The team, which has watched as attendance has slumped the last two seasons, also said it will cut some ticket prices next year, the third season in a row that the team has done so. Attendance for 2009, the first year at Citi Field, was 3.15 million, but only 2.57 million in 2010 and 2.35 million this season.
Under the Mets’ dynamic pricing plan, starting in March, the team will sell single-game tickets at 2011 prices, but during the season those prices will be adjusted up or down on-the-fly depending on demand. Prices will not drop below those of season ticket buyers, however. The team did not disclose whether it will cap how high prices might go.
Ticket prices for season ticket holders will drop by more than 30 percent in 2012, with 80 percent of the seats at Citi Field seeing prices drop by at least 5 percent, according to the team. Tickets for more than 15,000 seats will sell for $25 or less, and full-season ticket packages will start at $12 per ticket, or less than $1,000 for the year.
The dynamic pricing initiative is powered by Qcue, the Texas-based company that first implemented dynamic pricing with the San Francisco Giants two seasons ago. In addition to partnering with Qcue, the Mets will also switch their primary ticketing provider from Ticketmaster to Tickets.com next season.
“It was clear early on in the proposal process that the Mets value strong technology, operational control and entrepreneurship – key qualities that make the Club an excellent fit for our ProVenue solution,” Tickets.com President and CEO John Walker said in a statement.
For the Mets, the lowering or raising of ticket prices is not really the issue, it is finding the right price for tickets so that more fans feel compelled to buy them.
“More accurate pricing can benefit any team, which is essentially the core of dynamic pricing,” Dr. Barry Kahn, founder and CEO of Qcue, told TicketNews. He added that the company also recently signed a similar deal with the Washington Capitals hockey team.
“The Mets are months away from first pitch, but already at implementation, dynamic pricing is one of the reasons they were able to reduce prices across the board. We’re allowing them to simplify the price tiers within the building, while offering a broader array of pricing options. We’re also providing the deep data analysis and flexibility so the team can keep pace with the rapidly changing demand for tickets,” Kahn said.
By 2010, the team’s tickets were selling on exchanges and broker sites for as little as $4 apiece, which contributed to secondary market sales dropping like a stone.
According to TiqIQ and Team Marketing Report, the average price for a Mets ticket on the resale market plummeted in 2011 to $56.38, down 33 percent from $84.13 the previous year.
The team also reached a discount ticketing deal with Groupon this past season, which further hurt the team’s brand, according to some brokers.