Wednesday, August 27, 2008

As new stadiums spring up, grumbling over ticket prices (but is that the real issue?)

There's been some vigorous discussion on the New York Times web site in response to yesterday's front page article, headlined New Stadiums: Prices, and Outrage Escalate, about how four new stadiums coming online in the next few years have raised ticket prices and also added revenue-raising elements like personal seat licenses--both of which are likely for the Atlantic Yards arena, which goes unmentioned in the article.

The article is sympathetic to the elite of sports fans who have season tickets, while some online commenters suggest that fans should be paying for new stadiums. Others point out that the stadiums receive public financing and tax breaks, and that "professional sports leagues are government sanctioned cartels" with competition limited. Moreover, season tickets are often a tax deduction.

And what about the Nets? As I wrote last year: "Thanks significantly to 170 new high-priced suites, the “blended average ticket price” for Nets games would go up dramatically, 73% for regular-season games and 64% for playoff games, upon the team's move." The number of suites has been reduced to 130, but you can bet the average ticket price would skyrocket.

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