The Brewers yesterday announced that they will partner with Texas-based technology firm Qcue to “test-market a demand-based pricing system for three games later this season,” according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Qcue already is working with “at least a third of the teams in baseball,” as well as franchises in other sports. The Brewers' “test games” will be on Aug. 31 against the Cardinals, Sept. 10 against the Phillies and Sept. 26 against the Pirates. The team will use only the “loge bleachers and loge outfield section seats” for the test. Qcue CEO Barry Kahn yesterday said that the Brewers “were testing the system on a limited basis to integrate it into the marketplace.” He added that the team “wants to get feedback from fans.” Kahn said that the Brewers “also need to upgrade their ticketing software if they choose to expand the system to more seats next year.” Kahn said that last year the MLB Giants, who also use dynamic pricing, "found that the face value of a ticket declined for 75% of available seats" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 7/12).
In L.A., Bill Shaikin reported Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt yesterday "extended a vote of confidence" to GM Ned Colletti. The MLB All-Star Game "was abuzz with rumors that McCourt might soon fire Colletti and replace him" with one of the Dodgers' Assistant GMs, DeJon Watson or Logan White. But McCourt spokesperson Steve Sugerman in a statement said, "Any rumors about Ned being replaced are inaccurate, false and utterly unfounded. He has Frank's support" (LATIMES.com, 7/11).
SAN FRANCISCO TREAT: In S.F., Eric Young reports the Giants are "on pace to set an all-time franchise record for attendance of 3.38 million this year" at AT&T Park. At the current pace, the club "will break the previous attendance record of 3.26 million fans set in 2003." In addition, TV ratings for the defending World Series champions "are up sharply," and merchandise "continues to fly off the shelves." Sales of "everything from 'Fear the Beard' T-shirts to World Series banners to Tim Lincecum replica jerseys are up" about 15% over last season. Giants President & COO Larry Baer said, "This year on the business side revenue is very, very strong. The brand overall has never been stronger" (S.F. BUSINESS TIMES, 7/8 issue).
TURN THE BEAT AROUND: In Pittsburgh, Dejan Kovacevic notes the Pirates' average home crowd of 23,578 through the All-Star break is "up nearly 4,000 over last season," and PNC Park "has been sold out 10 times." Also, local TV ratings are up 32% to date. Agent Scott Boras said, "It's a benefit to everybody. You have a city that's basically reinvented itself." MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said, "Watching PNC Park jammed game after game now, it's really wonderful. It's one of the season's great success stories. The Pirates and their fans went through a lot of travails, a lot of heartache, but it's finally starting to pay off" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 7/12).
In Dallas, Mike Heika reported Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi is "no longer officially inside his 'exclusive' negotiating window, but he still is the favorite to put in the 'stalking horse' bid for the Stars, and that bid could come as soon as this week." Gaglardi "still is miles ahead of any other potential bidder." What the NHL, the Stars and the lenders running the team "would like is an official 'signed purchase agreement,' that they can use either as the starting point in an auction or as a document that will be taken to a pre-packaged bankruptcy hearing" (DALLASNEWS.com, 7/11).
CLOCK IS TICKING: In Jacksonville, Gene Frenette noted the Jaguars' season-ticket sales during the lockout are "trickling in at about 150 per week." The team "still needs to sell about 17,000 season, group or single-game tickets to avoid the dreaded blackouts." Jaguars Senior VP/Stadium Operations & CFO Bill Prescott is "convinced the franchise can reach the blackout number despite the clock ticking against them" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 7/9).
LOCKING IN THEIR TICKETS: In Minneapolis, Jerry Zgoda reports due to the NBA lockout, the T'Wolves have "offered season-ticket holders the same priced tickets for the 2012-13 season if they've agreed to pay for this upcoming season." The team also will "keep money paid for this next season in an account where it will earn a 6 percent 'loyalty reward' to be credited for concessions and merchandise" after a new CBA is reached (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/12).