Ticket pricing gets change-up

December 10, 2008
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There’s a new reality in professional sports. Slowly, but surely the people who run sports operations in central Indiana are waking up as the sun rises on a new day. Here’s some news that should help all of us understand that times are changing.

Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants recently signed a deal with a software company that enables team officials to change single-game ticket prices at any time. What does this mean? It means that sports franchises will start dealing with tickets they way airline companies have for years. When the demand is high, prices will be high. When demand is low … you get the picture.

The Giants will be testing their system next season with 2,000 seats. Sports marketers said it’s a trend that could sweep through all sports.

The Giants’ new partner, Austin, Texas-based QCue will connect its system with Ticketmaster.com, the team’s ticket agent. QCue’s system uses data mangers to crunch numbers and allows it to determine the price of tickets. QCue’s formula factors in recent and historical performances of the Giants and their opponent, the opposing pitcher, weather forecast, day of the week the game is played and gate giveaways to help determine the ticket price. Initially, Giants officials plan to limit the number of ticket price changes to once, maybe twice, a day. But team officials admit it could get to the point where ticket prices change numerous times per day based on supply and demand.

Sorry sports fans, you’re frequent flyer miles are not redeemable here.
  • So the pacers would be giving away tickets then right?
  • They might actually be paying people to fill the seats, kind of like movie extras for their TV telecasts on Fox Sports.
  • I'll take credit for this idea which as a Pacer STH I proposed years ago to the Pacers. I think the model is more like the symphony or a play. You pay more to see the Saturday 8pm performance than the Sunday matinee or the Weds night performance. You can't tell me seeing Boston Celtics on a Saturday night is the same as seeing the OKC Thunder on a Monday. Those mid Jan and Feb weeknight games when it could be below zero versus a March or April game have to be harder sells for walkups.

    I proposed that a number of games would be premium priced and the same number be discounted equally on an individual basis. The STH then pays the same, but those people that buy single games pay more to see the hot teams on good nights.

    Sure you might gauge some games wrong, but overall, you know the 'hot tickets' before the season begins.

    The Pacers are sort of doing that this year with discounted tickets to get fans in the door to see the product. Good move.

    Probably a moot point for Colts that are sold out, but tickets could be printed showing higher price for the Sunday night NE game more than a Sunday afternoon before Christmas with the Bengals. That might impact after-market resells.
  • Of course the people that have the final say so whether this will work are the fans. And fans being fans they will be stupid enough to play the commodity market with their tickets instead of boycotting and protesting the old fashion way.

    Morgan Burke in his letter to football season ticket holders at Purdue actually said that in appreciation for the fan support this year they were not going to increase tickets next year. If the economy continues and the caliber of play does not improve in the 2010 seasons he will be begging for ticket holders.

    Greed has overtaken all aspects of our lives.

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  1. I still don't understand how the FBI had any right whatsoever to investigate this elderly collector. Before the Antiquities Act it was completely legal to buy, trade or collect Native American artifacts. I used to see arrow heads, axes, bowls, corn grinders at antique shops and flea markets for sale and I bought them myself. But that was in the late 60's and early 70's. And I now know that people used to steal items from sites and sell them. I understand that is illegal. But we used to find arrow heads and even a corn grinder in our back yard when I was a child. And I still have those items today in my small collection.

  2. I lived in California and they had many of the things noted in the proposed suggestions from the "Blue Ribbon Panel". California is near financial collapse now. Let's not turn the great state of Indiana into a third world dump like California.

  3. The temporary closure of BR Avenue will get a lot of attention. But, one thing reported by the IndyStar really stands out to me, and is extraordinarily depressing: “Police also have agreed to crack down on noise violations, traffic violations and public intoxication.” In other words, the police have generously agreed to do their jobs (temporarily, at least), instead of just standing around waiting for someone to call 911. When is someone in this department going to get off their fat arse (looking at you, Chief), get their minds out of 1975-era policing and into 2014, and have his department engage in pro-active work instead of sitting around waiting for someone to be shot? Why in the hell does it take 7 people getting shot in one night in one of the city’s biggest tourist destinations, to convince the police (reluctantly, it would appear) that they actually need to do their f’n jobs? When is the Chief going to realize that there’s a huge, direct, proven correlation between enforcing the law (yes, all laws, especially those affecting quality of life) and preventing larger crimes from occurring? Is it racial BS? Is that what this extraordinary reluctance is all about? Is the department and the city terrified that if they do their jobs, they might offend someone? Whom, exactly? Will the victims of violence, murder, assault, rape, robbery, and theft be offended? Will the citizens who have to tolerate their deteriorating quality of life be offended? Will the businesses who see their customers flee be offended? Or, is it simple ignorance (maybe the Chief hasn’t heard about NYC’s success in fighting crime - it’s only the biggest g*&#am city in the country, after all)? Either way, Chief, if you don’t want to do your job, then step down. Let someone who actually wants the job take it.

  4. I thought Indiana had all the funding it needed for everything. That's why the state lottery and casino gambling were allowed, as the new tax revenue would take care of everything the state wanted to do.The recommendations sound like they came from California. Better think about that. What is the financial condition of that state?

  5. I was a fan of WIBC in the morning, Steve was the only WIBC host that I listened too, he gave the news with so much flare that I enjoyed listening to him on my way to work. Katz is no Steve. Sadly, I will not be listening to WIBC anymore.