Mariners to offer ‘dynamic’ prices for 2012 tickets

Oct 25, 2011, 2:37 PM | Updated: 2:38 pm

Is it worth more to see the Yankees on a Friday night than Tampa on a Tuesday? The Seattle Mariners announced Tuesday they’ll implement a new dynamic pricing system that sets ticket prices based on actual demand.

The team is partnering with QCue, a software company that provides dynamic pricing services to a number of major league baseball teams, along with the NBA, MLS, NHL, and NASCAR. The system takes a variety of factors into consideration including day of the week, weather, opponent, who’s pitching, etc.

“That all affects how much the fan perceives the value of the game to be and, using the recommendation from the software provider, we can adjust the price accordingly to something we think the market will bear,” says Rebecca Hale with the Mariners.

Hale says under the new model, it is estimated that the majority of tickets for Mariners games next season will be priced at or below 2011 prices. Single game tickets will go on sale next March 10th at a predetermined “floor price.”

According to Hale, using QCue’s sophisticated market analysis prices could be adjusted through the day of the game. Fans who buy early will have access to the lowest prices as tickets would not go below the opening “floor price.”

“Pro sports teams are realizing that this is a really good way to make a lot of their tickets available at very affordable prices to their fans and to sell tickets that otherwise might have gone unsold,” Hale says.

Hale says the Mariners have used variable pricing for tickets since 2008. Last season, that included nine “value” games where tickets were discounted $5; 13 “prime” games that included a $5 premium charge and 18 “summer weekend” games that cost an additional $2 per ticket, but the software will allow the team to better respond to demand and changing market conditions.

Dynamic pricing will not apply to Mariners season ticket holders. Full season ticket prices for 2012 are the same as 2011 and priced much lower than single game tickets, while Hale says most partial season ticket plans will remain at or below 2011 prices, except for Weekend Plans.

No starting pitcher.

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