If you’ve ventured over to the Blue Jays website this past week to purchase some tickets, you may have noticed something a little different. The rumoured-to-be dynamic ticket pricing is now officially in place for 2016 single game tickets and group tickets.
So what exactly does it mean for Blue Jays fans? Basically, it’s going to cost you even more to go to particular Blue Jays games, dependent on a number of factors, which are explained via the Blue Jays Dynamic Pricing FAQ page:
Our team analyzes multiple data points that may include day of week, opponent, team record, supply and demand of tickets purchased by fans, and many other factors. Timing for price adjustments is not pre-determined and will depend on market conditions.
Depending on the demand, opponent, day of the week and any promotional giveaways, you can likely expect to pay more for that coveted Blue Jays ticket.
Rather than explain the algorithm, it’s probably just easier to test drive the new ticket system for yourself or check out the difference in prices during one particular cross-section of the schedule. This gives you an idea of the range of prices you can expect to pay in early July.
No big surprise here, but the marquee games against big name opponents will cost more, and the weird mid-week Interleague games against the likes of the Diamondbacks and Padres will be much, much less.
For example, a Field Level Bases ticket on Thursday July 7th will cost you $49 dollars. Two days later on Saturday July 9th, that very same ticket will now cost you $65.50, which works out to be an increase of 34%.
Just scanning through the schedule, those Field Level Bases tickets peak at a price of $72.50 on Sunday July 10th; the Joe Carter/Roberto Alomar replica jersey giveaway day.
Something of note; the dynamic pricing system only affects single game tickets and group tickets. Season ticket holders and Flex Pack holders prices are frozen and not subject to increase or decrease throughout the season.
I’ll admit, this system is going to take some getting used to. Paying a flat amount for a ticket in a particular section has been the norm for umpteen years, and most teams now use the dynamic pricing system.
The other strange side effect from the introduction of dynamic pricing? Since every game is priced differently, there’s no pricing map whatsoever. The only way to find the price for your seat is to select the game you want and go from there.
Here’s where fans could notice a big difference; if the Blue Jays once again enjoy a second half surge and secure another playoff berth, that means single game ticket prices could potentially surge even higher than before.
Since it’s all about supply and demand, if the Jays are in the playoff hunt, expect all ticket prices to be escalated. On the flip side, if the team is tanking come summertime, Blue Jays tickets will invariably decrease in price.
So how do you avoid a sudden surge in ticket prices? The Blue Jays recommend you buy your tickets now as to lock in the price and achieve “significant savings”. The introduction of dynamic pricing suddenly incentivizes Season tickets and Flex Packs even more, as single game ticket prices have the potential to fluctuate all season long.
I get why the Blue Jays chose to roll out this program and it makes perfect sense from a business perspective, but to the fans just looking to catch the odd Jays game, it could potentially cost you a whole lot more for your tickets.
Hat tip to /r/TorontoBlueJays for the heads up on the new Dynamic Pricing system. Image via National Post/24 News