Monday, January 3, 2011

Dynamic Ticket Pricing: Another Big 2011 Story

The growing trend of organizations experimenting with dynamic ticket pricing is one worth watching in 2011.

You may be familiar with the concept, where demand dictates the price of tickets. Airlines have relied on it for years. The San Francisco Giants have enjoyed success with it for two years now.

Although website is technically the secondary ticket market, its one of the best-known ways for fans to buy discounted tickets for less-popular events. Similarly, tickets to popular games cost more, but offer fans a safer alternative to scalping at the stadium.

While the Rays are no stranger to variable pricing, they have resisted true dynamic pricing, where demand can adjust prices daily. It stands to reason the team (and the Bucs, for that matter) has resisted dynamic pricing because the excess of supply would de-value their product.

After all, teams have long raised ticket prices to whatever the market can bear. The Rays make more money selling 20,000 tickets at $25 a piece than they would selling 30,000 at $10 a piece.

That's why teams like the Yankees would rather keep hundreds of their best seats empty all season long than lower the price on the section.

There was also an interesting article recently in the Wall Street Journal that introduces us to a new start-up that will offer available concert and sports tickets for a discount. Much like, fans would submit a bid for available tickets and if its high enough, the ticket is yours.

The common theme in all of these ideas is supply-and-demand dictates prices. It's a concept that stands to reward fans - and maybe even the franchises - if their favorite teams embrace it.

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