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Variable Ticket Pricing in Buffalo


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#1 msweet

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 11:14 AM

http://www.nypost.co...nick.htm?page=2

The Buffalo Sabres this season will switch to variable ticket pricing based on the date and opponent, similar to what the Mets do with their gold, silver and bronze designations.

Thus, the same cheapest Sabres seat that costs $20 for some games will cost $68 for others; the better seats that cost $90 for certain games will cost $203 for others. Because it's impossible to predetermine the value of games, the plan is a cosmetically beautified exercise in price gouging.

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#2 Don

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 11:22 AM

I thought price "gouging" referred to when someone was jacking up the price on something genuinely required for survival. Otherwise it's business as usual where price is dictated by supply and demand. In Buffalo, games against the rival Leafs would be at a static supply but in high demand.

It baffles me when hockey fans expect owners to operate outside the bounds of capitalism. If you bought Bettman's "salary cap will make prices go down" crap you should be ashamed of yourself. Ticket prices are set to maximize revenues, not set to please the fans.
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#3 HellOnICE

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 11:23 AM

The Mets did it too right?

I don't think it's a bad idea and could be good for business.
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#4 aylbert

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 11:30 AM

As a fan, it sucks...

but why charge the same to see a Devils/Panther game compared to a Devils/Rangers game? Obviously the rivalary games are more interesting and higher in demand.

It makes perfect business sense as long as they aren't charging variable rates to full season ticket holders...
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#5 Triumph

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 12:01 PM

I think it makes perfect sense but they should at least lower the rates for regular games a little bit when they do this.

Buffalo fans routinely sell their tickets to Toronto fans when Toronto plays in Buffalo - why should the Sabres be cut out of that action?

LOL - didn't realize it's phil mushnick, the world's unhappiest sports fan. His column is basically one long complaint.

Edited by Triumph, 19 August 2007 - 12:02 PM.

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#6 puckrock

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 12:05 PM

I don't like the variable pricing routine.

What if you're a fan who can only attend a few games a year? If you're on a budget you can only see the "less exciting" teams. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to charge nearly triple the ticket price just because it's a rivalry game or a big market opponent.

If anything, maybe keep the ticket prices as they are for the big rivalry games or big market opponents, and maybe drop the ticket prices just a little bit for a 'ho-hum' game, maybe to boost the attendance. For instance:

Say the cheapest seat in Buffalo is $20. Drop that to $16 or $17 for a game against say, Columbus, with all the pricing levels following suit. Leave it at the $20 for a "Premium" game against _______ , with all price levels following suit again.

Pipedream? Probably. But I'd enjoy it :)

Edited by puckrock, 19 August 2007 - 12:06 PM.

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#7 jkrdevil

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 01:06 PM

Quick question is this just for individual game tickets or for season tickets too. I don't have a big problem with it if it's for just individual game tickets. However season ticket holders should get a break and get the games at the lower price.
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#8 SteveStevens

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 01:40 PM

Honestly i like it because it all evens out. They are charging more to go to a better game and less to go to lesser opponents. Eventually the priuce evens out and its great for college students who want to go to games, they can go to more because its cheaper even if they cant go to "better" games like rivalries.
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#9 aylbert

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 01:43 PM

Say the cheapest seat in Buffalo is $20. Drop that to $16 or $17 for a game against say, Columbus, with all the pricing levels following suit. Leave it at the $20 for a "Premium" game against _______ , with all price levels following suit again.

Pipedream? Probably. But I'd enjoy it :)


Its the same thing, just how you state it.

Say ticket prices are currently $15.00

They could raise the ticket price to $20.00, but then say select games are now only $13-19.
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#10 RowdyFan42

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 02:23 PM

What if you're a fan who can only attend a few games a year? If you're on a budget you can only see the "less exciting" teams. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to charge nearly triple the ticket price just because it's a rivalry game or a big market opponent.

The other side of that argument would be that if you're really a fan of the team, you'd be just as excited to see the Devils play the Panthers as you would be to see the Devils play the Rangers.

Not saying I'm particularly a fan of variable pricing myself, just wanted to point that out.
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#11 aylbert

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 02:27 PM

A lot of these tickets in bigger markets were selling much greater than face value.... the teams are just getting a bigger cut now, less so the scalpers...
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#12 CRASHER

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 02:30 PM

so here's my idiot question.... does this gouging count season ticket holders too or god forbid do they get some REAL benefit for buying all the games FiNALLY??
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#13 devilsfan26

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 02:52 PM

The other side of that argument would be that if you're really a fan of the team, you'd be just as excited to see the Devils play the Panthers as you would be to see the Devils play the Rangers.

Not saying I'm particularly a fan of variable pricing myself, just wanted to point that out.

If anyone had the choice of Devils vs. Rangers or Devils vs. Panthers, there is nobody who would rather go to the Panthers game, nor is there anyone who would consider this a tough decision.
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#14 NJDevils_Rock

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 03:21 PM

I think this is a good way to introduce the game to casual fans. When they aren't completely familiar with the match up. It is also great for that family of 4, who maybe can't afford regular ticket prices, but still would like to show the kids what professional hockey is like.

I personally love the big rivalry games, but I would NEVER bring a child to a dev/flyers or devs/rags games. They are too intense and the fans a but.... how do I put it, rowdy for a child. So the variable pricing makes it even more appealing to go to a cheaper game, when the crowd is a little mellower.

Plus... anything that puts more butts in the seats is good for hockey, imo.
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#15 devils26

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:21 PM

I think this is a good way to introduce the game to casual fans. When they aren't completely familiar with the match up. It is also great for that family of 4, who maybe can't afford regular ticket prices, but still would like to show the kids what professional hockey is like.

I completely agree. There are a lot of people out there who do not know enough about the NHL to really care about the matchups. However, these same people might want to go to a game just to see what NHL hockey is about. As a result, those people could get tickets for a game in low-demand, and they would be able to get almost a "sample" of an NHL game. It would allow for teams to attract new fans.
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#16 jkrdevil

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:32 PM

It's not like they are lowering the price for non-marquee matchups. They are just raising the price for the marquee matchups. So the tickets aren't becoming anymore affordable for some games.
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#17 Devils731

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:47 PM

It's not like they are lowering the price for non-marquee matchups. They are just raising the price for the marquee matchups. So the tickets aren't becoming anymore affordable for some games.


It's better than raising all the prices to match what the top games are worth.
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#18 NJDevs26

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:57 PM

Quick question is this just for individual game tickets or for season tickets too. I don't have a big problem with it if it's for just individual game tickets. However season ticket holders should get a break and get the games at the lower price.


From what I know teams do not lower the ticket prices per se for season ticket holders. Season ticket holders still get a discount but it's no more or less than they would normally. It's a percentage subtracted from the face value of all the games added together (tiered prices or what not).

I think the Mets do lower prices for certain games though, it's hard to imagine they would ever have $5 tickets for every game, which they do for 12 value games this year.

I have no problem with tier pricing on the surface, it's a good idea. But if you're not doing it just for the rival games and other games that would automatically be in high demand each year (Opening Night, games during Christmas week, etc) then it can become a problem.

Especially with hockey the way it is now it's sometimes hard to tell who's going to be a marquee matchup from year to year. If say a Devils-Sabres game gets high pricing based on the Sabres being a good team last year and then the Sabres are a ninth place team in December then people are going to be cursing buying those tickets at high values.

Edited by NJDevs26, 19 August 2007 - 05:58 PM.

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#19 ice dog

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 06:09 PM

not a fan of this idea...who is to say what game is going to be important.
this is just another way to squeeze the fans.
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#20 PeteyNice

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 06:21 PM

Noone has mentioned what to me is the most uncontionable thing about this. A regular season NHL game, 1 of 82, will have a cheapest price of almost $70! Just think about that for a second.

I am always against variable pricing. It is a thinly veiled price hike. At least the Mets throw fans a bone with some games at $5. The Sabres "value" games are what those tickets should be for all games. Does anyone have a list of what their prices were last year to compare?

I mean holy crap. $70? I think that is close to what I paid for STANLEY CUP FINAL ticket in 2003!
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