Mariners Introduce Dynamic Pricing

March 12, 2012

The Mariners have wisely moved forward with dynamic pricing, introducing the concept this season.  Eventually all teams will do this.  It’s a way to combat the secondary ticket market that teams are struggling to deal with.  What’s interesting is that the M’s are protected from the downside, because ticket prices will not drop from whatever they are initially priced.  They will only go up.  This makes sense to protect season ticket holders and those who buy their tickets in advance.  But, it’s not a true case of pricing meeting demand, because if that were the case, one could expect prices to drop for a number of games (such as midweek, April games against weak opponents).  Though if the team did this constantly, they’d devalue the product.

It’ll be curious to see the impact it has on walk up ticket demand, though this will be hard to evaluate.  For instance, if I decide to go to a midweek game in August because my evening has freed up and it’s a nice night, will I be penalized with a higher ticket fee?  It may depend on the opponent and how well the M’s are doing at the time.  While a slight ticket price increase may not dissuade me from going, how might it impact the casual fan?  This is just one of many possible scenarios that could play out during the year.  We probably won’t get a better idea of the impact dynamic pricing is having for a few seasons, after fans have gotten used to the concept.


Name Those Cities

March 1, 2012

Getting back to something mentioned in an earlier post related to media markets, I’ll play the ever popular game of A vs. B.  In this case, City A vs. City B.

City A has a metro population of about 1.2M, Total Personal Income of $42M, Per Capita TPI of 37.5K (all ’09 figures), 0 Fortune 500 headquarters in the region and NFL and NHL teams.

City B has a metro population of about 1.3M, Total Personal Income of $70M, Per Capita TPI of 49K, 1 Fortune 500 headquarters in the region, 0 major league franchises.

Finished guessing?  City A is Buffalo.  City B is Tacoma.  It’s not totally exact, as some census data, such as Per Capita TPI, does not separate Tacoma from Seattle.  The Tacoma population data consists of Pierce County and nearby cities in King, Thurston and Kitsap Counties.  The point here is that Greater Tacoma in its own right is a decent market when separated from the central Sound.  We’re so used to looking at the Seattle/Tacoma market as one, I thought it’d be worthwhile to look at it from a different perspective.  A South Sound perspective.