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Dodgers raise ticket prices

Feb 2, 2014, 9:03 AM EDT

dodger stadium getty Getty Images

From Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:

When the Dodgers announced late Friday that they had put an “extremely limited” number of season tickets on sale, they did not say they had imposed significant price increases on nearly every one of those tickets.

The Dodgers now are charging as much as 140% more than the season price set last fall. They increased the price in each of the 20 ticket categories made available Friday, and by at least 50% in 10 of them.

David Siegel, the Dodgers’ vice president of ticket sales, told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday that his office has seen “unprecedented” demand for season tickets this winter. So this is really just standard business procedure, even if it prices some people out. Last year you could buy a season ticket package at Dodger Stadium for as little as $5 per game. This year, the lowest package starts at $12 per game.

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw signed a record seven-year, $215 million extension last month.

  1. chacochicken - Feb 2, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    Thanks Yasiel Puig!

    • Old Gator - Feb 2, 2014 at 9:42 AM

      Thanks Adam Smith!

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        Thanks Obama!

      • chacochicken - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        Puighazi

    • Old Gator - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      No, it’s Bush’s fault.

  2. pastabelly - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    We’re planning an LA trip this Spring and I picked up good tickets to a Dodgers game at $80 for infield box. When compared to Boston and NY, I didn’t find that out of line.

  3. pbannard - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    I’m disappointed in your last sentence – as you noted in the article, the price increase is strictly a business move based on supply and demand. Kershaw’s contract has nothing to do with it, but by mentioning it out of the blue at the end of the article, you imply a connection. At best, it’s a complete non sequitur and just bad writing.

    • Glenn - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      Agreed. More sloppiness like that and Drew will have to lower his ticket prices regardless of what he is making in salary.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 2, 2014 at 11:55 AM

        Sunday sarcasm!

    • Old Gator - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      Baloney. Demand drives prices. Kershaw is one of the key factors (along with the relegation to nonbeing of the previous ownership) that drives demand. You’re either thinking too much or not enough.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 2, 2014 at 12:00 PM

        It’s infuriating when the rich throw it back in our faces: we jacked up prices a ridiculous amount because some of you — people with money — will pay it. If you didn’t like our product so much, we’d lower our prices. Suckers. Oh, you say that divide between what people with money and middle class folks can afford is growing greater? Commie. The rich enrich themselves off of your wants — it’s the American way.

      • rje49 - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        The price of any item is initially determined by the costs involved. When the price goes up because of high demand it turns into a “charge more because we can get it” which is simply greed.

    • spudchukar - Feb 2, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      It is neither a non sequitur nor poor writing. Kershaw’s salary does have “something” to do with the ticket increases. He is a major draw, due to his immense talent. The Dodgers made a business decision to offer him an extended contract and locked him up as a huge draw for the near future.

      Kershaw’s contract helped keep the Dodgers far above the luxury tax threshold, a number they are willing to exceed to put an attractive team on the field. The rise in ticket prices has a direct correlation to the product on the field.

      Granted a large part of Los Angeles revenue comes from their TV deal largess. But in order to get folks to watch, a competitive team must be on display.

      So suggesting their is no correlation between player salary and ticket prices is specious. It isn’t the only factor that drives up prices but it does contribute to the rationale. The Dodgers couldn’t demand the large increase if they hadn’t made the FA and trade improvements the past couple of years. The public wouldn’t be buying.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 2, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        Well, seeing as how the VP for ticket sales connected it to increased demand — I’m inclined to think they did not raise prices because of anyone’s salary. There is no way that they would give salaries that they couldn’t easily pay with the money already coming in the door. They are out to make a profit. It’s not a co-op. The profit was established before the ticket prices were raised. They’d be the worst businessmen ever, if not. The dude said it was due to demand — and that means the new prices are all profit.

        Now, if you want to suggest that fandom for Kershaw fueled the increased demand, I’d be okay with that (but it’s not him alone). But, this is strictly one of those we did it because we could things.

      • Francisco (FC) - Feb 2, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        Kershaw’s SALARY has nothing to do with it. His PRESENCE on the roster is fueling demand. dodgers fans demand would be up whether Kershaw was earning 5 million or 30 million. It’s just the fact that his contract has him committed to the team for several years so dodgers fans are naturally flocking to secure tickets to see this quality product on the field.

  4. greymares - Feb 2, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    plus most of the occupants of those seats will arrive in the 3rd inning and leave in the 7th. lol.

  5. yordo - Feb 2, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    That’s how you know they’ll be putting an inferior product on the field this year.

  6. jimeejohnson - Feb 2, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    NY on the left coast.

  7. gibbyfan - Feb 2, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    It’s a business. Revenues need to cover cost and leave a profit in a successful model. A lot of fans come here and argue against saary cap and want their teams to pay mega millions to their teams players……….I say tha’t fine–nothing wrong with it as long as the fans are willing to pay the price –but be advised -the DOdgers ownership is no tlooking to rn a charity.

  8. jwbiii - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Every time this topic comes up, I have to flog this poor dead horse again.

    I live in the south suburbs of Chicago. The nearest NFL team to me is, obviously, the Chicago Bears. The nearest major college football team to me is Notre Dame. The Bears pay their players, on average a little over $2m each. Notre Dame pays their players a little over $50k each (tuition, room, board, and fees). Both have excellent television contracts. They play in similarly sized venues. One team plays downtown in a major metropolitan area with millions of people within a one hour drive; the other plays in South Bend, Indiana, which is convenient if you live in Kalamazoo.

    If the “player costs drive ticket prices” theory had any validity whatsoever, Bears tickets would cost far more than Notre Dame tickets, since they are paying their players forty times as much. They don’t. Notre Dame tickets cost more. It’s demand, not player costs, that drives ticket prices.

    • Reflex - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      Yes. Especially when in the Dodgers case their tv deal more than covers their entire payroll before a single other revenue stream is counted. Player salaries are irrelevant to ticket prices, although signing good players leads to higher demand, obviously, which can raise prices.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      It’s particularly annoying to have to point this out again here since the VP specifically said they were only raising prices because of demand. They aren’t even trying to pretend it’s about salaries/cost — and people still immediately try to justify it by blaming player contracts. smh

    • historiophiliac - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      PS Kalamazoo? :)

      • jwbiii - Feb 2, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        A town in southwest Michigan that is fairly close to South Bend and is more fun to say than Elkhart. Given a choice, always choose the more amusing sounding place name. After all, Merle Haggard didn’t write “Okie from Norman.”

      • historiophiliac - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        I know where Kalamazoo is. My mom’s family is scattered outside of Grand Rapids. When I was a kid, we watched children’s TV from the Kalamazoo station when we went to visit my grandma. Kala-ma-zoo-zoo-zoo-zoo-zoo.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        Also a great Glenn Miller song: I’ve Got A Gal In Kalamazoo.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 2, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        I thought PC was gonna bring it up, but cheers to you for beating him to it!

    • gibbyfan - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      It’s not everything JW but it’s a major component…..And, yes of course supply and demand is a major factor as well—if they can get more they will—-Again it’s a business –nothing wrong with that.
      In the case of Notre Dame by the way it’s entire supply and demand and in my opinion major exploitatation of students—yes some of them get a free education worth –who know–maybe 75000/year. While coaches make millions and the scholl rakes in mega bucks way beyond that..IMO they should find a way to give students athletes decent compensation –that to would be the american way.

      • Reflex - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        Players contracts have virtually zero bearing on ticket prices. Ticket prices are almost entirely demand based given that right now baseline tv revenues pay more into the sport than all player salaries combined. Paperlions recently pointed out that player salaries account for only 46% of MLB revenues, well beneath the level in the highly profitable NFL.

        Right now the Dodgers could make the gate price free and they would *still* turn a profit. They make that much off of their tv deal, national tv revenue, merchandise and other revenue streams. If the ticket prices could be zero and a team still makes a profit, then claiming that player salaries impact ticket prices is ridiculous.

      • jwbiii - Feb 2, 2014 at 7:20 PM

        You’re missing my point, gibby. The NFL and the NCAA are selling the same product, and it costs the consumer about the same; in my case, the college product costs a bit more. One of these organizations pays their employees well, one of them relatively little, although it fair to ask what is a fair price for chronic traumatic encephalopathy induced brain damage. To rebut my argument, you would have to show that Miami Hurricanes tickets are less than Dolphins tickets, Cal tickets are less than Raiders tickets, etc. This is kind of a bad time of year for that.

        Whether college football players should be paid more than their scholarships is an interesting topic, but this is not really the place for that discussion.

  9. ytownjoe - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    I am curious about what percentage of prime seats become available on secondary markets.
    How many season tickets are purchased to turn a profit by reselling?

  10. gibbyfan - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Hey Jw–If there is a franchise that should give tickets away it would certainly be the Raiders –no wait–didn’t they cover half the stadium in a tarp–couldn’t even give tem away

  11. rcali - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    Stadium is a dump that includes terrible customer service. If you’re lucky you can avoid the occassional parking lot brawl or stabbing.

    • gibbyfan - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      Yes, I’m aware……It’s a shame–used to be a great franchise. Goes to show what severely poor management can bring.

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