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The Orioles raise ticket prices

Jan 21, 2011, 6:09 AM EDT

Camden Yards

Pop quiz hot shot!  You’ve lost 90+ games for eight of the past ten years and your 2010 attendance was the lowest since you moved to your fancy new ballpark back in 1992. It’s time to set ticket prices for the coming year. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?!

For the first time since after the 2006 season, the Orioles are raising single-game ticket prices at Camden Yards. All tickets for individual games will increase — except for the cheapest, left-field, upper reserve seats which will remain at $8 and $9 — with the hikes ranging from $1 to $8 extra depending on the game desired and when the tickets are purchased. The average single-game ticket will go up $3 in 2011.

We had a garage sale once and it took me an hour to figure out how to price slightly-worn baby clothes, so I’m the last guy who can say the Orioles’ bean counters are cutting their own throats with this kind of move. When you have a zillion different price points for a zillion different types of tickets, quality of opponents, etc., making a supply and demand graph is a rather complicated proposition. As such, we can’t sit here and say that this is a dumb financial move for the Orioles. There are many moving parts, and it may very well be that this increase makes economic sense for the team no matter how much people grouse about it.

That said: people gonna be mad.

  1. Adam - Jan 21, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    Is there slogan going to be: O’s baseball, pay to see the AL East!

    • yankeesfanlen - Jan 21, 2011 at 11:28 AM

      A friend’s son is getting married in Baltimore in August. The date had to be moved up a week because there were no hotel rooms available on their prerferred date- the Yankees are in town.

  2. drunkenhooliganism - Jan 21, 2011 at 8:40 AM

    Much like those baby clothes you had trouble pricing, most of these tickets will be unsold and given away for free

  3. Panda Claus - Jan 21, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    Some people will always be mad whenever anything goes up. Consider that O’s prices on average are about $24 according to the team, that’s below the league average of $27.

    The Cubs averaged $52 last year ( for nine more wins that the O’s had in 2010. Everything is relative and when compared across the board the increase isn’t all that unreasonable.

  4. smokehouse56 - Jan 21, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Not one damn person would complain if they could see improvement. But they don’t. Just look at the Phillies. Sold out every game last year and will sell out every game this year. Put a decent product on the field and they will come. Now, as Adam said above, they come just to see the AL East in their road games to Baltimore. They have the stadium (Camden Yards), now they need an owner who will spend money to improve their team. They don’t and that’s the problem. Say what you will about the Phillies, Yanks and Red Sox. They spend the money and each team had over 3 million fans fill their parks, pay their tickets, pay their parking, buy their gear, buy their beer and hot dogs and enjoy a great game and setting. Just look at how the Phillies and Red Sox have re-tooled for this year than look at the sad case of the Orioles.

    • randomdigits - Jan 21, 2011 at 10:26 AM

      What are you talking about? Have you been paying attention at all this offseason?
      Most years I would agree with you but this offseason the O’s have gone from Atkins, Roberts, Izturis, and Tejada infield of last year to Lee, Roberts, Hardy, and Reynolds. It is not unlikely that they have improved the offense by 100 runs in the infield alone, with better defense.

      The O’s have done more to improve themselves this offseason then maybe any team in baseball, including the Red Sox and Phillies.

      • larryhockett - Jan 21, 2011 at 10:35 AM

        Wow, I don’t know how I missed that! Where was I when ESPN was running special bulletins to keep everyone up to date on the Orioles epic pursuants of Derrick Lee, JJ Hardy and Mark Reynolds?

      • JBerardi - Jan 21, 2011 at 12:02 PM

        Yeah. That Lee/Roberts/Hardy/Reynolds infield really has the Gonzalez/Pedroia/Lowrie*/Youkilis and Teixeria/Cano/Jeter/Rodriguez units running for cover.

        The Orioles are a respectable squad, just not in the AL East.

        *sooner or later, probably sooner

      • randomdigits - Jan 21, 2011 at 1:46 PM

        Did not say they are a playoff team, just said that the team seriously upgraded three infield positions this offseason.

        Smokehouse56 said ” Just look at how the Phillies and Red Sox have re-tooled for this year than look at the sad case of the Orioles.”, I responded that the O’s improved themselves every bit as much.

        They are just starting from a much lower place.

  5. lar @ wezen-ball - Jan 21, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    Five years is a long time to go without raising prices, even if you stink. Lots of costs go up in that kind of time. I don’t think you can blame them…

    I mean, wouldn’t you love to hear that your team’s ticket prices will only be raised every five years, and then only by a couple of dollars? That’s not a bad deal.

  6. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 21, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Speed = Pie
    Speed 2: Cruise Control = Cake

    • BC - Jan 21, 2011 at 10:57 AM

      I’m a muffin man, myself….
      Frank Zappa

      • JBerardi - Jan 21, 2011 at 12:04 PM

        There is naught, nor ought there be, nothing so exalted on the face of God’s gray Earth as that prince of foods… the muffin!

  7. BC - Jan 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    Clearly they need a new ballpark. That 20 year old piece of bleep is abhorrent.

  8. indyralph - Jan 21, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    The cheapest ticket to see the Indianapolis Indians is $9. You have to sit on a lawn for that price. There should be no complaints about seeing the Yankees, Rays, Sox or even Orioles for nine bucks.

  9. baseballstars - Jan 21, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    It’s sad when the Red Sox come to town and have more fans in Camden Yards than the “home” team does.

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