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View Full Version : Cubs team up with Sox in offering 'dynamic' ticket prices


Fenway
02-21-2012, 03:43 PM
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120218/ISSUE01/302189972/moneyball

mrfourni
02-21-2012, 04:57 PM
Interesting article. But I'd be curious to know how they figure the White Sox made money on Dynamic Pricing last year. It would be interesting to see how they got their numbers regarding people who refuse to buy tickets at the box office anymore and simply move on to stubhub/ebay/brokers (like me). Those sites seem to have a better selection and cheaper pricing.

DumpJerry
02-21-2012, 05:26 PM
I recently sold my April 14th game against the Tigers for $65 each on StubHub. My face value for the tickets is $32. Yeah, Dynamic Pricing will stop my ability to sell.

I'm not worried about Dynamic Pricing's effect on my StubHub listings because I have a low row location (Row 5). You're not going to find too many seats at the Box Office in the kind of location because they are all owned by STHs.

34rancher
02-21-2012, 09:19 PM
Interesting article. But I'd be curious to know how they figure the White Sox made money on Dynamic Pricing last year. It would be interesting to see how they got their numbers regarding people who refuse to buy tickets at the box office anymore and simply move on to stubhub/ebay/brokers (like me). Those sites seem to have a better selection and cheaper pricing.

I wonder if they realize that revenue will be lost too. Purely on people like me who refuse to be fleeced by bs tactics like this and premium games. I used to go to 40-60 games a year. Haven't paid or a ticket once since this crap. They'll blame economy, but it's a joke.

Fenway
02-21-2012, 09:34 PM
I admire the Phillies who have pretty much kept prices in check even though there is great demand. All games have the same price.

http://mlb.mlb.com/phi/ticketing/seating_pricing.jsp

Compare that to Fenway

http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/ticketing/seating_pricing.jsp

Yankees have not released 2012 prices yet.

ChiSoxFann
02-21-2012, 10:30 PM
I don't see how dynamic pricing can help when a team has low expectations or just plain sucks. Last year after May I started going the StubHub route to pick up UD seats for pretty cheap and even got a few lower deck box games for $10-$15. Why pay for an increased 'dynamic priced' ticket when there are many cheaper alternatives? Last year I didn't find any $5 UD, low demand tickets like Brooks suggests in that article.

I even went to two Cubs games on my days off and because tickets were so cheap on StubHub. I paid under $5 for a Wrigley UD seat both times, but sat downstairs in the corners of their lower bowl.

No it'll be interesting when both teams play well. The Cubs will sell out regardless of price. Sox fans do show up when the team wins, but if average Joe fans feel priced out they may stay away, regardless of team performance.

TommyGavinFloyd
02-24-2012, 05:00 AM
I don't see how dynamic pricing can help when a team has low expectations or just plain sucks. Last year after May I started going the StubHub route to pick up UD seats for pretty cheap and even got a few lower deck box games for $10-$15. Why pay for an increased 'dynamic priced' ticket when there are many cheaper alternatives? Last year I didn't find any $5 UD, low demand tickets like Brooks suggests in that article.

I even went to two Cubs games on my days off and because tickets were so cheap on StubHub. I paid under $5 for a Wrigley UD seat both times, but sat downstairs in the corners of their lower bowl.

No it'll be interesting when both teams play well. The Cubs will sell out regardless of price. Sox fans do show up when the team wins, but if average Joe fans feel priced out they may stay away, regardless of team performance.

Yeah, there were several times last year when I had thoughts of going and looked at both the team website and Stubhub, and saw a ticket that was 5 dollars or less in the corner of the upper deck being offered for 5x that (or more) on the team site.

Funny that guy in the article made it sound like it's some patriotic choice you have, spend the money on the team site, help the city with tax revenue! Like the tickets on Stubhub magically made their way there and weren't already paid for once.

HomeFish
02-24-2012, 05:27 AM
Dynamic pricing seems well-suited for a team like the Sox who have constant attendance woes: they will run up the price on people who are willing to pay/would be there anyway, and in doing so make up the revenue lost on the people who don't attend games or only attend when the team is winning.

DumpJerry
02-24-2012, 08:13 AM
Funny that guy in the article made it sound like it's some patriotic choice you have, spend the money on the team site, help the city with tax revenue! Like the tickets on Stubhub magically made their way there and weren't already paid for once.
Each ticket bought in the secondary market is one less additional ticket being sold with the entertainment tax being paid.

chisoxfanatic
02-24-2012, 08:44 AM
I wonder if they realize that revenue will be lost too. Purely on people like me who refuse to be fleeced by bs tactics like this and premium games. I used to go to 40-60 games a year. Haven't paid or a ticket once since this crap. They'll blame economy, but it's a joke.
Well, the economy is at least *part of it* with a major other part of it being due to their play the past couple seasons.

I used to go to about 25 games a year. But, the past couple years, I've only been to 6 total games...I haven't been making as much as I used to, so I had to make cutbacks somewhere. I still watch games on TV, though, as I can't not watch them...Even if it's not the greatest baseball, I can't have a Hawk Harrelson-less summer.

Fenway
02-24-2012, 08:56 AM
Anybody have an idea how what the season ticket renewal rate looked like?

If there are less season ticket holders then there are far less tickets on Stub Hub.

The Yankees STILL haven't put single game tickets on sale and are trying to sell 12 game packages that include Opening Day and 2 Boston games.

http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/nyy/ticketing/season_tickets.jsp#12game

Last year Stub Hub had 5-6,000 listings for an average NYY home game.

mrfourni
02-24-2012, 09:49 AM
Each ticket bought in the secondary market is one less additional ticket being sold with the entertainment tax being paid.

Unless the game is a sellout (like Wrigley), or soemone who pays a premium to sit in better seats.

amsteel
02-24-2012, 11:10 AM
Anybody have an idea how what the season ticket renewal rate looked like?

Right now, there's not much out there on Stubhub, which to me would indicate a lack of STHs reselling tickets, but if I'm not mistaken, STHs haven't gotten their tickets yet, when the ticket start showing up we'll see how many are up for resale. That'll provide a very unscientific, very rough estimate of STH renewal since outside of OD and Cubs games, I don't think there are too many game-to-game individual sellers.

Fenway
02-24-2012, 11:37 AM
The Red Sox were ordered by MLB to stop their 'official' partnership with Ace Tickets but Ace still has a better overall selection than Stub Hub.

http://www.aceticket.com/boston-red-sox-tickets/

Ace still has a full blown ticket window minutes from Fenway
http://www.aceticket.com/information/store-locations/

Stub Hub doesn't have an office near Fenway ( they are closer to the Garden which is 20 minutes away by subway )

http://www.stubhub.com/pick-up-locations/

Dynamic pricing is dangerous as a team risks angering season ticket holders if they sell a lot of games under the season ticket price which will happen if you have thousands of unsold seats.

The Bruins just sent out playoff and next year renewal forms. If one renews by March 21st the last row of the balcony will be $40 - they are listing the 'box office' price for next year as $95 and that price will be printed on the ticket the season ticket holder gets even though they only pay $40.


Right now, there's not much out there on Stubhub, which to me would indicate a lack of STHs reselling tickets, but if I'm not mistaken, STHs haven't gotten their tickets yet, when the ticket start showing up we'll see how many are up for resale. That'll provide a very unscientific, very rough estimate of STH renewal since outside of OD and Cubs games, I don't think there are too many game-to-game individual sellers.

mrfourni
02-24-2012, 11:41 AM
Dynamic pricing is dangerous as a team risks angering season ticket holders if they sell a lot of games under the season ticket price which will happen if you have thousands of unsold seats.

Sox have done "Dynamic Pricing" for 1.5 years now, and the price has never fallen below the season ticket price (Except on 1/2 price Mondays)

doublem23
02-24-2012, 11:56 AM
Sox have done "Dynamic Pricing" for 1.5 years now, and the price has never fallen below the season ticket price (Except on 1/2 price Mondays)

Yeah the team doesn't ever seem to undersell it's own tickets, I would say the secondary markets like StubHub are more dangerous to a season ticket base as nowadays it's extremely easy to find seats marked well below face value online. For example, for the 1st Tuesday night game of the year against Baltimore, I found tickets on StubHub in Section 111 for $14 each for a pair. Face value of those tickets? $40 each.

DumpJerry
02-24-2012, 12:10 PM
Yeah the team doesn't ever seem to undersell it's own tickets, I would say the secondary markets like StubHub are more dangerous to a season ticket base as nowadays it's extremely easy to find seats marked well below face value online. For example, for the 1st Tuesday night game of the year against Baltimore, I found tickets on StubHub in Section 111 for $14 each for a pair. Face value of those tickets? $40 each.
The face value for a full season ticket holder for those seats is $32.00. Still a loss at $14.00, obviously.

There used to be an "investor" who owned the five seats next to mine. This person would put all of his/her/its tickets on StubHub for the entire season. Sometimes I would ask the people sitting there how much they paid and the April and May games were usually below face. Team performance had very little to do with these sales since the people (especially the April/May people) bought the tickets before the season started and were usually fans of the visiting team. The "investor" makes money by buying up season ticket packages for several teams with the hope that most of the teams that make the post season or at least are in the hunt in September are teams they have tickets packages for. Those teams make the investor a profit which, hopefully, more than offsets the losses from the below face value sales and no-sales.

By the way, the five seats next to me were not renewed this year. I was able to move to the aisle seats the person owned.

Fenway
02-24-2012, 12:45 PM
Sox have done "Dynamic Pricing" for 1.5 years now, and the price has never fallen below the season ticket price (Except on 1/2 price Mondays)

It has been fascinating watching how ticket sales have changed over the decades. Baseball used to rely on the walkup crowd which depended on weather, who is in town and other factors. Staffing the ballpark was tricky as you only wanted to hire the right number of ushers and concession people based on the crowd.

The walkup/impulse buy is pretty much extinct today. Usually they are out of towners who decide to take in a game.

The last flash walkup crowd I have seen was in Montreal in 2003 where the Expos were making a late run at the wild-card.The crowd was announced at 20,000 but it was much more as they simply opened the gates to allow everybody in. The Expos won and it created a 4 way tie for the wildcard with a month to go.

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2003/B08280MON2003.htm

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2003/08282003.htm

Selig then ordered no Expos call ups for September and the fans just gave up.

CLUBHOUSE KID
02-24-2012, 12:56 PM
It's not that dynamic pricing is a bad idea, it's just that the White Sox do it wrong. If a game is has low demand around the time of the game, tickets are still $20 and up while online tickets are say $3 and up. The White Sox/box office should be like StubHub or a broker. Too bad the White Sox idea of dynamic pricing is regular price or way too high it's NOT a true market value IMHO.

CLUBHOUSE KID
02-24-2012, 12:59 PM
The face value for a full season ticket holder for those seats is $32.00. Still a loss at $14.00, obviously.

There used to be an "investor" who owned the five seats next to mine. This person would put all of his/her/its tickets on StubHub for the entire season. Sometimes I would ask the people sitting there how much they paid and the April and May games were usually below face. Team performance had very little to do with these sales since the people (especially the April/May people) bought the tickets before the season started and were usually fans of the visiting team. The "investor" makes money by buying up season ticket packages for several teams with the hope that most of the teams that make the post season or at least are in the hunt in September are teams they have tickets packages for. Those teams make the investor a profit which, hopefully, more than offsets the losses from the below face value sales and no-sales.

By the way, the five seats next to me were not renewed this year. I was able to move to the aisle seats the person owned.

This is exactly what brokers and investors do. I know a person who bought Bulls playoff tickets for a playoff game from a broker that was in Canada.

amsteel
02-24-2012, 01:35 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the sum of dynamically priced tickets over the season has to be equal to or more than the cost of season tickets, otherwise there would be a Season Ticket Holder revolt, correct?

I suppose the main benefit of being a STH is access postseason tickets, but that would be a swift kick to the nuts if some chump went to all 81 games and paid significantly less than a STH.

I've always wondered if one could go to all 81 games plus postseason and end up saving money by buying every seat through the secondary market. You would get hosed on the postseason, but I would think that would be made up for by savings from April and May games.

Max Power
02-24-2012, 01:37 PM
It's not that dynamic pricing is a bad idea, it's just that the White Sox do it wrong. If a game is has low demand around the time of the game, tickets are still $20 and up while online tickets are say $3 and up. The White Sox/box office should be like StubHub or a broker. Too bad the White Sox idea of dynamic pricing is regular price or way too high it's NOT a true market value IMHO.

That's how I feel as well. Dynamic pricing is fine, if it's truly dynamic. If the price is restricted to face value or higher then it does nothing for fans except gouge them.

mrfourni
02-24-2012, 01:45 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the sum of dynamically priced tickets over the season has to be equal to or more than the cost of season tickets, otherwise there would be a Season Ticket Holder revolt, correct?

I suppose the main benefit of being a STH is access postseason tickets, but that would be a swift kick to the nuts if some chump went to all 81 games and paid significantly less than a STH.

I've always wondered if one could go to all 81 games plus postseason and end up saving money by buying every seat through the secondary market. You would get hosed on the postseason, but I would think that would be made up for by savings from April and May games.

If the Sox were good enough to make the postseason and you wanted to sit in decent seats (especially lower deck), I doubt you would be able to come out ahead in a single year.

But I got rid of season tickets two years ago for this very reason. I figure that if the Sox are going to make the postseason once every 3-4 years, the money I'm saving by using the secondary market (especially last year and most likely this year), I'll be able to afford paying a premium next time the postseason comes around.

amsteel
02-24-2012, 01:52 PM
If the Sox were good enough to make the postseason and you wanted to sit in decent seats (especially lower deck), I doubt you would be able to come out ahead in a single year.

Yeah, I think it would only work for a team that comes out of nowhere and makes the postseason, there's no way you can pull that off with the Yankees or Red Sox.

Fenway
02-24-2012, 02:22 PM
It's not that dynamic pricing is a bad idea, it's just that the White Sox do it wrong. If a game is has low demand around the time of the game, tickets are still $20 and up while online tickets are say $3 and up. The White Sox/box office should be like StubHub or a broker. Too bad the White Sox idea of dynamic pricing is regular price or way too high it's NOT a true market value IMHO.

What teams used to do to attract anybody to a game with a weak advanced sale is to offer 'general admission'.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3518/3213858224_c0c4c8a6a9.jpg

Boston stopped doing this around 1995. Above ticket is from 1967.

Nobody in their right mind buys tickets from someone outside the park anymore as you have no idea if the barcode is valid. Stub Hub guarantees the barcode which Leroy at the CTA station won't.

ChiSoxFann
02-24-2012, 02:33 PM
Nobody in their right mind buys tickets from someone outside the park anymore as you have no idea if the barcode is valid. Stub Hub guarantees the barcode which Leroy at the CTA station won't.

I went to the Bulls/Celtics game last week and a woman was walking out of the UC as I walked in, on her cell phone and I heard her say, "They told me the bar code wasn't valid." I'd have liked to know where she bought them.

Ever since they stopped tearing tickets I've never bought from a scalper on the street. I once bought some Hawks tix on Craigslist and was paranoid walking up to the gate, but thankfully they were legit.

Fenway
02-24-2012, 02:48 PM
What the Boston teams do now is tell the season ticket holder that if you transfer the barcode from the hard ticket to an e-ticket, you must destroy the hard ticket. If someone shows up with a hard ticket that has already been used they will revoke the season ticket.

Then you have the wise guys that have an e-ticket and then make multiple copies.

A friend of mine got scammed at the Stanley Cup Finals - they bought 2 tickets to Game 6 on Craigslist and the tickets were legit complete with the hologram. But they were not valid.

What the Bruins do is they send out the entire playoff strip in late March but they only bill your card when they know the game WILL be played. If for some reason the credit card is declined they then void the ticket and reissue it as a Ticketmaster one.

One thing about Stub Hub - you screw around with them and PayPal/E-Bay will have the Feds knocking on your door quickly.


I went to the Bulls/Celtics game last week and a woman was walking out of the UC as I walked in, on her cell phone and I heard her say, "They told me the bar code wasn't valid." I'd have liked to know where she bought them.

Ever since they stopped tearing tickets I've never bought from a scalper on the street. I once bought some Hawks tix on Craigslist and was paranoid walking up to the gate, but thankfully they were legit.

Foulke You
02-24-2012, 02:50 PM
It's not that dynamic pricing is a bad idea, it's just that the White Sox do it wrong. If a game is has low demand around the time of the game, tickets are still $20 and up while online tickets are say $3 and up. The White Sox/box office should be like StubHub or a broker. Too bad the White Sox idea of dynamic pricing is regular price or way too high it's NOT a true market value IMHO.
Agree completely. I don't know what Boyer was talking about in that Crain's article about allowing the team to sell $5 upper deck seats to low demand games. I never saw it last year. The Yankees came to town in August with the Sox floundering in the standings. Interest was very low but the series was still "dynamically" priced through the roof. As I recall, it was a sparsely attended series considering it was the Yankees in mid-August.

ChiSoxFann
02-24-2012, 02:56 PM
What the Boston teams do now is tell the season ticket holder that if you transfer the barcode from the hard ticket to an e-ticket, you must destroy the hard ticket. If someone shows up with a hard ticket that has already been used they will revoke the season ticket.

Then you have the wise guys that have an e-ticket and then make multiple copies.

A friend of mine got scammed at the Stanley Cup Finals - they bought 2 tickets to Game 6 on Craigslist and the tickets were legit complete with the hologram. But they were not valid.

What the Bruins do is they send out the entire playoff strip in late March but they only bill your card when they know the game WILL be played. If for some reason the credit card is declined they then void the ticket and reissue it as a Ticketmaster one.

One thing about Stub Hub - you screw around with them and PayPal/E-Bay will have the Feds knocking on your door quickly.

I was wondering what stops someone who e-mailed their ticket or sold it online from then trying to sell the hard ticket too? It's amazing how high-tech yet simple selling fraudulent tickets can be and that's why I've been a box office/StubHub/Ticketmaster guy since they started scanning them.

I remember all the news stories from 2003 and 2005 for the All-Star Game and World Series where people were buying fake tickets for hundreds of dollars and didn't realize it until they got to the gates.

ChiSoxFann
02-24-2012, 03:02 PM
Agree completely. I don't know what Boyer was talking about in that Crain's article about allowing the team to sell $5 upper deck seats to low demand games. I never saw it last year. The Yankees came to town in August with the Sox floundering in the standings. Interest was very low but the series was still "dynamically" priced through the roof. As I recall, it was a sparsely attended series considering it was the Yankees in mid-August.

If I remember right they only drew in the 20k range for most of that series, yet dynamically priced UD tickets for around $50 for weeknight games. I'm still shocked they're charging premium pricing for the Boston April series this season.

Fenway
02-24-2012, 03:08 PM
Agree completely. I don't know what Boyer was talking about in that Crain's article about allowing the team to sell $5 upper deck seats to low demand games. I never saw it last year. The Yankees came to town in August with the Sox floundering in the standings. Interest was very low but the series was still "dynamically" priced through the roof. As I recall, it was a sparsely attended series considering it was the Yankees in mid-August.

24142 , 21661, 23873 and 28088 were the 2011 NYY crowds (They were Mon-Thurs)

Boston the previous weekend drew 27513, 33919 and 28278.

That tells me the White Sox hit a wall at around 26-27,000 and it is called the upper deck. The White Sox online may not have any good lower deck seats left but people are now smart enough to look at Stub Hub.

CLUBHOUSE KID
02-24-2012, 03:43 PM
That's how I feel as well. Dynamic pricing is fine, if it's truly dynamic. If the price is restricted to face value or higher then it does nothing for fans except gouge them.

Exaclty what I am saying. Thank you.

What teams used to do to attract anybody to a game with a weak advanced sale is to offer 'general admission'.

Some teams still do that. But even the Hawks charge ~$30 for GA.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3518/3213858224_c0c4c8a6a9.jpg

Boston stopped doing this around 1995. Above ticket is from 1967.

Nobody in their right mind buys tickets from someone outside the park anymore as you have no idea if the barcode is valid. Stub Hub guarantees the barcode which Leroy at the CTA station won't.

Agree completely. I don't know what Boyer was talking about in that Crain's article about allowing the team to sell $5 upper deck seats to low demand games. I never saw it last year. The Yankees came to town in August with the Sox floundering in the standings. Interest was very low but the series was still "dynamically" priced through the roof. As I recall, it was a sparsely attended series considering it was the Yankees in mid-August.

That was brutal. I bought a pair for $90 early in the season. Come game time it was $60! It was in the outfield. Sold it to a friend and bought 2 seats in 144 row 12 (great seats) for $49 each on StubHub. Those seats would have been $75 from the box office.

DumpJerry
02-24-2012, 04:55 PM
If I remember right they only drew in the 20k range for most of that series, yet dynamically priced UD tickets for around $50 for weeknight games. I'm still shocked they're charging premium pricing for the Boston April series this season.
My tickets for the April 28th Boston game went quickly on StubHub. My face value=$46.00, my StubHub price: $75.00 each.

There's a market out there.