Most teams announce whether or not they’ll increase ticket prices for the next season after the current one ends. The Dolphins have opted to do so during the 2017 season, on the heels of a 40-0 prime-time debacle in Baltimore.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, 2018 season-ticket prices will increase by six to seven percent per game, on average.
“The price increases in place are different depending on market demand and in the context of a $500 million privately funded renovation by Steve Ross,” Dolphins president Tom Garfinkel said, via Jackson. “We didn’t take a huge price increase year one [of the renovations]. We didn’t go out with personal seat licenses.
“We chose to take increases over time. There’s a lot of value for season ticket members and their prices are significantly lower than individual and secondary market prices. The feedback that we’ve gotten is it’s a dramatically improved experience at the stadium.”
For any business, price point becomes a key factor in selling its goods or services. For sports teams, the challenge becomes setting a price that balances supply and demand in light of the fact that scalping has now become commonplace and, when done online, perfectly legal. Surely, it drives team owners crazy to see tickets being resold for a much higher price than they were sold in the first place, since that’s money that the team could have made.
Of course, if teams were to set prices for an amount that reflects what tickets often go for on the secondary market, plenty of teams may struggle to sell tickets without slashing prices.
The prevalence of electronic ticketing makes it easier for teams to tinker with prices more creatively than they currently do. From game to game, prices can rise or fall based on demand — especially in stadiums where the stigma of public money doesn’t create a vague sense that these for-profit business owners will deviate from the goal of maximizing profit.