01/15/13 5:00 PM ET
Dodgers expanding variable ticket pricing
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Siegel said it's too soon to gauge reaction, but the club is hopeful one result will be more fans opting for season tickets, which have retained last year's reduced-pricing structure that reflects a discount from the single-game pricing.
"We believe the pricing encourages fans to explore the benefits of being a season-seat holder," said Siegel, who added that season-ticket sales have been very strong.
This year, the pricing employs a four-tiered system, with games grouped by stars. The more stars, the more expensive the tickets. There will be six games of four stars -- Opening Day on April 1 against San Francisco; July 30-31 against the Yankees and Aug. 23-25 against the Red Sox. For those games, top deck tickets will be $30 each.
Those prices dip to $20 for 26 three-star games, $10 for 33 two-star games and $8 for 16 one-star games (plus one exhibition game). Siegel said the base price of one-star games is down from $13 last year, meaning 20 percent of the games will have tickets available at a lower price than a year ago.
All three-star games involve a promotional giveaway, including all bobbleheads, or a fireworks night. Of the 33 two-star games, 25 are for games with a promotion. All but one of the one-star games is on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night.
The prices are now set and will not change during the season. Nor will the star designation change if a game has become more appealing because of a pitching matchup or impact on the pennant race.
The Dodgers have deployed variable pricing in the past, particularly with Opening Day games, bobblehead games last year for Vin Scully and Sandy Koufax, Friday and Saturday games and the series three years ago against the New York Yankees (which could be purchased only as part of a season-ticket mini plan).
The Dodgers also had different pricing for advance purchase, game-day purchase and games on Fridays and Saturday, all of which has been eliminated.
The biggest jump in the price of single-game seats between the one-star games and four-star games will be in seating areas that are traditionally the lowest-priced in the stadium -- the top deck, pavilions and reserved level.
The Dodgers are not using dynamic pricing, which employs fluctuating prices during the season depending on availability per game, using computerized algorithms similar to those used in airline seat pricing. The prices now set will not change.
"Our goal was to keep Dodger games as accessible to families as we could and to remain the most affordable ticket in all of L.A. sports, and we believe we achieved that with our variable pricing," said Siegel.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.