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Who Would You Pay More To See?

By MZ / 08.19.10

I made my weekly trip to the barber a few days after LeBron’s decision and the discussion of the shop was rightfully on him. Halfway through the conversation, my barber said he was happy LeBron left because he’d finally be able to get great seats to see the Cavs & Lakers face-off for a cheap price. Everyone laughed, but it made sense in a way. With LeBron gone & interest lost in the team, the organization would probably have to do everything short of giving some of the tickets away. In reality though, although the product may not be up to par of previous years, you bet your bottom dollar that fans won’t receive any concessions when it comes to ticket prices. With the rise of ticket brokers like Stubhub & Coast To Coast Tickets, fans have already let the value of individual games dictate how much they’re willing to pay. Some organizations have started to realize this & starting with the 2010-11 season the New Orleans Hornets will use variable pricing in their ticket sale process:

On Tuesday, the Hornets announced the introduction of variable pricing for the 2010-11 season to better reflect each game’s worth. Yet-to-be-determined prices will be assigned to games based on value and demand, influenced by factors such as an opponent’s quality and the day of the week the game is played. Each game will fall into one of five pricing categories: marquee, premium, classic, value and preseason.

“The concept is recognizing the fact that not all games are created equal,” (Matt) Biggers (VP Of Marketing) said. “We play games on all different days of the week, against all different kinds of opponents during different times of the year. There are games where the demand isn’t as high as other games.

With this bold move, the Hornets join the Portland Trailblazers as the only team in the NBA to try out this alternative system. This system does have its pros & cons, as fans will be forced to decide whether they’d like to more games against “lesser” competition or see fewer games but see more of the marquee names.

The variable pricing announcement was part of a release of the Hornets’ partial season-ticket plans. After an initial payment of $100 per seat, fans have the option to buy two half-season (21 games) and three 12-game packages. The Miami Heat game featuring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on Nov. 5 is not included in either of the 12-game plans, but fans who add it to their package will receive one free ticket per plan purchased for the opening-night game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 27. Fans who buy a half-season plan also will receive the opening-night game free.

The variable pricing announcement was part of a release of the Hornets’ partial season-ticket plans. After an initial payment of $100 per seat, fans have the option to buy two half-season (21 games) and three 12-game packages. The Miami Heat game featuring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on Nov. 5 is not included in either of the 12-game plans, but fans who add it to their package will receive one free ticket per plan purchased for the opening-night game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 27. Fans who buy a half-season plan also will receive the opening-night game free.

Games within season-ticket packages are variably priced, but Biggers said the overall cost of the plan remains flat when compared to last season. He said each game’s price distribution differs within the plan. He said the Hornets will have a clearer picture of season-ticket-sale figures by October.

Now if only they could find someway to tie teams prior year performance into the next season’s price scale. I bet a lot of the mediocre teams would get better pretty fast.

New Orleans Hornets are making a move to variable ticket pricing [New Orleans Times-Picayune] via TrueHoop


TAGSLeBron JamesNBA BasketballNew Orleans HornetsSMOKE BREAKSPORTS

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