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Thinking About Service Charges

A reader and myself have exchanged a few emails over the past few days regarding the new service charge and free parking decrees. His last email got me to thinking; it ended with a simple questions: "Exactly how fan friendly are they?"

In the contents of his previous emails he had proposed that instead of adding service charges for walk-ups, which we've assumed accounts for at least some of the crowd, what about lowering prices as game time arrives, therefore hooking some nomads?

Here was my reply:

Speaking purely from an economic standpoint, attendance would rise if they were to cut the service and drop two dollars off of the price for walk ups, but at the same time they're potentially losing money on pre-orders and season tickets, why pay extra money when you can get it discounted at the gates?

It's like buying from a scalper if they were to slash the walk up prices; if you value money over some of the game you wait until after first pitch before buying a ticket.

They could of course institute the walk up criteria on prime games much like how they eliminate the college nights on prime games, or games were the attending crowd would be heavily anti-Rays; a Yankee tax so to speak.

The idea is to put pressure on people to buy the day before, and potentially buy more. In the DRO's mind every fan should buy four tickets the day before, simply that won't happen, and by instituting this service charge now it allows for them to go towards the Yankee approach in the future and charge as much as 100 dollars for walk up fees (absolutely ridiculous), start the fees low and maintain some of the lower ticket prices in the game (as they should be) and slowly work towards increasing the prices as the wins do.