Patriots and Lions Become First NFL Teams To Embrace Variable Pricing For 2014

In our latest article on Forbes we speak about variable ticket pricing for the upcoming year. This week, the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions announced that they’d be using variable pricing for upcoming season, making them the first two teams in the National Football League to do so. Teams in other leagues are already using variable or dynamic ticket pricing and with only half of the teams in NFL filling their stadiums on a regular basis in 2013 this announcement does not come as a major surprise and we expect more teams to make this adjustment in the near future. Here's some more from the article:

Dynamic pricing allows teams to move prices up and down in real time based on market demand. Today, 100% of baseball teams use variable and about half use dynamic. Likewise, almost all NHL and NBA teams use some form of ‘demand-based pricing’. With only eight games played each season, though, the NFL hasn’t had to spend nearly as much time worrying about empty seats.

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Variable pricing takes into account the opponent, day of the week, time of the game and placement of the game on the schedule. For the Patriots, preseason games will be priced at about 50 percent of premier games. Marquee games will be priced 25 percent higher than premium games. The Lions provided less detail on the pricing tiers other than announcing that pre-season game prices would decrease by 70%.  In their news release, the Patriots said that their intention is to “reflect the value and expected demand of each game.” That’s another way of saying that they’re pricing tickets based on what they expect to see on the secondary-market. At it’s core, the goals of variable pricing are to allows teams to capture more upside for high-demand games, be more competitive with the secondary market for mid-tier games and lastly help season ticket holders avoid losing money on the lowest demand games, like pre-season. Last season, the average NFL pre-season ticket price on the secondary market was $68– just $10 more than Yankees spring training tickets and about $30 less than Red Sox spring training tickets.

This move to variable or dynamic pricing gives teams a better chance to compete against the secondary market, which is good for both the teams themselves and the fans. To read the entire article on Forbes, click here.

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