are only 15 years old and are one of the most mediocre franchises in the NFL. They SHOULD be in the bottom half of the league in prices you twat!

Posted by: shutup! | Mar 29, 2010 8:46:03 PM

In ONLY 15 years to have been to the conference game 3 times and a superbowl, the Panthers are NOT mediocre. What a complete moron.

The Panthers are one of the top tier franchises. Not really top 5, no, but certainly a top 15 or even top 10 franchise. They are organized well, they consistently (other than 01) fielded a competing team with tons of potential, and the fan base has been pretty strong given such a young franchise.

Posted by: Gamble20 | Mar 29, 2010 9:36:44 PM

The f word here seriously? What a punk you are bimbo boy Adam Carter.

Posted by: MajorLeague | Mar 29, 2010 10:25:43 PM

Top tier franchises???? LMAO! They've only been to the playoffs 4 out of 15 years idiot! You do know what medicore means right? Look it up vagina boy!

People need to get off of JRs nuts already. He's a cheap senile old basttard who cares more about his wallet than winning football games. Thats just a fact! The team is too young for them to be in the top half of the NFL in ticket prices. The panthers dont have any kind of winning tradition and yet JR feels the need to raise prices every year (8 out of the last 10 years). Seriously JR makes George Shinn look like a saint.

Posted by: shutup! | Mar 29, 2010 11:01:46 PM

Oh and for the loyal fans comment. Have you ever been to a game at BOA? THe only time its full is when opposing fans take over which is almost every game. Other than that the place is a ghost town. If anything the panthers need more loyal fans like myself who are getting ripped off by greedy owners like JR.

Posted by: shutup! | Mar 29, 2010 11:16:50 PM


So u suggest that both the Houston Texans, Jaguars, and Browns all having winning tradition.

Without never making the SB, but let they are overcharging every fan to end up having losing seasons.

Posted by: adam carter | Mar 29, 2010 11:28:49 PM

hey, shutup!, take your own advice. the panthers are "mediocre" yet have been to 3 playoffs over the past 7 seasons, and are one of only 5 teams to not have double digit losses since 2002. oh, yeah, and have been 14 games above .500 in that span. mediocre, my boy, is average. teams that consistenly finish 7-9 or 8-8 are mediocre. carolina has has bad luck following playoff appearances, no one can dispute that. but, mediocre teams never reach above mediocrity, meaning they never win their divisions, make the playoffs, and they NEVER reach the superbowl. All of which carolina has done over the past 7 seasons.

so, please, SHUTUP!!!

Posted by: brock | Mar 30, 2010 12:22:59 AM

Brock, where have you been. I would like to see you use that same defense when it comes to John Fox, btw. I do agree that the Panthers are not mediocre, and that they have enjoyed early success, and then especially after Fox has taken over.

However, though I do appreciate what "JR" has brought to the Carolinas, espcially names like Reggie White and George Siefert, I do agree he can be a greedy SOB, just like the rest. There is no need for a price increase, which continues indefinitely, because you fixed some TV sets. You should have a budget for renovations already set aside. If not, management should take a hike or go back to business school. Also, the president says that they didn't raise prices after a 12-4 season and should now make up for it...???

What a scumbag!!! Maybe Poopers & Gross are just in sucking out all they can out of these c*ck-smokers!

Posted by: SYRPIS | Mar 30, 2010 1:34:53 AM


Posted by: SYRPIS | Mar 30, 2010 2:18:31 AM

Yall fools crazy!! LOL (School yard talk)

Posted by: THEHYPEMAN | Mar 30, 2010 8:17:14 AM

I love how Adam says, "both the Houston Texans, Jaguars, and Browns all having winning tradition" and lists three teams! LOL! And this after dropping the F-bomb in his previous 3rd grade tirade! I should forgive him though, he was up WAY past his bedtime!
As for the Panthers, lets face it, they ARE mediocre. Yes, they've had some good years, and even a few that bordered on great, but look at their overall record and you'll notice one glaring fact - The Panthers have NEVER had 2 winning seasons in a row! NEVER! They have a winning season, and the next year, every season starting with an odd year, they go 7-9 or worse! Last year was actually the best they've ever done coming off a winning season. 8-8 was an improvement from past performances! So yes, Carolina IS mediocre. Maybe their taking a step in the right direction, though. Only time will tell. But I don't think raising prices was the right thing to do, especially with people losing their jobs, homes, and the entire country except for the CEO's of the world, barely managing to scrape by. It would have been great to see them DROP prices or offer an affordable package for families instead, and raise prices once the economy gets back on its feet!
And, BTW, yes. I would much rather pay $35 to watch the Cowboys play in their palace of a stadium and have to stand up to do it. If your team doesn't give you a reason to stand up to watch the game, you don't have much of a team!

Posted by: AJ | Mar 30, 2010 8:50:52 AM

@ AJ

As a Falcons fan

LMAO, whats wrong with (adam carter)3rd grade tirade. DO u think u can do any better,buy the team since u think u know how to run a NFL franchise. LMAO

I would use "inconsistent" to describe the Panthers franchise. Maybe since u know so much, send Mr. Richardson ur resume to get the GM job.

I can see u making the dumdest deals such as trading 1 half of the best tandem in the league for a unproven player. LMFAO

Posted by: joshsmith19965 | Mar 30, 2010 9:19:34 AM

@ AJ

LMFAO, whats wrong (adam carter) giving 3 examples of teams who hasn't done anything in their history. Especially since ur calling them a "mediocre" franchise.

Do u think u can do any better, if so buy the team from Mr. Richardson. Oh yeah i forgot u can't afford it.

Or send Mr. Richard ur resume of getting the GM. I would love for an idiot of a so called knows a lot about football to make stupid decisions such as trading 1 half of the best RB for draft pick that will be a bust. LMAO

Posted by: joshsmith19965 | Mar 30, 2010 9:24:10 AM

The only point that needs to be made here is why should we have to up our cost when JR is cutting his and not even (as of now) fielding a competitive team for this season. As of right now this will be a wasted year for the Panthers so why do we have to make the monetary sacrifice if JR isn't going to?

Posted by: wbt1030 | Mar 30, 2010 9:28:34 AM

I will gladly send in a few more dollars just for the fact that I never have to see Jake Delhomme play another down or walk up and down the sideline spitting tobacco juice on the field.

Posted by: JAY | Mar 30, 2010 9:48:55 AM

Willing to bet that over half the complainers of this article don't even own PSL's.

Posted by: pland67 | Mar 30, 2010 11:04:00 AM

GO PANTHERS!!!! If mediocrity makes my blood pump Panther blue then I will take seconds. I am a fan that equals fanatic. The contempt that I read everyday on here makes me laugh, everyone is allowed their own opinion. Soooo, In my opinion, the Panthers rock and you haters, well, I don't really care much about you. See you on the winning side :)

Posted by: mr.mrgarcia | Mar 30, 2010 11:06:01 AM

$20 million to run a stadium??? WHAT??? Did somebody miss a decimal point or is Jon's salary $18 million. Some of you reporters can check that out pretty easily. Call a public university or find out about a public owned stadium in another NFL city.

Posted by: Ben | Mar 30, 2010 11:13:29 AM


Too bad no sportswriter from Charlotte could tell us that. I'd trade every single one of our writers for the junior copy boy on the sports desk of a major city's newspaper.

Posted by: Authority | Mar 30, 2010 12:06:29 PM

Maybe you're like the guy in A Beautiful Mind who saw all the secret messages in newspaper and magazine articles. I can't see any other reason for your ramblings.
I never once claimed to be a know-it-all about football, nor did I make any suggestions about how the team should be run, or trades that should be made. At least I don't see them anywhere in my post. Maybe you can mathematically sort it out for us all here.
I simply stated that the Panthers have never had back to back winning seasons (fact) and that I thought it was in poor taste to raise ticket prices with our economy the way it is (opinion). Also, that I would rather pay $35 to stand in Cowboys' Stadium than pay inflated prices to watch a team that "rebuilds" every other year (also opinion).
I did point out that Adam used "both" but then listed 3 teams. In case you didn't know, "both" indicates TWO subjects, not 3!
As for the GM job of the Panthers, no thanks! Although I love football, I don't think I have the patience to put up with a bunch of children who complain that the millions of dollars they make isn't enough to feed their families! I would, however, be more than willing to sign a contract for the league minimum to ride the bench as a 3rd string punter! LOL!

Posted by: AJ | Mar 30, 2010 12:53:41 PM

The only place to hear non-homer reporting on the Panthers is on WFNZ. Jim, Mac, Frank and Buc will speak their minds. Steve Smith called in the show yesterday. Why anyone would pay for this newspaper is beyond me.

Posted by: JAY | Mar 30, 2010 1:07:45 PM

@ AJ


Sorry for taking it to far of bashing someone when stating their own opinion, ex: Adam C or anyone. To describe the Panthers franchise is "inconsistency" at best.

But as u stated time will tell what direction they are heading. With making every pick count of contributing right away is going in a positive direction.

As a Falcons fan, its to early for anyone to say they are surrendering the season. Thats if its true or not.

Posted by: joshs smith | Mar 30, 2010 1:19:44 PM

Guys seriously if you dont like the price increase, dont go to the games. I dont agree with it either, but it isnt going to change things to complain about it. Not buying tickets will get the point across to the ownership. I own 3 PSLs and I am NOT buying tix to express my dissatisfaction with their offseason moves.

And Josh Smith, we got it the first 3 times you said it that you are a Falcons fan, you dont have to keep prefacing all your comments with it. Sadly though your points are better than some of our fans.

Posted by: manu4t | Mar 30, 2010 1:39:50 PM

MANU4T you are aware you will lose your initial investment in your 3 psl's if you do not renew right?

Posted by: JAY | Mar 30, 2010 1:55:15 PM

I agree with wbt1030's post. That nails it on the head.

The seller of our product cut costs dramatically this year (Peppers and the rest of the mediocre vets), has made no attempt to replace any of them with free agents, has no 1st round pick, missed the playoffs completely, and almost tanked the whole year with a shell shocked QB who in the past played with a torn elbow ligament and mysteriously cannot play with a broken finger? All that adds up to a ticket price increase? I will pay for the increase because I have the PSL upfront cost hanging around my neck but come on people, fan loyalty will only get you ripped off.

Hopefully, we will sign some players rather than have a revolving door at DT. My prediction is we will lose a LB and sign a new one every week just like last year.

If fans would complain about ticket price increases, maybe JR and DM would be less apt to jack them up every year. As for bottom half of ticket prices in the league, well, I'd pay Patriots ticket prices if the Panthers would win some Super Bowls.

Remember, the stadium was financed through PSLs and the land was basically given to the Panthers so DM has no room to cry over Stadium Operating Costs. If it truly cost $20+ million to operate, let's open the books and see what we are overpaying for. It is DM's job to manage costs in a prudent way, passing increased prices on to the consumer is a solution but will only get you so far. With his attitude, maybe he should work for the Federal Government.

Posted by: KevinMc | Mar 30, 2010 2:57:38 PM

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