Comments on economics, mystery fiction, drama, and art.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cubs Hike Ticket Prices

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Cubs have announced their ticket prices for 2008, with increases ranging from as little as 12% (for a few classes of "permium" game tickets), to as much as 60% for some "value game" tickets. The unweighted average price increases are 16.52% for "premium" games, 21.85% for "regular" games, and 47.88% for "value" games. If no seats and no games changed classifications (the Cubs have 13 different seat classifications, as well as the three game types), then these unweighted averages are a fairly good guide to the increases.

But the increases are larger than this makes it appear. The Cubs have also reclassified some games from "regular" to "premium." In 2007, the split (Premium/Regular/Value) was 44/31/6; in 2008, it'll be 50/25/6--an increase of 13.6% in the number of "premium" games. My crude calculation, then, suggests that the actual increase in the seats classified as "premium" in 2008 is closer to 20% than 16.5%. (And, note that more than 60% of all games are now "premium" games.)

The Cubs note that they did not raise ticket prices in 2007 (but, if I recall correctly, they did reclassify some games as "premium"), and they attribute the increases to increases in payroll and to a one-time investment in upgrading the playing surface.

Well, unlikely at best. They're doing this because the ticket demand they face allows them to do so. So, Cubs' fans, here's to you, and to your willingness to pay.


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