Ticket pricing isn’t a very sexy topic; it’s one that isn’t readily discussed by the media or even in sabermetric circles, but it remains vitally important. Like so many parts of baseball, ticket pricing is getting smarter. We so often, as fans of the game, prefer to forget that baseball is a business and that the owners and shareholders demand profits. Ticket sales, obviously, drive a portion of that. But when a fan buys a baseball ticket, he or she rarely buys just a ticket, but also a parking ticket, food, and perhaps memorabilia. An afternoon of baseball can quickly become an expensive experience.
That’s why ticket pricing has more than one purpose. It can most importantly be a way to attract fans to the games, often creating new fans (or, perhaps, repeat customers) in the process. Whether it’s by giving away free tickets, creating special promotional nights, such as the ever-popular bobblehead nights, or packaging together family plans to attract younger baseball fans, plenty of ways exist to control and maximize the fan experience with ticket pricing.
Alex Remington pointed out in a recent Hardball Times article, “Young people don’t buy tickets.” Thus, what better way to attract the younger generation than to create affordable prices for parents to bring their kids to the games? These are merely some of the many reasons why baseball is getting smarter in ticket pricing.
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