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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Average Ticket Price Up 5.4 Percent in MLB. Yankees/Mets Skew Total PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 02 April 2009 16:23

MLBTeam Marketing Report has released details on their forthcoming Fan Cost Index and average ticket pricing reports, and with it, the league will see a decidedly “New York” hue to the overall pricing for tickets, concessions, and merchandise at the ballpark this year.

Based on season-ticket prices and TMR’s weighted system, the Yankees’ average ticket is an eye-popping $72.97, according to TMR calculations, and the Mets’ 36.99. Both increases helped the league-average ticket price up 5.4 percent in 2009, to $26.74. If you take the Mets and Yankees out of the equation, this year and last year, and the average ticket for the other 28 teams ($23.07) would be up just .09 percent. So the New York teams, who certainly help their peers’ bottom lines with impressive road attendance, are worth about $3.67 to the total average of the league.

The league’s Fan Cost Index is up 3.4 percent to 197.17. The Fan Cost Index (FCI) measures the cost to take a family of four to a sporting event. (For TMR’s inaugural Spring Training FCI, click here)

The Yankees’ ascendance to the top of the FCI and ticket rankings breaks two long streaks by the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox have had the most-expensive average ticket since 1996, and have topped the FCI charts since 2001.

Ten teams show overall average price decreases, and another six have either stayed flat or are up less than 1 percent.

Several teams are offering cheaper concession items, and nearly every team has some kind of value meal proposition. The Cincinnati Reds ($144.76 FCI) has $1 soft drinks and $1 hot dogs.

The Mets’ overall ticket price is lower than some might expect because they classify a large amount of seating as “premium,” as the seats come with extra amenities or private club access. About 48 percent of the Mets’ premium seating is priced at $125 or less, with prices topping out at $495.

About 31 percent of the Yankees’ high-priced premium tickets sell for $135 or less, according to TMR research, with prices famously topping out at $2,500 for some front-row season tickets.

As for the entire league, the overall FCI is up, on average, but 12 teams have lower totals this season, compared to last year.

The Yankees have overtaken Boston ($50.24, up 0.3 percent) and the Chicago Cubs ($47.75, up 10 percent) for the priciest average ticket.

The cheapest average ticket belongs to the Diamondbacks, for the third straight season, at $14.31, a 10.3 percent drop from last year. The D-Backs have, by far, the cheapest FCI in baseball at $114.24, a 29.8 percent drop from last year.

OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST:

The Yankees’ $72.97 average ticket cost is a 76.3 percent increase from last year, the club’s last in The House That Ruth Built when the average ticket price was $41.40, an increase of 18.1 percent from 2007.

Clubs that have deep cuts in their average ticket prices from the year prior include:

  • Padres: down 27 percent ($20.01)
  • Diamondbacks: down 10.3 percent ($14.31)
  • Nationals: down 7.1 percent ($30.63)
  • Pirates: down 9.9 percent ($15.39)
  • Other clubs with increases:
  • Brewers: up 5.8 percent ($20.98)
  • Royals: up 13.3 percent ($19.38)
  • Cubs: up 10 percent ($47.75)
  • Rangers: up 6.8 percent ($19.41)

Clubs that see prices flat or near flat from last year

  • Dodgers (0 percent increase)
  • Mariners (0 percent increase)
  • Rockies (0 percent increase)
  • Braves (0 percent increase)
  • Red Sox (0.3 percent increase)
  • Cardinals (0.4 percent increase)

League Average for Smallest Beer: $5.86

Cheapest Beer (smallest size available)

  • $4.00 (Royals and Diamondbacks)
  • $4.50 (Angels)
  • $4.75 (Pirates)
  • $5.00 (Reds, Astros, Orioles, Brewers, Rangers)

Most Expensive Beer (smallest size available)

  • Giants ($8.75)
  • Rays ($8.00)

League Avg. For Hot Dog: $3.70

Least Expensive Hot Dog

  • $1.00 (Reds)
  • $2.50 (Pirates, Orioles)
  • $2.75 (Diamondbacks, Brewers, Rangers)

Most Expensive Hot Dog:

  •  $5.00 (Dodgers, Marlins)
  • $4.75 (Astros)

Fan Cost Index Avg: $196.75

Most Expensive (by FCI):

  • Yankees ($410.88 – 49.4 percent increase from year prior)
  • Red Sox ($326.45 – 0.2 percent increase from the year prior)
  • Cubs ($305.00 – 18.6 percent increase from the year prior)
  • Mets ($258.97 – 3.1 percent increase from the year prior)

Least Expensive (by FCI)

  • Diamondbacks ($114.24 – down 29.8 percent from the year prior)
  • Pirates ($135.06 – down 4.1 percent from the year prior)
  • Angels ($141.18 – down 2 percent from the year prior)
  • Reds ($144.76 – down 8.6 percent from the year prior)

The timing of the Team Marketing Report for this year’s Fan Cost Index coincides with MLB releasing what they are touting as “Affordable Ticket Options” for 2009.

Select Read More to see MLB's Affordable Ticket Options for 2009

Read more...
 
George W. Bush to Throw Out Ceremonial First Pitch for Texas Rangers PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 30 March 2009 11:22
BushThe Texas Rangers today announced that the 43rd President of the United States , George W. Bush, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the team’s 2009 home opener on Monday, April 6 against the Cleveland Indians (1:05 p.m.).

President Bush, who served two terms in the White House from 2001 until this past January, will be making his first appearance at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington since 2000, when he was Governor of Texas. The former President was Managing General Partner of the Rangers from 1989-94 before his election as Texas Governor.   

Rangers Owner and Chairman of the Board Tom Hicks and team President Nolan Ryan invited President Bush to participate in the first pitch ceremony earlier this year.  The Rangers received official confirmation of the President’s attendance today.

This marks the fourth time that a United States President has participated in the first pitch ceremony at the Rangers home opener. While in office, President Gerald Ford did the honors on April 9, 1976, and President George Bush took part on April 8, 1991. Former President Bush also threw out the first pitch on April 3, 2000.

It is also the 23rd consecutive year that the Rangers have honored “Texas Heroes” as part of their opening day ceremonies.

The United States Army 4th Infantry Division Band from Fort Hood will perform during the pre-game ceremonies and will also play the Star Spangled Banner. A 100 by 300 foot American flag, carried by members of Fort Hood ’s 4th Infantry Division, will be unfurled in the outfield, and a military flyover will take place.

The 4th Infantry Division has recently returned to the United States from a 15-month deployment to Iraq . On May 17, 2008, the Rangers hosted over 750 family members of the 4th Infantry troops at Rangers Ballpark for a game with the Houston Astros. Via a special satellite hookup on the video board, the members of the 4th Infantry were able to communicate with their families on a very memorable night.  

The Commanding General of the 4th Infantry is Major General Jeffery Hammond, who will participate on the on-field ceremonies on opening day. Major General Hammond spoke to the crowd from Camp Liberty , Iraq during the May 17 event.

Obstructed view and standing room only tickets remain for the home opener. All other reserved seats have been sold. 

Source: Texas Rangers


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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MLB Projecting 6 Percent Attendance Decline for 2009 PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 30 March 2009 10:58

MLBWhile national television advertisers may still be knocking on Major League Baseball’s door (see MLB Sees Solid Early TV Ad Sales, Despite Recession), the league is bracing itself for a decline in attendance, according to today’s edition of the SportsBusiness Journal.

Baseball sources said that based on ticket-sales efforts to date, the league will likely draw about 75 million fans for the season, a sum that would be below the totals for each of the last three seasons and about 6 percent below the sport’s high-water mark of 79.5 million in 2007. Individual clubs are in a day-to-day fight to stem against that or further declines by implementing a wide range of discounted ticket offers and delaying the start of single-game sales to dates closer to the start of the regular season.

As further reported, MLB executives are hoping that events ahead of the regular season, as well as adjustments at the club level, will, as Eric Fisher reports, flat the new up.

“There are a couple of barometers that have left us guardedly optimistic,” said MLB President Bob DuPuy. “Spring training attendance has been essentially flat compared to last year and the World Baseball Classic attendance went up [8.7 percent], even with the economy being the way it is and ticket prices going up a bit.

“We see still a great deal of fan passion for the game,” DuPuy said, “and the clubs have taken seriously the commissioner’s message about pricing, as two-thirds of them have either held steady or declined, and shown a lot of creativity.”

Normally a given, with the recession's shadow reaching across the league, it is newsworthy that full-season equivalent sales for clubs that did well in the postseason last year are pacing upwards. That includes the World Series champion, who have “boosted season-ticket sales by more than 15 percent and already has sold more than 2.5 million tickets for the season.” Other clubs seeing some games for ticket sales include the Rays, White Sox, and Brewers.

On the downside, Oakland, St. Louis, San Diego and Detroit are feeling the economy’s pinch, especially Detroit where the auto industry has been broadsided by the recession. According to Fisher, the Tigers “have lost about half of their 2008 full-season-equivalent base of 27,000.”

Finally, even if the recession were not in play, attendance would most likely be down due to both the Yankees and especially the Mets opening new ballparks with seating capacities well below their former homes. Fisher reports that the Yankees are still the league-leader for ticket sales posting “nearly 37,000 full-season equivalents sold”, while the Mets “are ahead of last year’s pace on sales of full- and partial-season-ticket plans and are well-positioned to again draw more than 3 million fans.”


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Red Sox Set Single-Game Spring Training Attendance Record at City of Palms Park PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 23 March 2009 20:41

Red SoxToday’s Spring Training game between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers was attended by 8,278 fans, the largest crowd in the 17-year history of City of Palms Park. The previous record of 8,249 was established on March 5, 2007 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, a span of 38 games. Today also marked Boston’s 85th consecutive Grapefruit League (non-college or exhibition) sellout at City of Palms Park dating back to March 16, 2003.

“This is a remarkable achievement for Red Sox fans in Southwest Florida and for all those who travel hundreds of miles to attend Spring Training in Lee County,” said Red Sox Chief Operating Officer Mike Dee. “This kind of fan commitment is truly humbling and we never forget that it is the dedicated members of Red Sox Nation who have created the magic associated with our franchise around the world.”

Source: Boston Red Sox

Business of Sports Network Feature Articles of the Day (evening edition)


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Busting the Bank: Top Seats at New Yankee Stadium Will Run as High as $2,625 PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 21 March 2009 01:24

New Yankee Stadium seating chart

Click to see in larger view

UPDATE: It is about the money, stupid follows up on this story noting that prices on the secondary market through StubHub are exceptionally high, as well.

Attending games during the inaugural season at the new Yankee Stadium will be decidedly elitist as the club today released single game prices for tickets that go on sale Tuesday. Seats in the first row behind home plate will come in at a staggering $2,625, a record price by a considerable margin for MLB, and some of the highest in the history of professional sports. The steep prices seem to fly in the face of other pricing across sports given the current economic recession.

But, it is not just the seats behind home plate that push the envelop for prices. The Legends section (see the dark blue which runs from section 11-29), which includes 122 seats that ring from nearly foul pole to foul pole, run from the $2,625 to $525.

Excluding the Delta Sky360° and Jim Beam Suites that sit directly behind home (see the dark green and purple in the graphic), the average ticket price will be over $160. With the suites included, the average price for single game tickets is over $237.

Other seating breaks down as follows:

  • Field level: $95, $150, $275, $300, $350 and $375.
  • Main level: $60, $80, $95, $150
  • Terrace: $50, $75, $85
  • Grandstand: $23, $30
  • Bleachers: $14, $23

The special suites that are available outside of the series of 67 club, party, and luxury suites, will run $375-$800 for the Delta Sky360° section, and $120-$150 for the Jim Beam Suites.

Single game tickets are running approx. $25 more per game than those that purchase season tickets (see a complete breakdown of new Yankee Stadium season ticket pricing). Bleacher seats are $12 for full-season, 41-game, and 20-game packages, while Grandstands run $20-$25 for the same.

Source: New York Yankees


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Commissioner’s Office Warns Clubs of Three Different Attendance Scenarios PDF Print E-mail
Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 17 March 2009 15:05

MLBWith Major League Baseball preparing to be the first Big-4 pro sports league to feel the full weight of the recession entering the 2009 season, the Commissioner’s Office has warned owners to expect three possible attendance scenarios: the same as 2008, a 10 percent, or 20 percent decrease from last season. According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, the comments regarding the economic state of the game came as Commissioner Selig attended a Cactus League game this week between the Angels and Cubs. According to Shaikin:

Selig declined to discuss internal attendance projections. Major League Baseball clubs sold 79.5 million tickets in 2007 and 78.6 million in 2008, the two highest totals in league history.

"Every other phase of the economy has been touched, including other sports," Selig said. "I'll just have to watch it."

Selig has backed off from the stance that baseball might be impervious to the economic slide.

"I used to think we were recession-proof. I really did," Selig said. "This is different. Some economists are saying it's the worst downturn since the Great Depression."

To be exact, paid attendance in MLB last season was 78,624,324, or 1.14 percent below 2007’s record attendance figure of 79,502,524. Based upon last year’s attendance figures, a 10 percent decline would be 70,761,892 while a 20 percent decline would be 62,899,459.

It should be noted that even if MLB were to have seen interest as high as it was last year, there would still be a decline in attendance based upon the opening of new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field for the Mets. Both have lower seating capacities. New Yankee Stadium will have 51,800 compared to 57,545 in The House That Ruth Built, or a 10 percent decline, while Citi Field will see a significant drop from 57,333 in Shea Stadium to 45,000 in Citi Field or a decrease of 22 percent. Last season Yankee Stadium averaged 53,069, or 92.3 percent of capacity while Shea saw an average of 51,165 or 89.1 percent of capacity.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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World Baseball Classic Sees Average Attendance Up 38% from '06 PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 14 March 2009 12:34

WBCWith the first round of the World Baseball Classic in the books, “classic” may be a fitting title as attendance has been up across the board for the event.

The 24-games in the first round of this year’s event averaged 18,893 fans, up 38.8 percent from 13,609 in '06, the last time the WBC was held.

Tokyo Dome saw an average attendance of 28,352, up 68.5 percent from 2006. Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Puerto Rico averaged 14,450, up 16.4 percent from an average of 12,412 for the last WBC Hiram Bithorn hosted in the first round.

In Japan, the near insanity that lead up to the WBC games (team buses needed a police escort to get through crowds when the team was preparing for the WBC), was followed by the first-round games in Tokyo Dome. The top three most-attended '09 WBC games to date were the three games featuring Japan at the Tokyo Dome, while U.S.-Canada ranked fourth with 42,314 fans and Australia-Mexico ranked fifth with 20,831 fans.

Select Read More to see attendance comparison from ’06 to ‘09

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Dodgers Fans Purchase 49,000 Tickets on First Day of Single Game Sales PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 07 March 2009 22:45
Dodgers

Call it the “Manny Factor.” Call it what you will. The Dodgers could – repeat could – weather the recession.

Fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday purchased more than 49,000 tickets for the 2009 regular season, a 33% increase over the 37,000 they bought on the first day of single game sales last year.

The club, which brought back free agents Manny Ramirez, Casey Blake, and Rafael Furcal, and which added such stars as Orlando Hudson and Randy Wolf, held tickets at 2008 prices.

“We are seeing how eager families are to incorporate the Dodgers into their spring and summer plans,” said Chief Operating Officer Dennis Mannion.  “We also saw such evidence today at Camelback Ranch – Glendale , where our third home game drew our biggest crowd, 11,896.  Enthusiasm is high.”

Source: Los Angeles Dodgers


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Giants May Redefine Variable Ticket Pricing in MLB, and Beyond PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 26 December 2008 19:20

Giants

The Giants are using Austin-based qcue LLC
to price 2,000 upper-deck seats dynamically
using 20 different variables during 2009.

If you have been following the ticket pricing trends for MLB this off-season (see The Biz of Baseball's "Ticket Watch" section), it’s obvious that the vast majority of clubs are freezing, or lowering prices, and the San Francisco Giants are no exception.

The Giants are lowering prices on 28 percent of their seats, and another 27 percent will remain flat for 2009. But, it is 2,000 seats in the upper deck that may redefine how to lure fans, and at the same time, garner the best revenues possible during the recession.

The Giants have hired Austin, TX.-based qcue LLC to test a automated variable pricing system that may redefine how other clubs approach pricing structures in the years to come. As reported by Christopher Calnan of the Austin Business Journal, the system by qcue adjusts the cost of single-game tickets based on 20 variables that affect demand, such as the weather and the opposing team’s record. As further reported:

The Giants play in AT&T Park, which lists a seating capacity of 41,500. Last season’s average attendance reached 35,356, according to Business of Sports Network, an Oregon-based research company.

The Giants’ average ticket price was $22, and qcue’s system enables ticket prices to rise 100 percent or decrease 50 percent from face values, [qcue CEO Barry] Kahn said. That means an average ticket price could range from $11 to $44.

The payoff for qcue could be substantial. The start-up has a total of 6 employees, and was funded with less than $1 million in seed money. The company operates at the Austin Technology Incubator, a nonprofit division of UT that was founded in 1989.

Questions surround whether the Giants will draw in the post-Barry Bonds era. With Tim Lincecum winning the NL Cy Young Award, and the NL West being a weak division over the last couple of seasons, the advent of the Giants approach to pricing may be just the ticket for fans looking for entertainment options this coming season in the Bay Area. If fan reaction to the dynamic variable pricing program is positive, the club may apply the system to 12,000 to 15,000 seats.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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