Some Thoughts on Dynamic Pricing

The Mets now have their dynamic pricing guide online on  Tickets first went on sale to certain presale codes Monday.  I got Opening Day tickets at face value, but just three hours later they were $10 higher.  Btw, at 10am today the Mets blogger presale  begins.  More details here.

This ultimately sucks, although it won’t quite hurt the true fans.  Dynamic pricing does not change the prices of packs and plans.  If you want a particular promotion or banner day, you have an incentive to buy ahead beyond just getting better seats.  As more fans get exciting about specific events, the price will go up.  This will have a fairly catastrophic effect on suddenly popular games.  Clinchers, Dickey’s first home game after his no-hitter, and late season divisional matchups during pennant races can suddenly become very expensive.  Staying ahead of the hype will save you money.


On the flip side, it’s unlikely tickets will plummet that far for unwanted games.  The Mets set up an artificial floor so that a fan will never pay less than a season ticket holder paid for that section.  Reading between the lines to me means that it’ll never be less than the 10% discount they get.  Prices are fairly reasonable for value games as they are, but it’d be nice if the more expensive games become affordable if the Mets are eliminated early or if the weather is supposed to be really bad.


Another interesting use for dynamic pricing is tracking the popularity of games.  It can give us insight into tickets sold that previously only the Mets knew.  If you want to know how Banner Day is doing for example, you can check out the prices for that game against a similarly valued game and see if it’s inherently more popular or not.  As we get a feel for it, we’ll probably be able to tell how close it is to sold out, even within specific sections.


I’ll also be curious to see how the secondary market reacts.  Sites like Stub Hub and Seat Crew that deal in second-hand tickets may not be able to keep up with the fluctuations.  If a game suddenly takes off in popularity, it will take a while for people to unlist and relist their tickets.  If ticket prices drop, the secondary market will suddenly be overpriced.  This may also kill day of game sales.  If fans really want to go to a game, chances are the prices will increase past the secondary market…unless it’s raining.

More Info on 2012 Mets Tickets

The usual cast of bloggers just finished up a conference call with Mets VP Dave Howard about the new ticketing schemes.  Not a ton of new info came to light, but some things were clarified and hinted at.


I asked about the dynamic pricing floor.    Specifically that the dynamic pricing will never dip below what a season ticket holder paid for the same seat in that section.   What was left unclear was if that meant you’ll never get a ticket less than $12 in sections 535/536 where season ticket holders sit, or if you’ll never get a seat less than $12 in the Promenade Outfield section which encompasses a large subset of the cheaper seats.


This is not a move towards being a small market team or anything.  The pricing was created off of a lot of data, meant to optimize revenue.   Adjusting prices should help them sell more tickets, and if the team remains competitive all year, the dynamic pricing will increase revenue.


Renewal date is coming earlier, although there will be a payment plan option.  Basically it seems the Mets want your commitment as early as possible, but are more flexible with the actual cash.  It was hinted at that you could see your 2013 invoices by this time next year.


Mostly there wasn’t a lot of specifics revealed in the conference call.  Dave Howard mentioned keeping the ticket fees within a reasonable percentage of the ticket price, and mentioned that offered best technological package and had a good relationship with MLB.  Went into the thinking of dynamic pricing without breaking down when prices would go up/down and what types of prices you could expect to see.    There will be more to come as season plans and individual ticket info is released.  I’d say the number one thing I took out of this is:   Buying tickets day of game is getting to be a worse and worse idea around sports.


For now, read other recaps around Metsopotamia.


Metspolice has a bunch today, keep checking back for analysis.

Amazin’ Avenue has a full transcript.