After three years of holding ticket prices constant, the Boston Red Sox have announced an average price hike of 4.8% reports Jason Mastrodonato of MLB.com. The price changes will follow a system that, according to Mastrodonato, will raise prices for some games but reduce them for other games. Mastrodonato explained how all MLB teams will start using the new price tier system:
“While the overall price increase per ticket is 4.8 percent, the Red Sox, along with all other Major League clubs, are moving to a tier-pricing system, making tickets to low-profile games as much as $50 less expensive than tickets to high-profile games. Ticket prices will also take into account the time of season and day of the week.”
Obviously, games against the rivaled New York Yankees will remain high-profile and cost more as will the unusual mid-season series with the Chicago Cubs. The confusing part comes with games against the same teams appearing on different price tiers, meaning that fans will pay different amounts to see the Red Sox play these same teams. Of course, the Red Sox will decide which teams are high- and low-profile, but will that information become available in advance of each home stand so the fans will have more time to plan their purchases? Will the standings have anything to do with the pricing, or will the team set the pricing before the season and leave it alone? These details are not yet available.
In a November 15 press release, Red Sox Chief Operating Officer Sam Kennedy says that the new pricing structure will allow more fans to attend April, May, and September games for as little as $10. The press release also says how much average change in pricing will occur:
“The variable pricing structure places the 81 games into five tiers that reflect the expected demand for that game. The average increase for the 32 games in highest demand will be 17 percent; the average decrease for the 32 games in lower demand will be 12 percent.”
The Red Sox have always been a hot item, but now with another championship, they will get even hotter in 2014. Fans understand that ticket prices to sporting events rise just as prices of everything else we purchase. We do not like it, but we understand it. We also know that it takes money to put together a winning team, and as long as the Red Sox win, fans will not mind paying more — at least not quite as much.