Perhaps you are like me, and you prefer to go to any number of websites to purchase your tickets for Dodgers games. Sites like Vivid Seats, Seat Geek, and Stubhub have become increasingly popular as fans look for the best value out of their purchase
And why not? The price of a beer and a hot dog at a game comes out to a little over $20, and parking alone will cost you $17 if you pay ahead. So that means if I sit alone in the reserve level, I’ll have to pay at least $37 just to park and eat at the game. So it makes sense that fans are constantly looking at ways to make their trips to games cheaper, especially when they are taking their families along with them.
You can buy a #Dodgers ticket, on the team website or at the ballpark, from the Dodgers. Or you can try resale sites, the so-called secondary ticket market, where the party selling you the ticket is, basically, the Dodgers. https://t.co/RFce1cotyc
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) May 10, 2019
Unbeknownst to most casual fans, the Dodgers have quietly been trying to cut out those ticket brokers that make some of those less popular games cheaper. When the 2017 World Series ended, the team made the decision that they wanted to establish a base price for tickets and that third-party companies inflating the remaining tickets just was not fair. At least, that’s how they marketed the decision. Realistically, it seems likely that they would want to get in on the money to be made, especially during playoffs.
The Dodgers had stripped brokers of their ability to buy season tickets, with the team betting it could make more money by cutting out the middle men. Four brokers filed a joint lawsuit against the Dodgers, alleging the team had reneged on its promises. And, after the Dodgers realized they had set prices on the resale market too high at times, they reversed course so drastically that some fans claimed the team had devalued their season tickets.- Bill Shaikin, LA Times
Imagine buying season tickets for a particular section that comes out to $30 a game, and seeing that they were on sale elsewhere for $15 during less popular games. It would upset anyone, and now it has fans questioning if they will even commit to purchasing season tickets in the coming years.
It really all is a result of the 2017 World Series though. The team noticed that fans were desperate to see the Dodgers play in their first World Series since 1988, and they paid the steep prices offered on the secondary ticket market. The Dodgers didn’t like the idea of brokers pulling in millions of dollars, so they made the change. The Dodgers had only this to say about the ongoing court cases and questions surrounding their relationships with ticket brokers:
The relationship between ticket issuers, such as sports teams and the promoters of live events, and the secondary ticket market is constantly evolving. Every major league team is working to find what works best in its market, as are we. Our objective is to make sure that Dodger tickets continue to be an outstanding value in our market and throughout baseball.
They’re working on making the system better, but it is still very obviously flawed. The team sold NLCS tickets for $22 last year, just days after advertising them as $90-$100 seats, some standing-room only as noted by Shaikin. Herein lies the problem:
If a field-box holder who paid $100 is sitting next to someone who paid $25 because that’s what the market said, we worry about that dynamic. – Tim Zue, executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Boston Red Sox
There have been many times that I bought tickets and wondered what the person next to me had paid. Imagine paying $500 for a playoff ticket only to find out that the person next to you had bought theirs for $250. I would be infuriated, so I understand what the Dodgers are trying to do. But they need to be careful about it, otherwise, they just might lose the majority of their season ticket sales.
What do you think? Would you feel better about a controlled market that the team is trying to offer? Or would you prefer the market offered by secondary ticket sales?