Coming off a season with poor attendance, the Florida Panthers hockey team is planning to adopt a dynamic pricing-style of ticket sales for individual games sales, as well as decrease the number of seats for sale to all home games for the 2010-11 season. The Panthers finished 25th out of 30 NHL teams in terms of game attendance this past season.
Under the new plan, seating capacity to all Panthers games will be decreased by roughly 2,500 seats, from 19,250 down to 17,040. The eliminated seats will be in the last six rows of the arena and will be covered with advertising tarps. The use of tarps would allow for the Panthers to expand the number of seats available in the event that a particular game sells to capacity.
In terms of individual game ticket sales, the Panthers will be adopting what they call a “dynamic pricing plan.” Under this plan, all Panthers home games will be divided into categories based on anticipated popularity – bronze for the least popular (sold at prices lower than the teams current ticket prices), silver for the next (sold at current ticket prices), and gold and platinum tickets for the top two tiers of games, sold at prices that exceed current ticket prices. Should a lower priced game begin to sell strongly, the club reserves the right to raise the game’s pricing bracket to a higher level and increase prices on all future sales for that game. However, the club says that it will not drop levels for a game should sales lag.
When asked about the Panthers’ plan for dynamic pricing, Cybele Diamandopoulos of Qcue, one of the industry’s leaders in the field of dynamic pricing, called the move “a step in the right direction, but not dynamic pricing as [Qcue] defines the term.”
According to Diamandopoulos, to truly qualify as dynamic pricing, the Panthers, rather than simply moving the strongly selling games up a level, would have to allow for the ability to move individual sections up or down depending on how they were selling for a particular game. This would allow for greater flexibility within the ticket sales system and offer a chance to maximize the club’s profits.