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Baseball Ticket Pricing

mariners-logoAndy, Tim and I went to a Mariners game this week. It was nice to have a guy’s night out. The end of the game was fantastic. Down by one run in the bottom of the night with a man on second, two outs and a 1-2 count, Martin hit a walk-off home run to win it. Too bad the stadium was almost empty. Part of our conversation was around why the Mariners don’t lower their ticket prices enough to fill the stadium.

Many clubs are doing some kind of dynamic pricing, but it mostly seems like a way to charge more money for in-demand games. That makes sense if you’re regularly selling out your stadium. The law of supply and demand says that you should increase prices if demand outpaces supply. But why not follow that same logic when the reverse is true?

I couldn’t find any satisfactory reason for why teams wouldn’t charge the amount that would fill the stadium for each game. In this world of big data, they should be able to set that price per game very accurately based on day of the week, opponent, number of wins in the season, weather, etc. How would they not benefit from having the stadium full even if they were giving away some tickets for free? The incremental cost of having another fan in the stadium is almost nothing, but there’s a good change they’ll end up buying a $9 Coors Light.

The only sticky point I can think of is that you have season ticket holders that prepay a set price for their seats. To get around that you can either provide them additional value (discounted merchandise, free parking, etc) that makes it worth their while to pay more for the seats than the person next to them or you can give them vouchers at the end of the year for discounts on next year’s season tickets.

Fill the stadium Mariners! I bet you can even find some data that shows a team plays better when the stadium is full so maybe it’s an easy way to get a few more wins each season.

There has to be some legal/contract reason why they can’t do this because there’s no way that the current system is generating the maximum amount of revenue.

P.S. This isn’t directly related to the topic, but I did run across an interesting paper about ticket pricing per team.

Seahawks Draft Picks

The 2016 NFL draft is over and the Seahawks have made their picks. Which of these names will hit it big?

Round Pick # Overall Name Position College
1 31 31 Germain Ifedi Offensive Tackle Texas A&M
2 18 49 Jarran Reed Defensive Tackle Alabama
3 27 90 C. J. Prosise Running Back Notre Dame
3 32 94 Nick Vannett Tight End Ohio State
3 35 97 Rees Odhiambo Guard Boise State
5 8 147 Quinton Jefferson Defensive Tackle Maryland
5 34 171 Alex Collins Running Back Arkansas
6 40 215 Joey Hunt Center TCU
7 22 243 Kenny Lawler Wide Receiver California
7 26 247 Zac Brooks Running Back Clemson

Iseahawks_im_in don’t know much about any of these players, but the Seahawks have a history of some pretty excellent performances in the draft. Here are some examples:

2015 Round 3: Tyler Lockett
2014 Round 2: Justin Britt
2014 Round 4: Kevin Norwood
2014 Round 4: Kevin Pierre-Louis
2013 Round 5: Luke Wilson
2012 Round 1: Bruce Irvin
2012 Round 2: Bobby Wagner
2012 Round 3: Russell Wilson
2012 Round 6: Jeremy Lane
2012 Round 7: J.R. Sweezy
2011 Round 5: Richard Sherman
2010 Round 1: Russell Okung
2010 Round 1: Earl Thomas
2010 Round 2: Golden Tate
2010 Round 5: Kam Chancellor

2010 and 2012 were pretty incredible draft years. The Seahawks generally seem to play it smart by avoiding the early first round picks. They regularly trade away their first round picks for multiple later picks. If you’ve read Scorecasting, you know that not only is it not as great as it seems to get one of the first half dozen picks of the draft, you should AVOID having one of those picks. You are forced to pay this random person a ton of money and more often than not, they don’t live up to the hype.

It sounds like the Seahawks are focusing a lot on their offensive line which is a no-brainer. We’ll see what next season brings!

Get Your Seahawks Tickets

seahawksticketsI’ve been in the Seattle area for almost 10 years now and I still haven’t been to a Seahawks game. It’s a combination of me being cheap and the tickets being nearly impossible to aquire firsthand. I don’t love buying tickets secondhand, but if I’m ever going to see a game, that’s probably what I’ll have to do.

How hard is it to get a ticket straight from the Seahawks? An article in the Seattle Times mentioned that there will be a total of 5800 single game tickets available for sale in the coming months. I’ve tried to snag those before and it’s nearly impossible. They sell out in minutes. Do you want season tickets? I hope you’re ready to wait. There are 70,000 people in line for the 61,500 season tickets and 99.6% of last year’s season ticket holders renewed.

Lockette’s Injury

locketteinjurySeahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette took a serious hit in a game against the Cowboys last November. If you really want to watch it, there are plenty of videos of it on YouTube. In a recent talk to paramedics and fire fighters in Redmond, he talked about how close he came to dying right there on the field. Apparently his neck was seriously injured and any wrong move by the team that helped him could have ended his life. You can read more about his story on sportsnet.ca.

Goodbye Lynch

lynchretirementMarhsawn Lynch has been a staple of the Seahawks since arriving in 2010. I loved his style of running. He’d smash you in the mouth, plow you over, and leave you behind unless you brought two or three other buddies along with you. And sometimes even that didn’t stop him. His “Beast Quake” run is a great example of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPcfkxmhS_A

But now it looks like Lynch’s run (hardy har har) in Seattle might be coming to an end. He’s 30 years old and he already talked about retirement last year. I think that given his popularity, Seattle will happily give him the option to retire. Otherwise he’ll get traded away or just cut and the Sehawks will have about $6.5 million worth of extra room in their salary cap. That could go a long way toward beefing up the pourous offensive line. They could even ask for $5 million in signing bonus back from Lynch if he retires, but I bet they won’t.

Why the sudden change? When Lynch got hurt this year, Thomas Rawls came on board and stunned us. He looked like a younger, fresher Lynch. People went from worrying about Lynch being out for so many games to not caring if he came back.

And when Lynch finally was ready to come back, he didn’t win many friends with his apparent bad attitude. Everyone said he was ready to play. He had three full practices. Then on Friday afternoon he decided he ruled himself out and didn’t even travel with the team. Huh? Not only was it a late surprise, but because he practiced all week, the backups didn’t have as many reps with the offense. When Lynch returned in the game against the Panthers, he didn’t do much of anything and spent quite a bit of time on the sidelines.

It’s like he flipped a switch this season from “nothing can stop me” to a petulant child. And since he has this ridiculous thing where he doesn’t talk to the media, we’ll probably never know the truth.

Back channel rumors have it that he doesn’t have much respect for Carrol in practice and you know how much Pete puts up with stuff like that.

I’ll be shocked if Lynch is wearing a Seahawks jersey next year. And unless I actually hear his side of the story and it’s convincing, then I’m not sure I care. I appreciate all he did in Seattle, but his attitude seems pathetic.