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Sandman21
03-12-2012, 04:07 PM
At least for a few sections:

http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/pacers_develop_dynamic_pricing_structure_2012_03_1 2.html

Unclebuck
03-12-2012, 04:20 PM
Here is a good article on this. Interesting that the pacers brought in someone just to handle this aspect of ticket sales. Sounds like next year it is going to be throughout the fieldhouse

http://www.ibj.com/pacers-ticket-costs-to-fluctuate-based-on-fan-demand/PARAMS/article/33136

Pacers ticket costs to fluctuate based on fan demand



The Indiana Pacers are looking to become one of a handful of NBA teams to scrap their traditional static ticket pricing system for one resembling the fluctuating model employed by airlines.

This year, the Pacers have tested what team officials call a “dynamic” pricing model with about 200 seats in sections 109 and 112 in the club level.

Starting March 13, the team is expanding the model to 2,000 seats throughout most of the club level, including sections 102-109 and 112-120. In the new model, ticket prices can vary based on whom the Pacers play, night of the week the game is played, and overall demand.

Ticket prices also could be adjusted to reflect such things as an injury to a key Pacer, an important midseason trade or free-agent acquisition, team officials said. Club-level tickets in the test area fetch about $35, less than half the cost of similar seats in the arena.

Pacers officials say they’re trying to ensure the strategy won’t create angst among season-ticket holders. Depending on the fluctuating market, in some instances season-ticket holders could see single-game buyers get tickets for less than they paid.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse has 18,165 seats, about one-third of which were purchased by season-ticket holders. The team is testing the system where the fewest season-ticket holders reside, but eventually season-ticket holders could be sitting side-by-side with folks who have taken advantage of the dynamic system to buy less expensive tickets.

Pacers officials are contacting season-ticket holders to explain the system. Season-ticket holders won’t be subject to dynamic pricing until the 2013-2014 season at the earliest, said Todd Taylor, Pacers senior vice president and chief sales and marketing officer. He added that the new system shouldn’t cost season-ticket holders any more in the long run.

Pacers officials are exploring options to protect those ticket holders’ interests.

“Season-ticket holders must be put first in this equation,” Taylor said. “We know we need to protect the value of the season-ticket holders.”

The Pacers have developed an in-house system to test and analyze dynamic ticket pricing this year, but are in discussions with private firms to handle it in the future.

“We chose to review this season’s assessment internally to offer a neutral opinion to truly identify what is best for our market,” said Derek Throneburg, Pacers vice president of ticket sales and strategy.

Filling seats

Pacers officials say they wanted a way to fill the arena and create buzz about the team throughout the market. They insist the change isn’t driven by lagging attendance.

The Pacers last season were last among 30 NBA teams, with an average attendance of 13,538 for 41 home games. And though the team currently has the third-best record in the Eastern Conference, attendance has dipped to an average of 13,534 for the first 16 home games. The team dropped into last place in attendance following its March 6 home game, which drew 11,393.

“We want to broaden the fan base by widening the price point,” said Throneburg, who was hired away from Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals in January to help implement dynamic pricing here.

The Cardinals and San Francisco Giants are widely regarded as the pioneers in dynamic, or variable, pricing. The Giants began testing it in 2010, and the Cards instituted it in every area of their ballpark in 2011. Officials for both teams said the system has been instrumental in increasing attendance and revenue.

The Pacers, Throneburg said, won’t be quite as aggressive as St. Louis was.

“We want to thoroughly test this to see what the response is,” he said. “We want to be very analytical in our approach.”

The plan, explained Taylor, is to expand the program this year and gather data on how it affects sales. If all goes well, he added, the program will be marketed heavily next season to push people to Pacers.com to check on the shifting ticket prices as a lure to get people to games.

If the system is embraced by fans and drives attendance gains next season, it could be broadened to the entire arena for the 2013-2014 season, Taylor said, and could include variable per-game pricing for season-ticket holders.

While the system might mean season-ticket holders are paying more for tickets to see Miami than Sacramento, Taylor said they might pay less for others.

At this point, there’s no plan to include suites in the plan.

Taylor said the team’s focus initially is maximizing attendance, not necessarily revenue.

“Our main objective right now is to get more people in the arena, create more fans, and build a buzz through word-of-mouth personal endorsements. We think from there, revenue will grow,” added Taylor, who was hired away from the Texas Rangers in June and also has worked for the Milwaukee Brewers, Portland Trailblazers and National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets.

While interest in dynamic pricing in professional—and even college sports—is growing, the Pacers appear to be on the front edge of the trend. The NBA’s Atlanta, Houston and Utah teams began using dynamic pricing last year, and Minnesota, Washington and Golden State jumped in this year.

Several NHL teams also use variable ticket pricing, but no NFL teams have adopted the system.

“There’s no question, this is the wave of the future,” said Mark Rosentraub, a dean at the University of Michigan who has written several books on professional sports operations. “Airlines have demonstrated this system generates more revenue than a static pricing system.”

The theory is that selling a seat at a discounted rate is better than having an empty seat.

“Studies have shown that oftentimes what a fan saves on the ticket price he’ll spend on other items at the arena like concessions,” Rosentraub said. “If it enhances the bottom line, teams don’t care if it comes from tickets or ancillary spending.”

Rosentraub said sports teams’ hands were forced by the explosion of the secondary market and Web-based operations such as StubHub, which in many cases undercut a team’s box office for less-desirable games.

“My gut is, whether it’s every seat in the arena or not, this is the future of sports, and we have to stay out front of this,” Taylor said.

Former grocery store executive Danny O’Malia, a Pacers season-ticket holder since the team played its first season in the ABA, is one longtime supporter who doesn’t bristle at dynamic pricing.

“They have to take care of the people who have been with them a long time, but I’m for the Pacers doing whatever moves them forward,” O’Malia said.

O’Malia, an Xavier University graduate and season-ticket holder to the school’s men’s basketball team, said he’s seen dynamic pricing work for his alma mater.

“If you go by the law of supply and demand, it makes perfect sense,” O’Malia said. “Personally, I don’t have much of a concern about variable pricing.”

Cardinals officials saw some initial pushback from longtime supporters in St. Louis, Throneburg said, but it was short-lived.

“We know some people can be leery, and we saw that in St. Louis,” Throneburg said. “But once you explain that it’s a win-win for everyone, it’s widely embraced.”

As part of the dynamic program, Pacers officials may give season-ticket holders an opportunity to sample better seats.

Taylor said season-ticket holders also benefit by getting the first choice of seats and by not being subject to price increases due to sudden spikes in demand—as happened this year with New York Knicks games at the Fieldhouse because of the emergence of Jeremy Lin.

O’Malia thinks once local residents come to a game, they could be hooked, and that could have a positive effect on everyone’s ticket value.

“Some people can’t let it go, but the brawl in the [Detroit] Palace is long gone,” O’Malia said. “There isn’t a guy on this team you can’t like on a personal level. This team is winning more, they’re fun to watch, and they play hard and they play together

KingGeorge
03-12-2012, 04:21 PM
I actually think this is going to help. The cheap club level tickets, like section 109 and 112, are full every game I have been too. Good move by the Pacers!

Pacers13Colts12
03-12-2012, 04:25 PM
Sucks for the current season ticket holders in the area. My brother bought seats there and I know he gets mad when he sees them with deals in the club level. He has talked about doing away with the Pacer tickets and going with IU tickets. Why not just buy Pacer tickets off the secondary market instead of paying 95 dollars a game (not sure on that price) for the club level when he could get them for 30 bucks.

RWB
03-12-2012, 04:34 PM
I actually think this is going to help. The cheap club level tickets, like section 109 and 112, are full every game I have been too. Good move by the Pacers!

Yep, has made a difference.

graphic-er
03-12-2012, 04:48 PM
Wow they actually listened to me and my survey response.

Hoop
03-12-2012, 05:11 PM
I think it sucks @ss, I go to see the Pacers play, I don't really care who the hell they are playing.

I'm getting tired of paying premium price before hand, only for them to later practically give tickets away.

If they are trying to run off loyal season ticket holders they are doing a good job.

Brad8888
03-12-2012, 06:29 PM
Wow they actually listened to me and my survey response.

I had suggested this plan directly to both Brett Cole and Eddie Bird back when I first bought club tickets 6 years ago. I was told then that there was no way the NBA could possibly figure out how to properly revenue share between teams. I suggested flex seating prior to that. Later, when Dave Neff was my rep I suggested flex valuation of seats for games based on a combination of prior year records and significant roster / coaching changes, even going so far as to have a selling structure similar to Priceline where fans could name their price to attend a given game.

At least there is some progressive thought and creativity now.

And BTW, in past years this would have sucked for current STH's far more than it will now, because I assume that current STH's will still receive credit for any difference that happens now with upcoming promotional pricing like they did earlier in the season.

Roaming Gnome
03-12-2012, 06:31 PM
I'd like to hear and see more before I trot my two cents out there, but I'm leaning towards Hoop's response. I'm sick and tired of seeing the value of my season tickets gutted every year. It's not so bad now that my seats are not in the balcony because I felt like I was just getting ripped off every time I looked to my right and see people paying a 1/4th of what I did for the same seats.

To PS&E's credit... They did offer some "make goods" for season ticket holders during last years renewals that amounted in real $$$SAVINGS$$$. I was able to move my 2 seats out of the balcony to the Upper part of Section 2 (Fan Zone) for $4 more than the face of my balcony seats. My only concern with that is being able to afford to keep my season tickets out of the balcony when/if they raise prices.

Honestly, I think the best way to take care of STH's is to offer a dollar for dollar amount for every game where seats in their section have been discounted below what the STH's in that section paid and apply that as savings at renewal.

Brad8888
03-12-2012, 06:35 PM
I'd like to hear and see more before I trot my two cents out there, but I'm leaning towards Hoop's response. I'm sick and tired of seeing the value of my season tickets gutted every year. It's not so bad now that my seats are not in the balcony because I felt like I was just getting ripped off every time I looked to my right and see people paying a 1/4th of what I did for the same seats.

To PS&E's credit... They did offer some "make goods" for season ticket holders during last years renewals that amounted in real $$$SAVINGS$$$. I was able to move my 2 seats out of the balcony to the Upper part of Section 2 (Fan Zone) for $4 more than the face of my balcony seats. My only concern with that is being able to afford to keep my season tickets out of the balcony when/if they raise prices.

Honestly, I think the best way to take care of STH's is to offer a dollar for dollar amount for every game where seats in their section have been discounted below what the STH's in that section paid and apply that as savings at renewal.

I thought that had happened at the start of this season? :confused:

rabid
03-12-2012, 07:30 PM
Hmm one word of caution on this - The San Francisco Giants have been selling tickets this way for a couple years (maybe it's league-wide, I'm not a huge MLB fan so I don't know).

Granted, the Giants are very popular and recently won a World Series, but even before that it cost like 80 dollars just to get bleacher seats against a good team (I paid $100 for a back-of-the-stadium upper level behind-1st-base ticket vs. the Phillies a couple years back).

On the other hand, the cheaper seats seem to be the exact same price as ALL the tickets used to be.

This is great for cutting down on scalping but I wouldn't count on it resulting in lower ticket prices per se...

pacer4ever
03-12-2012, 07:45 PM
Hmm one word of caution on this - The San Francisco Giants have been selling tickets this way for a couple years (maybe it's league-wide, I'm not a huge MLB fan so I don't know).

Granted, the Giants are very popular and recently won a World Series, but even before that it cost like 80 dollars just to get bleacher seats against a good team (I paid $100 for a back-of-the-stadium upper level behind-1st-base ticket vs. the Phillies a couple years back).

On the other hand, the cheaper seats seem to be the exact same price as ALL the tickets used to be.

This is great for cutting down on scalping but I wouldn't count on it resulting in lower ticket prices per se...


I know Cubs tickets I get in April are like $30 and ticket vs the Cards or Boston or the Yanks in summer are 50+. It has been that way ever since I started going to games I think it is pretty universal.


http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/ticketing/dynamicpricing.jsp

Ive been buying Dynamic bleacher tixs for years. If I cant get them I just buy on stubhub.

Naptown_Seth
03-12-2012, 09:37 PM
I thought that had happened at the start of this season? :confused:
If you look at your tickets you see a higher cost for a few games. I know the Miami face value is higher than some of my other tickets, and the home opener had a discount applied in keeping with the offer they put out to single game buyers (I believe that was the reason).




But like Gnome suggests, why not just agree to adjust the season ticket holders cost in "Pacers dollars" so that as the market goes up and down you receive the same treatment, at least in terms of upgrade costs, merch or future season ticket payments. Just TOTAL UP the "was cheaper" and the "was more expensive" difference and if you spent more than the market you get those credit dollars. And if you spent less then you get nothing (but are not charged either).


To me that would be a homerun. Benefits of commitment are the guarantee of a seat, which in turn benefits the team with a guarantee of income. And by going with Pacers credit dollars instead of a refund you are keeping any "losses" in the family. This makes me feel more comfortable about sticking behind the team and less like I'm being ripped off.


And since this facilitates RAISING prices when the market goes up it puts some of the scalper earned money back into the hands of the team (ie charging more for premium games).

joeyd
03-12-2012, 10:35 PM
It goes beyond adjusting a season ticket holder's cost for their season tickets. I have 2 season tickets, but frequently buy extra tickets to the games prior to or just after the start of the season. Granted, they are sold to me at the season ticket holder price, but I have yet to receive an offer to have the prices of these extra tickets adjusted when the seats right next to them may have been sold at a much steeper discount at various points during the season. It's true that I am getting the seat locations I want when I buy them early, rather than waiting for deep discounts later, but the money I could have saved is making me reconsider how I will handle buying extra tickets next season.

I also hope that STHs are given the option of keeping it simple and paying one fixed price for tickets. I like that I pay X number of dollars for each ticket, and it certainly makes things easier for me if I have to sell them to friends or co-workers when I can't go to games, because I don't feel like I have to give a second thought to selling my tickets under those circumstances.

Having said all this, I like a lot of things that PS&E have been doing, and I never hesitate to make these known when I'm asked to complete a survey.

Roaming Gnome
03-12-2012, 11:42 PM
Having said all this, I like a lot of things that PS&E have been doing, and I never hesitate to make these known when I'm asked to complete a survey.

I completely agree...

Brad8888
03-13-2012, 08:44 AM
If you look at your tickets you see a higher cost for a few games. I know the Miami face value is higher than some of my other tickets, and the home opener had a discount applied in keeping with the offer they put out to single game buyers (I believe that was the reason).




But like Gnome suggests, why not just agree to adjust the season ticket holders cost in "Pacers dollars" so that as the market goes up and down you receive the same treatment, at least in terms of upgrade costs, merch or future season ticket payments. Just TOTAL UP the "was cheaper" and the "was more expensive" difference and if you spent more than the market you get those credit dollars. And if you spent less then you get nothing (but are not charged either).


To me that would be a homerun. Benefits of commitment are the guarantee of a seat, which in turn benefits the team with a guarantee of income. And by going with Pacers credit dollars instead of a refund you are keeping any "losses" in the family. This makes me feel more comfortable about sticking behind the team and less like I'm being ripped off.


And since this facilitates RAISING prices when the market goes up it puts some of the scalper earned money back into the hands of the team (ie charging more for premium games).

I completely agree.

This is the very issue that has kept me from purchasing season tickets since I stopped at the end of my 3 year club agreement at the very depths of the OB regime.

The over $4,000 in excess ticket costs that I suffered that year still sticks in my craw to this day.

We were ripped off, and the basic response was "We are trying to enhance your experience as a STH by increasing attendance and therefore the level of excitement that a larger crowd brings to the building. Besides, you have the benefit of having the opportunity to pre-buy additional seats to these games at the same prices as the general public, and for the truly horrific attendance games we might even give you an extra pair as long as you are willing to pay the Ticketmaster fee so we can count those sales in our attendance just in case you can't find anyone to take those from you, either."

It was, after all, truly great to have the Bulls invasions, the Iverson fan club conventions, and the hoardes of fans from other teams come in and be so proud of how much they had paid for the seats immediately next to or just behind ours that they crowed about it. What an enhancement. :mad::mad:

I am now glad that I kept my powder dry and my hands on my wallet this time. The continued disregard for those who have continued to step up and actually put their hard earned money in the Pacers coffers on a consistent basis is really discouraging. The core demographic of the non-corporate STH should be rewarded and revered by the Pacers, as opposed to being taken for granted.

For those who have continued to be STH's, I appreciate your service. At least you now have a product to watch that has had flashes of brilliance interspersed with youthful indiscretions.

You still deserve better treatment, especially if deep discounts without equitable crediting of your accounts for future games, merchandise, or concessions to make up for your losses has not been arranged for.

travmil
03-13-2012, 11:32 AM
Baseball has done this for many years. In fact, most baseball operations look at your ticket as a "cover charge" to get into the building. To them, the REAL money is to be made on the food and attractions at the park. Line up and pay a buck for your kid to spin the prize wheel. Get some cotton candy, a dog and a brew. And if you're so inclined, there just happens to be a baseball game going on too. There is absolutely nothing wrong with looking at what works in other sports and markets and copying that.

BillS
03-13-2012, 11:59 AM
Honestly, I think the best way to take care of STH's is to offer a dollar for dollar amount for every game where seats in their section have been discounted below what the STH's in that section paid and apply that as savings at renewal.

I would be willing to take a percentage of the reduction rather than a dollar-for-dollar amount, since I DO get some benefits from being an STH above and beyond just getting any available seat at the game. After all, as STH's we wouldn't want our credits to be REDUCED when a high-market-price team or situation comes to town.

I've suggested this the last few years on my survey and when talking to my rep and to other PS&E marketing folks.

I've also pointed out that I really want any credits to apply to the next season's ST package, not to current year additional tickets or upgrades. I like my seats; few upgrades give me something I like better. I don't often have other people who come to the game, and when they do we have to figure out how to get them seated near us since we're in a pretty densely sold ST area.

Major Cold
03-13-2012, 12:01 PM
So we have 4 fewer fans on average buying tickets. Not bad considering the lockout iMO.

joeyd
03-13-2012, 03:28 PM
I took a look at the dynamic pricing plan posted on the Pacers website. I hope that our own fans take advantage of the pricing for the last game of the season. Season finales are usually a sellout anyway, so it's a great deal, and with those low prices in the Club Level now, I can easily picture a sea of red surrounding Area 55 if our own people don't pounce on that deal soon. Prices must be so low b/c it's a weeknight game.

RobfromPacers
03-13-2012, 07:03 PM
First off, always appreciate the openness and honesty you all provide on here. As a life-long Pacers fan and native Hoosier, it is refreshing knowing we can have a real conversation.

If you are a current Pacers Season Ticket Holder in the Krieg DeVault Club Level, then you should have received a phone call from your service executive regarding the accommodations we are making for you. If you have not heard from your rep, then please call the hotline at 317-917-2525 or let me know and I'll make sure to connect you.

Also, please note the ticket prices listed on the web site (http://www.pacersdigest.com/showthread.php?t=70558) are the starting prices for that game. The tickets could range higher depending on location.

The game is about to start, so if you see me feel free to stop to chat. Go Pacers.