SBD/November 18, 2013/Franchises

Red Sox Raising '14 Ticket Prices By Nearly 5% As Team Introduces Variable Pricing System

Season tickets will increase by 4.8% in each section at Fenway Park
The Red Sox' '14 ticket-pricing plan "includes raising baseball’s most expensive tickets" by an average of 4.8%, as the team will "introduce a variable pricing program, increasing the cost of tickets for its 32 games with the highest consumer demand and reducing the price of seats for its 32 least desirable dates," according to Bob Hohler of the BOSTON GLOBE. The average ticket price at Fenway Park will increase from $53.38 to $55.94. Fenway Park attendance in '13 "slipped below 3 million for the first time in six years, to 2.8 million," and the club "managed to sell out only 30 of its 80 regular-season games after the home opener, despite winning 97 regular-season games." Under the new plan, there "will be five tiers of ticket prices for each seating section." For example, Grandstand seats in Sections 13 to 27 "will vary in price from $43 and $55 for lower-tier games to $61 and $73 for higher-tier games." Seats for the 17 middle-tier games "will cost the average: $58 -- a $3 increase from last season." Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy said that season tickets also "will increase" by 4.8% in each section at Fenway, and added that the team "conducted an internal study that ranked its home games from 1 to 81 by consumer demand." Tier 1 tickets "represent the 16 dates in highest demand," including all nine games against the Yankees. The lowest priced tickets "will range in price from $10 for seats in the upper bleachers to $40 for right-field boxes to $115 for premium field boxes." This "marks the first time in three years that the Sox have raised ticket prices." The new pricing system "appears modeled in part to allow the Sox to better compete with the secondary ticket market" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/16).

THE NEW VARIABLE: In Boston, Michael Silverman wrote ticket pricing will "never be the same again at Fenway Park because ticket prices will seldom be the same." There "likely will be more head-scratching at the system than sticker shock over the prices." Kennedy: "Given that we are going from 19 seating categories with 19 price points to 19 categories with 95 price points, we understand it may take a while for our fans to adjust" (BOSTON HERALD, 11/16).
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