Watson: The impact of wins, stadiums, and economies on ticket prices

From SABR member Owen Watson at FanGraphs on March 8, 2016:

For many irrational reasons, I have consciously decided to put myself through the experience of being an Oakland A’s season-ticket holder for the past three years. Every year since I joined this small, delusional, and fanatical club, the price of season tickets has gone up by a sizable amount. I say “sizable” as an intentionally unscientific term, as I realize there’s a lot that goes into it, but the increases have been more than noticeable for my section of the stadium, which is not one of the highest-priced nor one of the very-lowest. The A’s were really good between 2012 and 2014, so I understood that the increase was probably just the price of success, and left it at that. We all know what happened to the A’s in 2015, however: they lost 94 games. It was a woeful, terrible year. You can’t come up with a superlative to represent what trading Josh Donaldson and then losing 94 games is like. It felt — and feels — exactly what it sounds like reading that sentence.

It was with some confusion, then, that I looked at the prices of tickets this January and saw that the prices had stayed steady or increased, especially for those teams or dates that are denoted as top tier. As most teams now do, the A’s have adopted a dynamic pricing model for their ticket sales, which assigns higher pricing to favorable matchups, promotions, days of the week, etc. It’s a complicated and flexible model, and there’s the chance that holding off on buying tickets now might actually save money if certain circumstances arise. The possibility of the opposite is true, however, which is the point (for the A’s) of adopting the model. The fact remains, however: the A’s were one of the worst teams in baseball during 2015, yet one wouldn’t know it from the ticket-price differences between 2015 and 2016.

Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-impact-of-wins-stadiums-and-economies-on-ticket-prices/

Originally published: March 8, 2016. Last Updated: March 8, 2016.