Michigan International Speedway will repeat its practice of increasing ticket prices as events draw near, the Sporting News reports. General admission tickets will cost $10 through January, increase to $25 in February, and take another $5 hike in March.
Though the pricing model did not yield higher ticket sales, it did slow the attendance decline NASCAR racetracks throughout the country have experienced.
This method of pricing – similar to airlines increasing ticket prices as flights near – is certainly something other athletic venues, and especially struggling teams in major sports, should consider. Incentivizing early ticket purchases is beneficial both to the fans and to the franchise.
Longtime fans are rewarded for their unconditional loyalty to a team by getting lower prices. Meanwhile, the team has insurance against falling out of playoff contention early. Plus they get early indication of yearly revenue.
Of course, there are some drawbacks. Sparsely attended games are less likely to draw last-minute customers. It also rewards scalpers who set prices lower than the stadium box office, but higher than their purchase point.
Still, it’s proven successful enough that the International Speedway Corp. is considering expanding this practice to other raceways. So it’s probably only a matter of time before a struggling NBA franchise ushers the pricing plan into team sports.
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