Another theory on Yanks postseason ticket pricing

Today’s New York Times notes that while the Yankees will be offering Division Series seats to season ticket holders at regular-season prices, they’ll be several dollars higher for non-season plan holders lucky enough to win the ticket lottery. (All tickets will also carry a mandatory MLB “handling fee” of between $1 and $6 for all, because you don’t expect Bud Selig to run his greasy fingers over everything for nothing, right?) This suggests one possible reason why the Yanks are keeping first-round ticket prices low: They may be worried about season-ticket renewals in the wake of all the uproar over this year’s crazy price hikes (86% on average, according to the Times), and are hoping that the guarantee of discounted postseason tickets will be enough to lure fans back for 2010.

In any case, this should be one more data point in rebuttal of any notion that sports ticket prices are set according to some rational analysis of supply and demand — as my six-year-old says about the weather forecasts, “They’re just guessing.” And right now with everyone guessing about so many other things, it makes sense to expect some weirdness in ticket pricing, too.

Share this post:

9 comments on “Another theory on Yanks postseason ticket pricing

  1. No worries about playoff tickets here in Chicago…the Cubs collapsed as usual, and the Sox performed a Cub-like collpase as well..

    With regard to Yankees or ANY playoff tickets for that matter, the pricing IS what the market will bear…and as long as idiots…and truly, if you are willing to pay upwards of a hundred bucks for a playoff ticket, then premium pricing for hotdogs & beer while there, you ARE an idiot, albeit one with plenty of discretionary income.

    The ONLY way for the fans to send a message to the team and the league is simply stated, “Don’t go.” Don’t buy tickets, and watch the mad scramble to “correct” the pricing.

    Wrigley Field has begun to see vast spaces of empty seats…something that makes the management VERY nervous…and the announcers have been much more vocal about stating “Plenty of seats available for the next series…”

    The ONLY recourse we fans have is to stay away from the ballpark, PERIOD.
    Selig makes me sick, charging an additional $2+ for “print at home” option when purchasing tickets…that always gets my goat, because its MY paper, MY ink…you should give a $2 dollar or more DISCOUNT for “print at home.”

  2. I would like to see some kind of a dynamic pricing system make its way into sports via an internet application like e-bay where you can go on, view the seat in the 3d viewer, and either bid in an auction on seats for less than the full price or purchase them outright for the full listed price. There’s no sense in letting $300 seats go to waste if someone is willing to pay $100 for it. 100 + concessions + parking > 0 after all…

  3. Cam,
    Yeah, I guess you did, because had you been following the Cubs you would know they FAILED TO WIN A SINGLE post-season game in 2007 & 2008…THAT is the very definition of “collapse,” if not “pathetic.”

  4. Cam – pretty convenient to ignore the collapse in the playoffs the past two years. Doesn’t matter if it happened in October, September, August, July, June, May or April: it still happened!

    Daniel – I know it’s bullshit that they charge $2 to print tickets at home, as a way of nickel and diming fans to death. Of course, from my printing press background, it seems like a petty attempt by Selig to recoup the losses of an already printed ticket, with its fancy paper stock, holograms, computer graphics and lamination. But it does NOT cost $2 to make a single ticket.

  5. Wait, they actually print physical tickets for the same seats that are sold via e-ticketing? That sounds like it’d be a supreme waste of money, not to mention a potentially huge bootlegging problem if some of the duplicate tickets got out.

    My assumption has always been that the print-at-home charge is just a recognition that fans like it, so the league figures if it’s something customers want, it’s something they can be made to pay for. I imagine it’s only a matter of time before they sell passes to get on the “Premium” line to buy hot dogs – though I guess offering waiter service in the club seats amounts to the same thing.

  6. Personally I was thinking season tickets being re-sold online, specifically as ticket print waste. I don’t know the specifics for every team for regular season, but especially for playoffs, they start ordering prints weeks before the season ends due to short down time & huge demand. Phantom playoff tickets pop up on ebay from time to time. There’s even 1982 White Sox ALCS & WS tickets on there, and they spent most of that season in 3rd place. Given that there’s so many games & people, neglected tickets & tight pennant races, there will always be ticket waste. It is curious given the Internet market now & much more complex designs.

  7. The Cubs didn’t collapse in the playoffs. They simply got beat, as all but one team does.

    By that ridiculous definition, 29 teams “collapse” every year at some point in which case the word has no more meaning. It also ignores what the Cubs accomplished those years.

    ’04 was a collapse. ’07 and ’08 were playoff defeats after winning the division.

Comments are closed.