Jan 25, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT
My eyes bulged a bit when I saw that the Pirates had raised some ticket prices. The Pirates? Really? You can’t give Pirates tickets away some days, so how do they get off raising prices? Then I read further — and read Dejan Kovacevic’s longer take on it — and realized that (a) it’s only a slight increase for same-day walkup tickets; and (b) the rest of the Pirates tickets haven’t gone up in nine years.
Nine years! Pretty good deal, it seems to me. Of course it’s the Pirates and you get what you pay for, but it’s not so bad given that you’re guaranteed to have at least one major league team to watch on any given night at PNC Park. At least if it’s not an interleague game against the Indians.
The story has me thinking a bit about the walkup ticket market. Kovacevic talks about it a bit in his piece. Because I’ve never lived in the same town as a major league team I think I’ve only done the walkup thing two or three times ever. On those occasions, though, I’m certain that price wouldn’t have been a big factor for me. The biggest investment was the decision to change my plans and find a parking place. Once I was at the ticket booth it was a done deal, whether the tickets were $8 or $20 bucks simply because it was an impulsive thing.
Anyone do frequent walkups? What’s the calculus? Cheap tickets? A lark that you’d do whatever the cost? I wonder what teams could do to maximize revenue with those kinds of tickets. I bet if they sold them really cheap in nearby bars that they’d get tons of people buying. And since they were in bars anyway, they’d be people likely to get an over-priced beer or two.
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