The Score - Anthony Schoettle

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Sports Business

Ticket pricing gets change-up

December 10, 2008
KEYWORDS Sports Business
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.
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