27 February 2010

Dbacks Less Affordable

Axing non subscription TV games and Colangelo's dollar seats apparently didnt satisfy Paradise Valley residents, Ken Kendrick and Derrick Hall. Today, in answer to the harshest recession in memory, baseball's "most affordable" and self proclaimed fan friendliest front office jacked their cheapest Chase Field ticket yet another 60%.

That comes to eight smackers for deep corner nosebleeds; nine if you hazard the audacity to purchase your ticket on gameday. I know, I know. Eight or nine dollars, even in this economy, isnt much, right? One cant expect a professional franchise to give away seats for less than that.

A few points.

For most people, eight or nine dollars isnt much, but most people also have little regard for accomodations this far above the earth's crust. Folks who sit up there, in a half empty venue are, by definition, price sensitive.

Two, as Diamondhacks brought to the sporting public's attention several years ago, Phoenix Metro bears the lowest median personal income of any major league city.

Third, and most importantly, this isnt any franchise jacking up prices on those least able to afford it. It's the club which has aggressively and inaccurately marketed itself as the most affordable in the game, three years running.

Just for fun, I putted around mlb.com to see if another ballclub charges less than eight dollars:

Cleveland $7 super value game

Detroit $5

Kansas City $7

LA Angels $5 (child only), same with Pitt $6 but child only

Yankees $5 Obstructed view bleacher

Oakland A's $2 Wednesdays + $1 dogs, includes Yanks, Red Sox

Seattle $7

Texas $6 adult, kids as low as $3

Atlanta $6 Premium $8

Cincinnati $5 incl premier, $7 regular bleachers

Colorado $4 Rockpile, incl Boston, premier, opening day

Houston $7, $1 children 14 and younger, dynamic pricing as well

San Diego $5 Park Pass

San Fran - dynamic pricing as low as $5

Washington $5 small section, day of game sales only

Essentially half of major league teams currently offer cheaper single game options than our self styled Arizona Altruists. Even the notoriously expensive Cubs sell $8 tickets at six designated "bronze" games, over at Wrigley. Maybe it's not outrageous for the Dbacks to charge eight dollars, however given the recession, oversupply of seats and local market history, I'd characterize an eight or nine dollar cover charge to gain entree to Chase Field as rather high. What's outrageous and cloying, it seems to me, is for the people behind such pricing to call themselves the most fan friendly front office - and to trumpet their "product" as the most affordable in the game.


Russell said...

The dollar seats were a great publicity item for the D-Backs. They sublimally indicated that the organisation wasn't just interested in profit,and held a place for the fan who didn't have the means to attend games at regular prices. I can't believe that raising the cost on these tickets is going to bring in a substantial amount of revenue, so it just comes across as the FO once again knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

PAUL said...

What do you think of the actual team? I just finished my book and the D-Backs are in, um, trouble.

Diamondhacks said...


Good will generated by dollar seats cant be accurately measured and perhaps cant be overstated. I bought one to fetch Kellia a promotional Eric Byrnes T-shirt once...it was fun to sneak in for pocket change, grab the shirt and a couple innings, and then take off. Made me feel good about the org, and at $8,frankly, I wouldnt have even bothered.


Like most clubs, Arizona has some questions, but if you think they're fundamentally "in trouble", I expect you'll be surprised this year. I'll divulge juicy details as Opening Day approaches.

And good luck with the book!