By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 3.4.2017
There has been an unspoken movement for years at all levels of sports. The movement is how to appeal to younger fans. They are trying everything from new technology to changing the rules of the game and yet they are no closer closer to solving their dilema. But they can in one swift move, lower ticket prices.
Taking less money seems like, on the surface at least, counter intuitive, but it isn’t. It may be the only way live sporting events can help reverse the tide of fans choosing to stay home and watch the game on TV vs shlepping their way to the stadium.
When you look at the costs of going to a live sporting event, it can get out of hand pretty quickly. From the tickets to the transportation to the food and drink. And for what? A chance to see your local team get faded by a superior team and then fight the traffic to get home?
If teams lower ticket prices they will increase demand even if it is artificial. The fact is that since 2008 people have become more aware of the financial relevance in the world. Spending hard earned money on something like a Tuesday night baseball game isn’t going to cut it. Now if the ticket price was a ‘reasonable’ level then that might be enough to sway the marginal fan. Once there, they will spend the money on food, booze, and merchandise. The teams will make up the revenue on the lower ticket price very, very quickly.
Look at it this way, its about volume and not about financial level. Sports teams and organizations have this mentality that lowering the price for admission is somehow diminishing the product somehow. It’s not and never has been.
Lowering the cost of admission does one thing, puts butts in seats and to be completely honest, it’s a safe bet that the margins on alcohol sales are a heck of a lot better than that of a seat at the game.
Make no mistake, while all of this talk and execution of virtual reality, target digital marketing, etc is important it in the end is not going to turn the tide. Economics will turn the tide. Economics state that if demand falls then the price of the goood or service cannot sustain current levels. Let’s also not pretend that the owners of these teams and organizations are hurting for money either.