Demand-based pricing for single-game tickets at Target Field starts March 9

Here is a copy of a Minnesota Twins Press Release dated yesterday. I have heard of a couple of other major league teams implementing this but I had no idea that the Twins would jump on the band wagon this soon. I know I am old school and I may not know all the facts but to me this looks like plain old greed on the part of major league baseball. Why should I as a fan have to pay more or less to go to a baseball game based on who pitches that day or what the weather is going to be like? Most fans like to plan out there baseball games and buy their tickets early but now it seems to me that it will make more sense to wait to the last minute to buy your ticket. Baseball is starting to price their tickets like the airlines do, the person next to you may have paid a lot less or a lot more for his/her seat than you did. This policy appears to totally benefit the team but where does the customer benefit in all of this? What as a Twins ticket buyer have I gained? It seems to me that fans that live out-state are even more unfairly punished with this policy because they can’t go to a Twins game at a drop of the hat when the Twins deem that a game will be priced lower now than it was previously. And what about the season ticket holders, won’t they get the short end of the stick here? No matter how I read this, baseball benefits and baseball fans lose, what am I missing here? If any of you out there can explain to me how this benefits us Twins fans please feel free to comment or drop me an e-mail because I really want to know.


Demand-based pricing for single-game tickets at Target Field starts March 9

Beginning March 9, the Twins will apply demand-based pricing to all seating sections of Target Field for the 2012 season. Demand-based pricing, which prices tickets according to fan demand, is a practice that is becoming standard across sports and entertainment industries. The system, which was implemented within two seating categories at Target Field in 2011, applies only to single-game ticket sales and does not affect Season Ticket Holder pricing.

The Twins implemented demand-based pricing during the 2011 season to more accurately price single-game tickets and to provide fans with more price options. In 2012, expanding our demand-based pricing will allow the Twins to adjust all ticket prices (except in the Our Family Section) upward or downward on a daily basis based on real-time market conditions such as team performance, pitching matchups and the weather.

The Twins will utilize Digonex’s Sports and Entertainment Analytical Ticketing System (SEATS™), a robust and proven dynamic pricing system that optimizes prices based upon a number of factors, to provide greater value to fans, maximize ticket sales, and mitigate the impact of ticket scalpers.

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One Response to Demand-based pricing for single-game tickets at Target Field starts March 9

  1. Jim Crikket says:

    John, as an out of state fan who makes a few trips up to Target Field every year, I’ve given this change some thought since I read the original announcement a while back. I’m still not 100% positive if it’s altogether positive or negative for fans like me who have to plan a bit in advance, but I can see where it could go either way.

    First off, we’re really only talking about the least-popular seats, because it’s pretty rare that “good seats” are available for single games. Sometimes seats they hold back initially for potential group sales aren’t used for that purpose and they release them for general sale a few weeks before that game. In other words, I don’t see this affecting season-ticket holders at all… at least with regard to the games they actually attend. If you’re a season-ticket holder who actually is more interested in making a profit by selling your tickets, it could have some effect on you, I guess.

    Here’s the underlying question, from my perspective: Why should the Twins essentially be providing inventory to ticket brokers on a flat rate using a system that allows only the secondary market to realize the income based on the fluctuating real value of the tickets to their event? For someone like me, who because of my location, really can’t make even partial season-ticket packages work, it’s possible that I may have a better chance at getting tickets from the Twins, instead of a ticket broker and, if I do, it will likely be cheaper than what I’m paying now (even though the price may be a few bucks more than “face value” now).

    It also makes sense for the Twins to be able to lower prices on bad weather days or other low demand games to the point where people may actually feel it’s worthwhile to buy them and attend the game. Those are tickets that people wouldn’t buy otherwise, so anything they make is extra revenue AND they’ll get some concession income from those people as well. Could this make it tougher for season ticket holders to get full face value for their tickets on the open market? Maybe… but if demand is that low for the cheap seats the Twins have left in inventory, I doubt there’s much chance anyone would get full face value for their tickets anyway.

    I’d also suggest that the motive for buying season tickets is, or should be, to get better seats than you can get for the same price if you buy one game at a time.

    Bottom line is that I really don’t see this as a big deal. I might feel otherwise if I made a living as a ticket broker or have been realizing a nice profit on my season tickets that I sell on the secondary market. But I almost always pay above face value for my tickets anyway, so I have no problem with the Twins capturing a portion of the increased value of their product, rather than all of it going to those selling on the secondary market. I don’t see that as greed, but simply a business getting a larger proportion of the price fans are paying already to attend games.

    Maybe I’ll feel differently as we see how it plays out.

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