Jan 28, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Aerial view of the downtown Houston skyline and the Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park. The Toyota Center will play host to the 2013 NBA All-Star game. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dynamic Ticket Pricing comes to Minute Maid Park

When Astros single-game tickets go on sale to the general public Monday, fans might experience some sticker shock. That’s because the Astros are introducing “dynamic ticket pricing”.

What exactly is “dynamic ticket pricing”? Basically, ticket prices will fluctuate dependent upon a few key factors. The Astros website explains it like this:

Prices will go up or down depending on the day of the week, opponent, game time, and month of the year. All Houston Astros game tickets will be dynamically priced for the 2013 season. Ticket prices can change at any time.

The Astros aren’t the first team in the league to do this. Several teams are already doing it, and I understand the reasoning behind it. But I don’t like it.

Looking at prices today on the Astros website, I was hard pressed to find any tickets that were selling below face value. There are a couple of games in April where some dugout seats have been reduced from $56 to $53. That’s about it, at this point. I am assuming hoping we will see more discounted tickets as we get closer to the actual games. That is, if this works on a supply versus demand basis. Let’s face it — as the season progresses it might become hard to give tickets away.

Right now, the aforementioned dugout seats (normally $56) are selling for as much as $73 when teams like the Yankees and Red Sox come to town. Crawford Boxes, normally $37, are already at $48 for some games. Prices for Opening Day tickets are ridiculous! Field Box seats that are normally $41 are selling for $90. Crawford Boxes are going for $100!

I can understand charging higher prices to Yankees and Rangers fans so they’re less likely to be outnumber Astros fans at any given time. But where’s the hometown discount? Charge Angels and Red Sox fans all you want. If they’re traveling across the country to see their team play they will pay whatever you ask.

But if my credit card billing address is in Houston, I should pay regular price. Oh, I guess that would be geographic discrimination. We wouldn’t want that now, would we?

First we have no TV deal. Then we move to a radio station that covers a smaller area. Now this! What’s next? Seventeen dollar beers? Am I going to have to chalk the foul lines like I do at my kid’s Little League game?

Tags: Dynamic Pricing Houston Astros

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