The Philadelphia Flyers, coming off last season’s appearance in the Stanley Cup finals and currently sitting atop the Eastern Conference, are planning to increase ticket prices next season, and the team came to that conclusion with the help of the secondary ticket market.
Team officials admitted recently that they studied StubHub, eBay, Razorgator and other secondary ticket market sites to help determine their new ticket pricing plans for next season, which Peter Luukko, president and chief operating officer of team owners Comcast-Spectacor, told the Philadelphia Daily News is part of an effort at “rescaling the house.”
The Flyers said they are trying to make ticket prices more fair throughout the Wells Fargo Center, but also better reflect what tickets are often selling for on the secondary market.
Virtually all professional sports teams regularly monitor ticket prices on the secondary market, but the Flyers are one of the few teams to publicly admit doing so, particularly when announcing a price increase.
“For [tickets] that were increased 22 percent, those seats are in higher demand than anywhere else in the building,” Luukko told the Philadelphia Daily News. “People fill those seats no matter the game. We think the new price is reasonable compared to the marketplace.”
Said one Northeastern ticket broker who wished to remain anonymous because he is a Flyers season ticket holder, “That’s like saying ‘Gee, we noticed fans are willing to pay more based on what we saw on StubHub, so we went ahead and jacked up prices. I doubt anyone will mind.'”
On average, season ticket prices will increase $6 per ticket next season, but some premium, lower bowl seats will jump in price by more than $16 to $115 at face value. The 15 rows of upper bowl seats will have a sliding scale depending on vantage point, meaning the price will decrease from the first row of the upper bowl to the last row where the view is diminished.
According to ticket price forecaster SeatGeek, the average price for Flyers tickets on the secondary market is $128 this season, which places the team with the eighth-highest average price among the NHL’s 30 teams. At the same time, the team’s average ticket price is $60.89, according to Team Marketing Report, or the seventh-highest average price in the league.
“StubHub has always been a great resource to gauge market demand, both high and low,” Glenn Lehrman, spokesperson for StubHub, told TicketNews. “We’re flattered that Peter [Luukko] considers us a valuable resource.”
The move by Luukko to consider StubHub as a resource is surprising, considering his prior stance again the secondary market.
When the team announced in 2009 that it was looking at paperless ticketing, Luukko said Comcast-Spectacor has “always” been against the secondary market.
Luukko told the Philadelphia Daily News, “We’re rescaling the house, Since the lockout [in 2004-05], we’ve increased ticket prices just 5 percent. And that’s 5 percent as a total for the six seasons, not 5 percent each year. The salary cap in the NHL has increased more than 50 percent over the 6 years. We’re a top 5 market in the league and we’ve had the 15th or 16th average ticket price.”