SBD/Issue 82/Franchises

Secret Of Their Success: Orioles May Raise Ticket Prices

Miscommunication Leads To Proposed
Ticket Prices Being Leaked

In what Orioles Dir of PR Bill Stetka called an "unfortunate case of internal miscommunication," team reps, who were supposed to hand out schedules at the Int'l Auto Show in Baltimore, "mistakenly distributed" a list showing that the team is "considering raising ticket prices" on premium seats by nearly 67%, according to Ed Waldman of the Baltimore SUN. The list showed single-game field box seats increasing from $45 to $75, and season-ticket box seats increasing from $40 to $55. While the Orioles "strongly denied that this season's prices are final," Stetka acknowledged, "It may end up that those are the prices." Gilco Sports Dir of Business Development David Cope, a former Orioles marketing exec, believes that $75 is "a lot for a baseball ticket, [but] it's not too much for this market." Cope: "If there's limited quantity, I have every confidence there is the demand for those seats, especially with the off-season moves that they've made." Waldman reported that for the first time, the Orioles may "price some prime sections by proximity to the field." Also, four sections of club-level seats "would drop from $40 to $30, and prices would remain the same for many lower reserved, upper reserved and lower box seats." Stetka said that team research showed the MLB "average for a field box in the first 10 rows was $75.70," and only "eight teams had lower average prices than the Orioles $45." According to Team Marketing Report, the Orioles' average ticket price in '03 was $18.23, 13th among the 30 MLB teams and "just below the sport's overall average of $18.81" (Baltimore SUN, 1/17).

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