Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why don't they alter the prices?

There are several team, including the NY Yankees, that are experiencing ve bad attendance in the early days of the baseball season. There are a lot of reasons for this, and certainly this does not mean that the country has lost interest in baseball. In much of the country the weather in April does not exactly inspire fans to head to the ballpark. Personally, while I love the game, I want to sit in the park on a nice warm afternoon an enjoy a cold beer, not a freezing evening with a hot chocolate keeping me from freezing.

To an econ teacher, this raises this question: Why don't ticket prices vary more game by game? While the supply of seats in a stadium is perfectly inelastic no matter who the opponent ( in English: same number of seats to sell against popular team in July v bad team in April), clearly the demand for each games varies by opponent, time of year, pitching matchup, and day of the week. So, why don't teams realize this and vary the prices more?

Many teams now have different levels of game prices based on opponent. Here in CO, when the Yanks, Bosox or Cubs come to town, the price goes up as those teams have enough fans in the area to fill the park. Still, it does not vary enough. If the Rockies are playing the Pirates on a Tuesday night in early May, the price of those tickets should be.....well, probably free plus parking. And it is likely they don't maximize revenue when the Yankees come to town, as tickets sell out fast even at the higher than normal prices.

Yes, we do see special deals on tickets on less possible games as way to deal with reduced demand. And I remember reading last year that the Giants were testing a system that would calculate the variables in demand and reprice tickets. I've not heard any more about this, but it sure makes sense.

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