Sports fans are being cheated

by Kristina Tahnyak on March 3, 2014 · 5 comments

Good morning Dinks.  As you know my boyfriend Nick is a huge sports fan.  He watches a lot of sports, but we don’t go to a lot of NBA or NFL games because it’s very pricy.  I don’t know how season ticket holders afford the cost of attending games all season.  I thought that going to the movies for a night out was expensive.  Well it doesn’t even cost half the price of attending a professional sports game.

The sad thing is sports fans are starting to see changes when it comes to ticket prices.  The cost to see your favorite sports team will be increasing as NFL Teams introduce variable ticket pricing into their stadiums.  The feelings between the sports industry and fans vary.

Sports fans will pay more for the same seats

And they aren’t happy about it.  Variable ticket pricing is also known as tiered ticket pricing and it allows stadiums to charge different prices for the same tickets depending on the demand of a game.  Seats for a low ranked team will be cheaper than the exact same seats of more popular match ups such top ranked teams, teams with major star players or teams with long standing rivalries.

Our friend Lee Huff from the FinCon Facebook Group is less than pleased.  He says “I’m against it (variable ticket pricing).  The NBA already does this, so if you want to take in an affordable game you have to watch one where the good teams beat up the bad teams.  Otherwise, you’re stuck paying a huge premium.”

And he’s right.  At the beginning of February while I was in New York I was thinking about seeing a Knicks game.  Well they were playing the Miami Heat that weekend and the absolute cheapest price, aka the highest seats, I could find were $180 each.  YIKES.

I can’t afford to enjoy live sporting events anymore

Fans aren’t sold on the concept of paying a higher price for more popular games.  I personally feel this will hurt ticket sales at sporting events because people will no longer be able to afford to see their favorite players at popular sporting events.  I know that I won’t.

If you live in a city with a major sports team this change may not affect you as much.  But if you have to travel to see your favorite team the costs of accommodations and tickets can quickly add up.

Variable ticket pricing already exists in other sports

Tiered ticketing has been around for some time now in sports such as the NBA, MLB and NHL, but now the NFL is introducing this new pricing concept.  I personally think it’s a bit ridiculous but at the end of the day professional sports is just another business.

The Boston Red Sox introduced fans to variable ticket pricing that includes variable ticket prices based on game demand as well as the time in baseball season and the day of the week.  “We strive to maintain affordability and ticket accessibility while still generating the revenues necessary to fuel our baseball operations, said Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino.

How do you feel about variable ticket pricing?

Photo by bradleygee

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathy March 3, 2014 at 8:46 am

People who can afford season tickets already are probably wealthy enough to afford this. But the person who just wants to buy a couple of tickets to see a great game is going to be hurt. My husband and I went to a few Kansas City Chiefs games quite a few years back and eventually had to stop because every year our seats were worse and worse. Add to that the oftentimes drunken antics of the crowd around us made it so we just didn’t want our son exposed to the experience. Now we watch from the comfort of our living room and don’t have to pay outlandish prices for a soda or hot dog.

2 Richard March 3, 2014 at 11:20 am

I don’t understand how sports fans are being “cheated”. If fans are willing to pay a premium to watch certain individuals, then sports organizations should and will continue to charge higher prices until the market corrects itself. No one is forcing fans to pay the higher price, they choose to. If teams see attendance falling in the future, then they will lower their prices.

I am a huge sports fan. I do not attend many games live either as the price and experience are not worth it to me. I enjoy watching the game on TV with friends. I wish a live game were less expensive, but I also wish Ferrari sold their car at a lesser price.

3 James March 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Its garbage, they are trying to squeeze more $$$ out of the fans. Perhaps they should consider ways to reduce their expenses, like paying players less, rather than attempting to further milk the fan base.



4 The First Million is the Hardest March 3, 2014 at 11:09 pm

I actually think variable ticket pricing is better for fans. Our NHL team has been doing it for a few years now. On one hand you do pay more for the “hot” games that everyone wants to see, but on the other, tickets for the lower tier games are quite affordable.

Either way, I can’t remember the last time I paid face value for a ticket to a sporting event anyway. Between Stubhub and Craigslist you can usually find cheap tickets to any game you want to see.

5 Brock @cleverdude March 4, 2014 at 7:59 am

I say let ’em do it….with one small little caveat. They also have to have variable ticket pricing based upon how THEIR team is doing. If the team is doing crappy, then the league they belong to requires them to charge lower ticket prices. A little extra incentive to make sure their team doesn’t SUCK.

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