Recapping NFL Week 7:

Big League Stew

Dodgers to raise ticket prices up to 140 percent due to ‘unprecedented’ demand

View photo

.

(USA Today)

The hottest ticket in Los Angeles could prove to be the most expensive as well after the Dodgers announced plans to increase ticket prices on Friday. In some cases, the prices will increase by as much as 140 percent, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Among the increases fans can expect, as cited by Shaikin: Field box MVP seats will go from $75 per game/$6,150 for season ticket to $100/$8,200. Infield loge box values increase from $26/$2,132 to $40/$3,280 and preferred reserve goes from $5/$410 to $12/$984.

Whether you use a calculator or count with your toes, that adds up to millions of dollars in increased revenue for the Dodgers in 2014 and beyond. It also takes more money out of the fans pockets, which they obviously won't be happy about. Especially with this change coming about rather suddenly. But at least the Dodgers are being forthright with their reasoning.

The Dodgers now are charging as much as 140% more than the season price set last fall. They increased the price in each of the 20 ticket categories made available Friday, and by at least 50% in 10 of them.

David Siegel, the Dodgers' vice president of ticket sales, said the new prices reflected what he called "unprecedented" demand for tickets. In the announcement Friday, the Dodgers said available tickets would start at $12 per game, which Siegel said constituted adequate disclosure of the price hikes "although we didn't spell it out."

Business 101: Supply and demand.

Sure, the Dodgers payroll has skyrocketed over the past couple seasons, and that factors into the decision as well. The new money will help pay those salaries while giving them further flexibility to sign new talent. But the Dodgers aren't just in the business of winning baseball games, they're in it to make money, too. When demands for tickets go up, as they obviously have with Los Angeles showing a commitment to winning and stacking their roster with superstars fans want to see, the price goes up with it.

In a typical year, Siegel said, the Dodgers can sell 3,000 to 5,000 seats based on fans declining to renew season tickets. With a renewal rate exceeding 98% this year, he said, the Dodgers could not accommodate fans wishing to add season seats or upgrade from a partial-season package. If all those fans were accommodated at the original prices, he said, the Dodgers would not have enough ticket inventory for individual and group sales.

"We always try to take care of our season-seat holders," Siegel said. "We've learned a lot from the process. As always, we continue to strive to be better."

According to Shaikin, the Dodgers sold a team record 31,000 season tickets in 2013. At the reported renewal rate, they're potentially looking at 30,000 season ticket holdovers plus whatever they've gained this offseason. Siegel did not disclose where the number stands currently.

With a capacity of 56,000, Dodger Stadium affords them some wiggle room and creativity with their inventory, but it's understandable that they'd want to put their foot down before losing that flexibility. It's a bold and perhaps even greedy move — the increases are ski slope steep across the board — but the Dodgers understand the value of what they've created and sensed a golden opportunity to cash in. So that's exactly what they're doing.

How do you feel about the Dodgers ticket increases? Greedy or good business?

- - - - - - -

Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

View Comments (74)