What Price Glory?

“Dynamic Pricing”
Nothing New Under the Sun!

What Price Glory?

The Astros have announced that prices for season tickets are going up by slightly under 10% for current subscribers next year and will increase to the 12% higher level for new season ticket-holders in 2016. As they always say, it’s the price of winning, and who could argue that one? The salaries that go to World Series competitive players are astronomical when viewed in relation to the average family’s annual income.

Winning teams will still fill the parks in MLB, even if the prices go up, if the local economy can stand it. Teams may not get better informed fans with higher prices, but they will get fans with thicker wallets.

A Great New Euphemism

MLB teams also have brought us one of the greatest new euphemisms of the 21st century. They call it “dynamic pricing” when the cost of a ticket to watch your club play the Yankees or Red Sox over what you paid to watch the Brewers or Rockies during the same season. The term is derived from a much more ancient basic marketing philosophy, which at its thinnest ethical level of contact is an attempt to express the principle that the law of supply and demand is always at play, even when,we, the fans, are asked to pay differential prices for games played against different teams during the same season of play. In reality, it goes back to pricing practices of the carnival world and the international petroleum industry: (1) Take what you can get at all times, even if you have to come up with a less greedy sounding phrase to obscurely justify your actions; and (2) by all means, never give a sucker an even break.

The Next Baseball Dynasty Club

Unless it’s the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, or Angels – or any club backed by the fortune of a Bill Gates or a Warren Buffet level guy, it will not be a Money-Ball Club, whose scientific roster building only works to shape a winner on top of a pyramid scheme of player control until the best of the lot among those players have choices of their own about where they play on a “dynamic pricing” strategy of their own.

It seems to be the answer may be found by any non-major market club that successfully figures out a strategy of selling loyalty and quality of life to those top essential players they need to keep. Quality of Life contains many variables, including factors like tax advantage, the city’s natural beauty, if any, the weather, educational opportunities, the culture, a player’s involvement in local charities, or whatever attraction goes beyond money alone as a reason for working in any given place.

Unless all major league baseball stars are psychopaths, and they are not, money alone cannot be everything. When one invests their heart and history of satisfaction in one place, it makes it harder for many to not be bought away to some less desirable place for a difference in money offers alone. Clubs battling to keep these same essential players do not always have to automatically match the offer of a rival bitter, but they do have to be close enough in their offer to give their man pause to think about what he’s giving up by leaving the team.

Have a Nice Weekend – And “GO ASTROS!”




4 Responses to “What Price Glory?”

  1. stanfromtacoma Says:

    I guess dynamic pricing goes back to the days of ticket scalping. I haven’t been to a major league game for many years but I assume stub hub and the online economy has put the shady character with a fist full of tickets outside the stadium out of business.

  2. Mark W Says:

    ” … rival bitter … ”

    Love the Freudian lip Bill.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Thanks, Mark. … I wouldn’t clean up that “slip” for anything in the world. I once had a sim league I ran on the computer with APBA in which all the team identities were also fiction. My team was the “Freudian Slips” – and, in my mind, we even wore an hour-glass figure on our cap crowns and the left uniform chest section of our jerseys. We won games by “slipping up” on the vulnerabilities of our foes. 🙂

  3. Wayne Roberts Says:

    They’re pretty cheap if you don’t buy them.

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