I find it miraculous that teams brag about not changing their ticket prices. When they do this, they’re trying to convince the public that they are trying to make attendance affordable for everyone. Anyone who has been to a game knows that’s not true – the price of food is ABSURD (and we all know that even Andrew Demetriou thinks so).
The point I’m making is: if you’re trying to make it affordable… why don’t you try lowering your ticket prices?
Recently, professional sports have seen a drop in game attendance. Lots of people attribute it to increased TV coverage (we’ll talk about this another time) which makes it cheaper, more convenient, and more comfortable (my couch happens to fantastically soft and my apartment is so much warmer than the SCG) and measures are being taken by some leagues to counteract this.
It doesn’t seem that anyone is talking about lowering ticket prices and I don’t know why. Any revenue is better than no revenue and I feel like teams are forgetting that with lower ticket prices, fans will have more money to spend on concessions and merchandise.
I’m not saying all ticket prices have to be dropped, but what if there was more of a breakdown of tickets and seating that allowed for more price variation (we call this arbitrage in economics and it’s really naughty but, like most things in sport, it’s an exception and actually works quite well to increase revenue). We all know that when you go to see a play, better seats are more expensive. While this applies, in some degree, to sports, Australian teams rely more on standard pricing and fans are expected to show up early to get better seats – first in, best dressed. It’s worked for years and it makes good sense. But why not try something different for a few games or a season and see how it goes?
The gold section at the SCG for instance, ranges in price from $10 – $102. Personally, I think that should be broken down into different sections. Also, when I search for tickets in the gold section, the cheapest ones that come up are $47. A bit steep when I thought I could get $10 tickets (although I might just be searching wrong…).
Not only would I break it down by seating, but I’d also adjust prices depending on the fixture. Yes, there should be a standard price for most games but for games that won’t be drawing a massive crowd, I’d get prices WAY down. As down as I could get while still making a profit.
But my favourite ticket pricing idea? I have Mark Cuban to thank for that – the $5 game. Or the $7 game. Or the $10 game. Or whatever you need it to be. The idea is to get fans in the seats and with prices that great… who can afford to miss it? If you had a game where all tickets were $5 (and it was first in, best dressed) – that game would be (at least very near to) a sell-out. You would have a completely different crowd there and clubs could reach different fans. And how much fun would it be to go to a game like that?!
It just seems that with so many options for increasing affordability and attendance, it seems shameful that sports would brag about constant ticket prices.