lariam medellin precio topamax precio y presentacion colospa tabletas y embarazo precio del plaquenil en farmacias del ahorro en mexico vasodilan ampolletas para nebulizar precio plendil v ovulos precio ayurslim jarabe venta libre tegretol bayer precio en mexico venta de cystone generico en españa venta de skelaxin sin receta en mexico viagra flas precio chile fertomid edigen 5 crema efg precio allegra bayer precio colombia aygestin precio en veracruz protonix venta en argentina precio motilium precio en farmacias peru entocort ovulos precio colombia gabapentina eulexin tabletas pastillas fml forte precio 2012 venta pastillas differin panama minomycin tadalafil precio vasodilan misoprostol precio en chile biaxin oros precio argentina aspirin venta fluoxetine bayer precio colombia venta de hyzaar en concepcion chile remeron tabletas para embarazadas venta de femcare misoprostol en guatemala venta roxithromycin duitama venta de pastillas keflex en argentina elavil 500 precio oxytrol crema precio farmacia ahorro zyban juridicos documentados compra venta sinequan es de venta libre argentina nizoral precio barranquilla triamterene perlas precio argentina el quibron t es de venta libre venta de zovirax en houston venta de lynoral en merida precio de triamcinolone v ovulos venta de fertomid piura betnovate precio farmacias del ahorro tamoxifen medellin precio duetact en costa rica venta pastillas malegra venta quito kamagra spray nasal precio tabletas liv 52 para que sirven cozaar de venta en quito precio de allopurinol en tijuana dosis del clonidine en tabletas flagyl er tabletas nombre comercial betnovate tabletas dosis niños venta orlistat ambato ecuador precio de lipothin en puerto rico precio de medrol en andorra precio de naltrexone tabletas baclofeno zenegra precio donde comprar yasmin barato y seguro precio de la pastilla chloroquine en colombia costo en colombia de zyprexa zoloft tabletas nombre comercial ciplox inhalador venta fluconazole toradol en tabletas cuanto cuesta el exelon en tabletas venta clozaril ecuador quito eurax venta en cordoba argentina precio caja clozaril pastillas cytotec costo en peru precio tadalis sx comprimidos mexico npxl crema precio en argentina phenergan precio peru 2013 astelin venta en cordoba argentina levothroid urgentes que requieren orden de fiscal cipro misoprostol precio en venezuela premarin en comprimidos precio minocycline generico mejor precio el augmentin es de venta libre en costa rica reglan 800 precio colombia kytril venta españa venta ginette 35 tegucigalpa lipotrexate venta libre ecuador precio de xenical generico en argentina precio de prilosec en andorra efectos secundarios atarax tabletas venlor precio en durango venta topamax cartagena precose precio farmacia argentina venta de pastillas ceftin en costa rica cardizem venta en cusco venta de albenza en guatemala 2013 cholestoplex honduras precio zoloft 10 precio cual es el precio de vasotec orlistat cuando salio ala venta la chloramphenicol tofranil suspension precio mexico tenormin suspension precio mexico prednisone costo en paraguay para que se usa el elimite tabletas venta de serevent en farmacias similares cefadroxil precio barranquilla dulcolax precio en farmacias españolas venta de ditropan en arequipa peru que precio tiene el medicamento prinivil precio de las pastillas vasodilan en españa effexor xr de comercio compra venta precio de crema allopurinol dramamine venta libre en colombia venta de triamcinolone en culiacan venta hoodia culiacan duo cipro inyectable precio argentina levitra capsulas precio venta de antabuse en farmacias sin receta advair diskus de venta en toda nicaragua venta terramycin andorra luvox 500 bayer precio cialis pastillas venta venezuela precio de la depo serpina en venezuela venta meclizine venta de seroflo en sogamoso precio de famvir en venezuela que precio tiene las pastillas trental en mexico plendil argentina precio cuanto es el costo de la zestril pastillas xalatan precio en venezuela venta de geriforte en tampico venta erythromycin hermosillo penegra nulos de pleno derecho prescripción glucovance precio farmacia del ahorro mexico levothroid tabletas similares costo de las pastillas lipotrexate en bogota pariet venta en merida venezuela tabletas minocycline para que sirven cada cuanto se toma el vasodilan tabletas precio tretinoin pastillas venta de fosamax en tenerife costo de la pastilla del urispas shatavari venta online españa comprar requip a buen precio precio del vantin 250 precio de la pastilla del prinivil venta de pastillas biaxin en mexicali pastillas nootropil precio argentina precio de requip jarabe en mexico es legal la venta de gyne lotrimin en ecuador depo retin a precio en ecuador que precio tiene skelaxin d en mexico avodart venta en santa cruz bolivia precio de la depo pletal propranolol ovulos precio venta de lukol en lima peru 2012 reminyl venta en farmacias df precio del orlistat en farmacias del ahorro en mexico desyrel nombre genérico que precio tiene el tadacip en venezuela venta de indocin original en mexico vermox inyectable precio kairos cephalexin de venta en honduras venta de caverta en argentina buenos aires venta de decadron en venezuela 2012 prograf venta salvador cual es el precio de clonidine en honduras precio tofranil farmacias ahorro 2012 crestor de venta en toda nicaragua duphalac de venta en honduras venta genericos azulfidine en españa aspirin pomada precio venezuela precio del cefixime 80 azulfidine contra el orden publico precio de motilium v ovulos venta mestinon en temuco propecia es de venta libre en argentina hytrin venta ecuador precio de doxycycline peru rogaine parches precio evecare venta en peru lima zyrtec tabletas se puede tomar alcohol cual es el precio de sinemet en españa beconase aq tabletas precio venezuela precio pamelor colombia barranquilla venta de pastillas reglan en costa rica allegra generico a muy buen precio albendazole venta en chihuahua cymbalta tabletas trimetoprima y sulfametoxazol precio del hydrea en farmacias chilenas prinivil venta en barranquilla dipyridamole lazar precio precio del claritin en mexico 2013 venta liponexol sinaloa micronase tabletas colombia ginette 35 presentacion y precio en venezuela epivir hbv precio en farmacia en españa precio cefadroxil farmacias ahorro 2012 promethazine inyectable precio argentina precio de sarafem pomada venta nolvadex puerto ordaz precio de flexisyn gasas precio nitrofurantoin farmacias ahorro precio pastillas para abortar benadryl precio de la pastilla abilify en venezuela nombre genérico de meclizine precio de sinequan 10/20 precio de valtrex 1 en mexico precio de la pasta sarafem en colombia emsam urgentes que requieren orden previa y prorroga del fiscal precio de synthroid suspension allegra e precio ciplox precio y presentacion venta de imitrex en capital federal argentina florinef precio ecuador que precio tiene el sominex en peru precio del allopurinol ovulos precio de las pastillas desyrel en ecuador prevacid oros precio argentina el apcalis sx es de venta libre en buenos aires zantac pastillas costo venta de pastillas eurax en barcelona precio de zantac en farmacia del ahorro prometrium ovulos precio venezuela tamoxifen que precio tiene en mexico cozaar precio colombia bogota que es promethazine tabletas cuantas tabletas trae la caja de v gel cada cuanto se toma el keppra tabletas costo de anacin spray plendil tabletas dosis precio vasodilan farmacias ahorro precio de cafergot en uruguay precio de pletal crema mexico precio de ponstel en farmacias san pablo concepto de levitra y orden tadapox venta colombia bogota rosuvastatin nombre genérico venlor precio sin receta hyzaar de comercio compra venta precio del detrol colombia tadapox venta en bogota colombia abana mylan precio venta de endep en farmacias de bogota que contiene el triamterene tabletas comprar differin generico online barato comprar calcium carbonate en línea que precio tiene el endep en farmacias del ahorro venta de coreg en peru 2012 rogaine en pastillas precio precio myambutol en farmacia argentina precio de baclofen 10/20 venta lithium cartagena pyridium misoprostol precio argentina florinef tabletas reacciones secundarias venta de cleocin gel en capital federal dulcolax tabletas en espanol bupropión (nolvadex®) precio precio del trental pfizer cual es el precio de eldepryl respimat venta de abilify en santa ana el salvador para que sirven las tabletas chloramphenicol venta de tegretol piura dapoxetine administrativos de orden nacional augmentin ovulos precio en argentina venta de dutas en nuevo laredo citalopram oros precio chile nootropil venta en ecuador comprar trileptal al mejor precio cual es el precio de advair diskus plus venta misotrol cabgolin iquique venta de micardis en ibarra costo pastillas serpina misoprostol digoxin de venta en tijuana venta pastillas aciclovir venezuela g4 deltasone precio genérico del altace v gel venta en farmacias colombia donde comprar erexor barato y seguro precio de imuran 100 mentat 25 precio venta libre de nootropil en buenos aires penegra tabletas de liberacion retardada costo de pastilla de lithium precio crema diabecon sin receta venta myambutol cuenca ecuador costo de cytotec plus precio propranolol bogota colombia venta de methotrexate en concepcion 2013 cual es el precio de keftab en guatemala pastillas zovirax precio 2011 zoloft precio argentina 2014 precio pastillas suprax españa geriforte tabletas precio venezuela precio wellbutrin misoprostol venta de erythromycin en tenerife cipro dm compuesto jarabe precio cefadroxil venta en linea top avana pomada precio en venezuela precio de las pastillas nizagara en argentina venta de entocort en villavicencio precio de vasodilan antialergico venta de pariet en valledupar adalat crema labial precio precio pastillas accutane chile tegretol y orden del derecho precio de la orlistat en farmacias españolas precio synthroid cialis y levitra contraindicaciones del detrol tabletas altace precio en honduras para que sirve el calcium carbonate forte tabletas nombre genérico del coreg top avana precio colombiano allegra generico venta en mexico precio de la pomada tegretol strattera pastillas precio en mexico yasmin tabletas precio venezuela comprar rogaine tabletas sumycin ep precio precio de las pastillas dulcolax en argentina tinidazole gotas venta precio de tetracycline antialergico precio prinivil chile neurontin venta en farmacias colombia venta arcoxia barrancabermeja maxalt que interrumpen la prescripción penal costo de la inyeccion depo-effexor xr en mexico diclofenac nulos de pleno derecho prescripción apcalis sx precio farmacia guadalajara depo celebrex precio en argentina precio del ralista f venta pastillas roxithromycin chile bactrim venta en quito venta de pastilla pariet en quito hay probalan de venta libre precio de innopran xl hidroclorotiazida colospa tiene venta libre allopurinol venta temuco venta aciphex hermosillo amoxil en tabletas para herpes labial venta de pastillas aleve en cartagena famvir edigen precio comprar altace en línea precio del procardia crema aciclovir precio puerto rico imuran pfizer venta vantin venta bogota femcare venta en bolivia que precio tiene la pastilla cytotec en colombia oxytrol 250 precio españa toradol venta en chihuahua donde comprar abana generico barato precio de depo fincar en chile premarin precio en puerto rico remeron en ecuador-precio el precio del amoxil venta libre de tenormin en buenos aires eldepryl costo en ecuador acivir pills precio en el peru venta meclizine la serena diarex en guatemala venta luvox 500 eritromicina tabletas para que sirve cual es el precio de isoptin en guatemala azulfidine precio oficial en españa precio aproximado de las pastillas innopran xl venta de tenormin en farmacias en chile top avana ampolletas precio sominex precio en lima anafranil ovulos precio comprar mestinon al mejor precio precio del zestoretic respimat dosis del ampicillin tabletas costo aproximado de las pastillas glycomet venta de finast en manizales venta de eurax en cuenca ecuador venta libre de endep en buenos aires cual es el precio del medicamento nizagara costo hoodia tabletas el precio de la ponstel en la farmacia que precio tiene la pastilla artane en colombia para que se usa el tulsi sleep tabletas precio de clonidine en republica dominicana aceon precio en rd ejemplos de evecare contra el orden publico cytoxan precio farmacias del ahorro tenormin comprimidos venta libre que precio tiene el cardizem en farmacias del ahorro venta libre de propecia en buenos aires precio de plaquenil f precio de cleocin en farmacias del ecuador puntos de venta zanaflex en bogota precio de plendil en venezuela pastillas procardia venta mexico que precio tienen las pastillas rumalaya precio de zyloprim tabletas en chile lasuna panama venta vermox venta contrareembolso pastillas kytril venta en guatemala sominex en tabletas para que sirve isoptin precio en uruguay depo-aspirin costo en ecuador strattera embarazo precio precio de pastillas motilium en tijuana el aspirin es de venta libre en farmacias cephalexin para dejar de fumar precio venta de dapoxetine en españa champú flexisyn precio lady era generico doctor simi precio anacin pastillas precio precio del danazol misoprostol comprar diltiazem genérico precio combivent generico en españa venta de accutane en houston precio del medrol en argentina 2011 emsam venta en oruro precio lisinopril peru erexin v precio colombia cali precio aciphex shampoo mobic venta en barcelona venta de risperdal en santiago de chile pastillas mestinon venta bogota venta de eldepryl en neiva huila venta de pastillas dilantin en bolivia precio de imitrex en puebla amantadine tabletas posologia costo de pastillas de trandate venta de etodolac en mty viagra de venta en nicaragua precio de la pastilla keflex en honduras nolvadex precio en puerto rico cual es el precio de slimex en argentina vermox precio arequipa terramycin venta libre colombia flagyl er similares precio sinequan shampoo precio en argentina ciplox precio en dolares precio de pastilla anacin en argentina toprol xl en argentina es de venta libre el precio del medrol lamisil de compra y venta que no se consideran comerciales hyzaar barato en españa mobic precio farmacia del ahorro mexico venta de carafate cusco peru precio de emsam en el peru precio del requip en bolivia trental crema generico precio costo de himplasia en guatemala costo del synthroid en venezuela donde comprar augmentin barato y seguro venta levlen buenos aires alavert uso y precio precio de benfotiamine potasico finax precio en farmacias españolas cyklokapron en quito venta pastilla prometrium precio en colombia forzest cuve precio costo de glucotrol xl en farmacias guadalajara lioresal abilify precio disgrasil minocin precio precio del acticin en méxico precio peni large 600 cual es el precio del zebeta en uruguay zanaflex venta en durango risperdal venta en maracaibo precio panmycin tabletas venta de pastillas anacin quito cytoxan oros precio chile venta de allopurinol original en mexico venta de pastillas clozaril en ecuador el precio del premarin cual es el precio de flagyl er en ecuador aristocort se venta en peru genérico quibron t budesonide 100 mcg cleocin gel tabletas como tomarlas precio compazine jarabe chile venta de lady era en chile sin receta baja el precio de amoxil compra y venta de ventolin robaxin spray precio mexico venta de saw palmetto en piura xalatan venta farmacias guatemala precio proventil en peru comprar ginette 35 en andorra precio precio de differin en mexico venta de feldene en sevilla venta de pastillas dapoxetine en merida yucatan que precio tiene la depo finast en colombia amitriptyline gotas venta dutas genérico opiniones zyrtec nombre genérico y comercial venta clomid cancun venta de rumalaya en chile 2012 venta de eldepryl en ensenada precio de la toradol en farmacias guadalajara precio de la pomada zetia cuando salio ala venta el lukol pastillas para abortar cytoxan precio colombia venta de isoniazid femenino en ecuador venta de mestinon en farmacias de guatemala strattera urgentes que requieren orden del fiscal el peni large es de venta libre en uruguay venta de finpecia en chile venta de arimidex en peru floxin de venta en farmacias serophene venta en españa precio del generico de peni large
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LWIB: Retro Ballpark Era Nearing Its End, Ticket Price Integrity, Tidbits PDF Print E-mail
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Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Monday, 03 May 2010 04:04

Last Week in Bizball by Pete Toms

This week in “Last Week in BizBall“, the retro ballpark era enters a new phase, ticket price integrity plus the weekly tidbits.

RETRO BALLPARK ERA NEARING ITS END, WHAT NOW?

LWIB saw an article by Ken Belson of the New York Times reporting on architect and urban planner Janet Marie Smith’s task of updating Baltimore’s Camden Yards (see the 2004 Biz of Baseball interview with Smith). The debut of Camden Yards in 1992 is a seminal moment in the recent history of the biz of baseball. The Oriole’s new ballpark was an immediate hit with fans and spurred a wave of imitators across MLB. Eighteen years later and only four MLB franchises remain housed in the multi-purpose stadiums that were the pre-Camden norm. Once the Marlins move in to their new “baseball only” stadium in 12, only Toronto, Oakland and Tampa Bay will be housed in an anachronistic multi-purpose facility.

Ms. Smith is widely credited as the visionary responsible for creating Camden Yards and the retro ballpark era that followed. Retro ballparks provided an enormous boost to MLB revenues, contributing to both soaring ticket prices and attendance. Fans were enamoured of the improved sightlines, Americana aesthetic, more intimate (fewer seats) setting and natural grass fields (artificial turf unnecessary in a baseball only facility). Although the retro ballparks were a continuation of the popular baseball idealism/fantasy/romanticism/nostalgia of the 80s (WP Kinsella, Field of Dreams, The Natural etc.), they were also popular with local corporations and businesses who eagerly snapped up the greatly increased amounts of premium seating and luxury suites. And to varying degrees, more so in the early years of the building boom, local governments footed the bill (many still paying) and handed the keys and revenues to the franchise owner. MLB owners received billions of dollars of public investment, a combination of real estate, infrastructure, financing and construction. Politicians often (particularly in economically depressed regions) justified their support of these projects by arguing that they would generate new wealth in the local economy and/or rejuvenate blighted neighbourhoods. The retro ballpark building boom is indisputably one of the key factors resulting in an increase of MLB revenues from approx. $1.2 billion in 1992 to approx. $6.5 billion each of the past two years.

News that the architect of Camden Yards - Ms. Smith - is now faced with the challenge of updating the same brings to mind the question of what is next for MLB stadiums? The Orioles are the first in what will be a quickly forming line of MLB owners looking to upgrade their not so new retro ballparks. LWIB, Robert Mankin of architecture and planning firm NBBJ noted in the SportsBusiness Journal that, “The presumed useful life of a typical office building is 50 years, whereas sports venues are rendered obsolete within 20. As technologies change and tastes in club amenities transform, these buildings will quickly become outdated in 10 to 15 years and abandoned within 25.”

Much has changed economically, politically and sociologically since Camden Yards debuted in 1992. The profligate spending of corporations on “sports entertainment”, critical to boosting in-stadium revenues the past two decades, may never return to pre “Lehman Brothers” levels. During good times corporations needn’t question their motivation for spending on “sports entertainment”. Decisions that were once justified on the basis of “exposure”, “branding” or simply corporate ego are now scrutinized at higher levels within these same organizations and more precise and measurable returns on the investment are demanded. With many of their customers facing dire circumstances, some corporations are loathe to be associated with the perceived excess of professional sports, fearing a “Main St.” backlash.  Forbes reported in December, “In 2009 spending on sports sponsorships shrank by $100 million to $11.3 billion, in line with weakness in marketing outlays generally…..For years sponsorship spending rose dependably by more than 10% a year, says IEG, a Chicago trade publication that follows the sponsorship industry. That's over. Says IEG Senior Editor William Chipps, "Companies are really stepping back and asking themselves if they're getting a return on their investments."

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE DETAILS ON RETRO BALLPARK DESIGN, MLB TICKET PRICE INTEGRITY, PLUS THE WEEKLY TIDBITS

In his aforementioned report for the New York Times, Ken Belson pointed out that the diminished corporate demand for “sports entertainment” is one of the challenges facing Ms. Smith as she devises the plans for the Camden Yards renovation.

The club levels at Camden Yards will get a second look because the corporate appetite for expensive suites has diminished. It hasn’t helped that the Orioles last had a winning record in 1997 and drew their smallest crowd ever at Camden Yards earlier this season.

The Orioles are not the only team thinking about makeovers. The Cleveland Indians, who opened Progressive Field in 1994 (it was Jacobs Field then), are among the 10 teams looking at ways to revive their parks, said Earl Santee, a senior principal at Populous, the architectural firm that designed Camden Yards, PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Coors Field and other retro stadiums.

That passage from Mr. Belson’s report caught the attention of Neil deMause of Baseball Prospectus. Mr. deMause weighed in:

What do you do with modern stadiums designed for the luxury market when that market evaporates? In olden times, it was easy enough to just rejigger ticket prices, reclassifying a level from "box" to "reserved." Today's class distinctions, though, are cemented in concrete and steel — you can't easily take a chunk of glassed-in seats with their own restaurant and private entrance and turn them back over to the great unwashed. Cleveland in particular is going to be an interesting test case for this, with that vertical wall of club seats that separates its lower deck from its upper. Given the team's current attendance woes and the dismal local economy, they're going to need to find some way of redemocratizing their architecture, but it's not likely to be easy.

It is difficult to criticize MLB for catering to the corporate sector the past few decades. Revenues from luxury seating were readily available in a booming economy while local governments paid to construct it. Not only did governments pay for the new ballparks but they also subsidized the corporations’ purchases of luxury suites and premium seating via tax write offs. In a New York Times Op-Ed earlier this month, Duke Law Professor Richard Schmalbeck and Rutgers Business School Professor Jay Soled lamented the change in MLB.

UNTIL the 1970s, Major League Baseball was a populist sport. Bleacher seats cost as little as a dollar, meaning middle- or even working-class fans could afford to take their families to a game a few times each season.

But in the years since, tickets to baseball games — along with other professional sports events — have skyrocketed in cost.

AND

While baseball parks built in the 1960s and before held as many as 56,000 seats, the modern trend is toward smaller-capacity parks, with a higher percentage of total space dedicated to skyboxes. The new Yankee Stadium, the only major-league park built since 2000 with more than 44,000 seats, has 3,000 fewer seats than its 1923 predecessor but almost three times as many skybox suites.

Who (public or private money) will pay for the upgrades desired (necessary?) by franchises as the oldest of the retro ballparks approach their 20th anniversaries? Most ballparks are owned and maintained by local quasi-government stadium authorities (again to varying degrees, most or all of the revenues flow to the baseball franchise) but with local governments (city, county, state) crying poor will politicians pour more money into the stadiums that house their professional sports franchises? Now that the end of the retro ballpark building boom is near complete, many question if the urban renewal, job creation and increased tax revenues promised by stadium proponents ever materialized? The worst critics argue that the new ballparks delivered on none of those promises and instead have become sinkholes of wasted public dollars. In December, Ken Belson reported for the New York Times:

Years after a wave of construction brought publicly financed stadiums costing billions of dollars to cities across the country, taxpayers are once again being asked to reach into their

From New Jersey to Ohio to Arizona, the stadiums were sold as a key to redevelopment and as the only way to retain sports franchises. But the deals that were used to persuade taxpayers to finance their construction have in many cases backfired, the result of overly optimistic revenue assumptions and the recession.

MLB has diversified their revenue streams. MLB Network, MLBAM, RSN revenues, national TV contracts, licensing, etc., all contribute to the annual $6.5 billion in industry revenues. And while local in-stadium revenues account for a smaller percentage of industry revenues than in previous eras, ticket sales remain MLB’s single largest source of revenue. But does the end of the retro ballpark cycle combined with a possibly permanent change in the corporate sector’s spending on “sports entertainment” signal that in-stadium revenues have peaked? Monitoring the changes that Janet Marie Smith and her sports architect peers make to MLB stadiums in the near future will reveal much.

TICKET PRICE INTEGRITY

If the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 08 marked the beginning of the recession (is it over?), then MLB was the first of the “big 4” to face the off season challenge of selling tickets in the face of it. When the final attendance numbers for the 09 season were calculated, MLB proudly announced a decline of 6.7% over the 08 season. Efforts to persuade scared, and in many cases, cash-strapped fans to purchase tickets included widespread ticket discounting. Ticket discounting does move inventory but it also presents a challenge to clubs in preserving the integrity of their ticket pricing. Complicating ticket pricing for the clubs is the large inventory of secondary tickets available to fans and the quandary that “variable” aka “dynamic” pricing presents.

Toronto Blue Jays/Rogers Centre President and CEO Paul Beeston has been much criticized this season for maintaining his opposition to ticket discounting despite plummeting attendance at Blue Jays games during this early part of the season. It has been noted in the Toronto sports media that according to the annual Team Marketing Report survey of MLB prices, the Jays are the 12th priciest of 30 clubs. Many are asking how a team expected to win in the range of 70 games (although they are presently 13-13) and setting record-low one game attendance marks twice inside of one week this season can not afford to reduce prices. The answer is simple as Mr. Beeston recently explained to Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail, We’re trying to put some integrity back into our ticket pricing.” Mr. Beeston’s strategy is geared for a future which he anticipates will include competitive Blue Jays teams creating abundant demand for tickets at Rogers Centre. Dave McGinn reported LWIB for the Globe and Mail, “But while Mr. Beeston’s refusal to discount tickets may infuriate some fans, industry analysts say it is wise to hold one’s ground. Lowering prices may work in the short term, but it makes it much harder to increase the price down the road.”

Paul Beeston is not alone in MLB in attempting to balance the realities of attracting fans to the ballpark without alienating the fan base which pays full freight for full and partial season ticket plans. LWIB, John Lombardo reported for the SportsBusiness Journal on a new venture “…looking to profit from the industry’s age-old dilemma of how teams can market unsold tickets without cannibalizing their brand.” More from Mr. Lombardo’s report:

Teams and leagues for years have struggled to find ways to effectively move unsold tickets at prices that do not hurt the brand or alienate their season-ticket customers. ScoreBig, founded last year by former NBA executive Adam Kanner and backed by Bain Capital Ventures, is betting big that it has developed a new model that addresses the issue. The company is testing its ScoreBig.com site, which is designed to offer brand protection while marketing unsold ticket inventory in professional sports and other live events. The site is expected to launch in a few months.

AND

Among the key differences from other secondary ticket sites is that ScoreBig will not disclose to the customer how the ticket was acquired, providing brand protection to teams selling tickets on the ScoreBig site.

“The reason why it is so beneficial is that every team is concerned about the integrity of the product,” said Mike Tomon, vice president of sales and service for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tomon recently was briefed by ScoreBig executives, but the team has yet to decide whether to make a deal with the company.

“I think every team has concern for the integrity of their product value,” he said. “If a team puts a discount out in the market through an e-mail blast or with a promotional partner, there is concern for erosion of value for the brand. It appears their model is attempting to better protect the brand’s value.”

Maintaining the price integrity of full and partial season plans has been complicated in recent years by the emergence of online secondary ticketing, much of it involving the clubs themselves. (Online secondary ticketing giant StubHub and MLB are partners) In February LWIB reported on the state of ticketing in MLB, including reports that there were a glut of tickets available last season at below face value prices. Clubs are learning that while there is easy money to be made in facilitating the resell of their primary tickets for high demand games, secondary ticketing has also lowered the value of tickets for many games.

The same LWIB instalment on the state of ticketing in MLB included mention of the introduction of “variable pricing”. After limited use last season, the San Francisco Giants this season are the first MLB club to use “variable pricing” for all ticket inventory.  In the “variable pricing” model, ticket prices for the same seat are continually adjusted according to a broad range of factors including (but not limited to) day of the week, weather forecast, opponent, starting pitcher(s), standings, in stadium promotions, etc. While the Giants were obviously pleased with the results of “variable pricing” last season, (they increased sales of their least desirable inventory in the outfield bleachers and upper deck) not everybody in MLB shares their enthusiasm. “Variable pricing” was amongst the subjects discussed in a SportsBusiness Journal “ticketing roundtable” in March. The following exchange involved Pittsburgh Pirates CMO Lou DePaoli and sports marketing consultant Bill Sutton:

DePaoli: ….Variable pricing, for baseball, I don’t think is economically viable. I’d rather just increase my ticket prices across the board. I’ve been working on models for 10 years, and I don’t think it works.

Sutton: I think it works. … I saw the Braves do it when I was at a game in Atlanta. The interleague games, there was a plus. And then when the Yankees came in it was a plus-plus. So I think we’re looking at that. But on the other side of the coin, what do you do when the Kansas City Royals come in?

DePaoli: That’s my concern with variable pricing. That’s why it doesn’t work in baseball. Too many games. For an 81-game schedule, 39 of them on weekends, we actually have 42 non-weekend games. Roughly half your schedule is on days you don’t really want to play. Then you have to look at opponents. So variable pricing, you would see more down than up. But, premium pricing for the bigger games, that’s a different story. Like when the Yankees come in.

WEEKLY TIDBITS

  • The Tampa Bay Rays have the best record in MLB, 18-7. Last season they won a respectable 84 games. In 2008 they were a World Series team. Nonetheless, as John Romano described LWIB for the St. Petersburg Times, Rays attendance continues to be very poor. Seemingly everybody has concluded that MLB in Tampa/St. Petersburg is only viable if a new ballpark is constructed. LWIB Ballpark Digest provided an update on the Rays efforts to secure a new stadium. BD points out that because the Rays Tropicana Field lease with St. Petersburg doesn’t expire until 2027 that “…any solution has to address the financials of the lease (paying off debt service, basically) and appease St. Pete officials. In other words, the road to any Rays ballpark solution runs through downtown St. Petersburg -- which is why the serious part of the discussions are beginning there.”
  • Ameet Sachdev reported that Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met with the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board and was harshly critical of both politicians and Wrigleyville “Rooftop” owners opposed to the Cubs installation of an illuminated Toyota advertisement in the left field bleachers. Mr. Ricketts “…suggested that the family's future investment in projects in the Wrigleyville community hinges on the approval of the sign.”
  • TV ratings for professional sports have recently been boffo. The World Series, NFL, NHL, etc., etc.,.  However the Sports Media Watch blog reported that after the first 3 Saturdays, ratings for MLB on Fox are down substantially from last season.

Pete Toms is senior writer for the Business of Sports Network, most notably, The Biz of Baseball. He looks forward to your comments and can be contacted through The Biz of Baseball.

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