If you want to rent the entire Broad Street Line, SEPTA’s got a price for you: $45,000.
That’s how much the transit authority charged MillerCoors when the beer company sponsored rides on the subway for eight hours on Sept. 20 in celebration of the Eagles home opener at Lincoln Financial Field.
After all, everyone was excited – before the game, at least. The birds lost the home opener by ten points.
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Still, those initially high hopes and the built-in enthusiasm Philly has for its teams meant that MillerCoors saw an opportunity to raise its own profile – and celebrate the fans. So, it decided to partner with SEPTA last month.
“The Broad Street line is always the most convenient way to get to a game,” explained SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey at the time. Casey said he was “pleased to partner with MillerCoors” for the free rides program, adding that SEPTA welcomed the opportunity to “serve as the designated driver for thousands of fans attending the home opener.”
The idea was that fans could put the responsibility to travel safely on SEPTA’s shoulders, with beer, of course, being a staple of football season.
But, how did SEPTA come up with that $45,000 figure?
“It’s based on the second highest Broad Street Line ridership total recorded during an Eagles home game last year,” SEPTA’s Manny Smith told Metro, “minus the amount of prepaid passes and fares used during an 8-hour window.”
Smith added that the ridership total, minus those transit passes, was then multiplied by $1.80, or the bulk unit cost of a token, “which rounds out to $45,000.” In other words, SEPTA charged the beer company what it guesses it would’ve made by way of cash and tokens.
The notion of SEPTA accepting sponsorship offers is nothing new, and the transit authority says it welcomes new opportunities. Just last year, Market East Station became Jefferson Station, named after the local university and health system, in a $4 million, five-year deal that netted over $3 million for riders. In that deal, 15 percent of the sale went toward advertising costs.
Sports fans are already well aware of AT&T Station, too, which was renamed in a similar deal in 2010. Formerly Pattison Station, AT&T Station is the southern terminus of the BSL – and located right in front of the city’s sports complex and stadiums.