The Minnesota Twins have lost 90 or more games for three consecutive years and although individual game ticket prices were not lowered for the 2014 season, ticket prices at least remained flat from the previous season for the first time since the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
The variable ticket pricing plan that was instituted in 2006 with 2 tiers jumped to 3 tiers in 2009 and 5 tiers in 2013 remains unchanged in 2014. The tiers are still called “extra value”, “value”, “select”, “premium” and “elite” and the number of games in each of the categories did change slightly from 2013. The “extra value” games are the cheapest priced games and there are 12 of them this year versus 8 last year but all of these games fall in the colder months of April and September. The next step up is the “value” plan and the number of games in this category dropped from 16 last season to just 8 in 2014. The “select” category is pretty much the middle of the line and this is pretty much the Twins baseline for ticket prices. The number of games in this category increased this year to 40 games from 32 last year. The next step up is the “premium” games and the Twins decreased the number of games in this category from 16 to 9. The top of the line category is the “Elite” games and this category of games jumped from 9 to 12 games. It would be interesting to find out how the Twins determine for example what games fall into the “Elite” category. The world champion Boston Red Sox are in town in May but those mid-week games are only classified as “select” games probably because school is still in session. The four Yankee games are of course “Elite” as are two games against the Detroit Tigers on a late August week-end but 6 of the 12 “Elite” games are against the mighty Chicago White Sox although each 3-game series falls on a week-end in June and July. The Twins strategy this years seems to be to put half the games in the middle “select” tier and then split the other 41 games fairly evenly between the lower tiers and upper tiers.
Individual tickets went on sale February 22 but those prices were only in effect for one day because as of February 23 demand-based pricing kicked in for the rest of the year and the Twins will determine ticket prices on a daily basis based on demand, weather and market conditions.
There are 12 (15% of games but all in April and September) “extra value” games, 8 (10% of games) “value” games, 40 (49% of the games) “select” games, 9 (11% of games) “premium” games, and 12 (15%) “elite” games.
The Twins did tinker with ticket prices within the various tiers but in the end it comes out to basically a wash although the lower classified tiers dropped a bit in average price and the high-end went up a bit. The average ticket price for a “extra value” game in 2013 was $16.68 and this year it dropped to $15.68. The average ticket price for a “value” game in 2013 was $23.47 and this year it dropped to $23.37.The average ticket price for a “select” game in 2013 was $30.68 and this year it remains at $30.68.The average ticket price for a “premium” game in 2013 was $37.89 and this year it goes up to $38.00.The average ticket price for an “elite” game in 2013 was $44.68 and this year it went up to $45.68. If you attend an “elite” game you will pay about three times as much for your seat as you would if you attended an “extra value” game. Same seat, same game of baseball but the tier designation determines how much money stays in your wallet.
Club president Dave St. Peter stated just prior to TwinsFest that he hoped that the Twins can hit the 2.5 milion mark in attendance in 2014, a slight increase over their attendance in 2013. Their 2013 average of 30,588 ranked the Twins 17th among 30 teams in major league baseball. The club’s full season-ticket equivalent base has dropped steadily from 25,000 in 2010 their first season at Target Field to last year’s 19,000 and is only projected to reach 17,000 by Opening Day 2014.