Last season the Hawks charged “marquee” prices at Philips Arena for games against the Celtics, Cavaliers and Lakers. They are expanding that concept in 2010-11 with “dynamic pricing,” a technology developed by Qcue that allows prices for individual game tickets to be adjusted in real time.
QCue says it’s technology “allows event promoters to respond to the real variables that drive fans to attend events, enabling every event to be priced independently and updated when market conditions changes.” So when you check the price for those Hawks tickets at Ticketmaster one day, the price for the same seat could be different the next day–or even later that same day.
The strategy allows for more flexibility than static prices set months in advance. For example, if the Heat comes to town and LeBron and D-Wade are both out with injuries (or sitting out that final home game), then the market for any remaining tickets could be expected to soften. Conversely, if a blockbuster trade at the deadline suddenly makes a middling team “marquee,” then prices could be expected to go up when that team visits.
The Hawks (and Thrashers), Rockets and Jazz have announced they will use the dynamic pricing next season. Tracy White, chief sales officer and senior VP of sales and marketing for Atlanta Spirit, said he’s still not certain how often the team will adjust prices since this is a new concept for sports teams.
“The best comparison is the airline industry,” he said. “They’ve been doing this for years. This is us taking that concept and applying it to sporting events.”
Theoretically, tickets for low-demand games could be had for less than face value but don’t expect to get rock-bottom prices. White said season-ticket holders are guaranteed to pay the lowest prices per game. Feedback from season-ticket holders played a part in the decision to try dynamic pricing.
“Some season-ticket holders choose to sell seats for some games,” White said. “They asked for a system that better reflected the value of each game.”
The Hawks have yet to set a a date for the start of sales for individual games; White said they hope to finalize a date next week.
– After declaring the Hawks painfully thin at point guard, Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don’t Lie gave more love to Atlanta’s shooting guards and small forwards. Jamal rates No. 12 on Dwyer’s list of 2 guards, J.J. is No. 4 and Marvin is No. 21 among small forwards (one slot ahead of Chills).
No real argument on Dwyer’s takes for the Hawks guys, though I think he shortchanges the threat Jamal presents with that crossover.
– Bret LaGree at Hoopinion was among the bloggers to propose deals for Melo to Nuggets blogger Jeremy. Both proposals were good enough to make Jeremy’s “win now” category but it seems some contracts are hard to move even in fake deals.
LaGree offered J.J. but Jeremy passes on the deal “with gusto” because of J.J.’s contract. LaGree also offers to send Smoove and Marvin for Melo but Jeremy turns that one down, too, because “ultimately the four years and over $30 million owed to Williams is a difficult pill to swallow.”
– Have a good weekend, blog people.