Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nets claim that $15 ticket price was raised because of scalping (or, alternatively, "we are a business")

The Nets have an interesting explanation for the absence of long-promoted $15 tickets, according to the Brooklyn Paper, in Budget tix cut at Barclays:
The Barclays Center is no longer selling the 2,000 $15 tickets per game it promised in 2012 because scalpers were buying up the cheap ducats as fast as they could and flipping them, a company representative said.
“Last year, we found that many of our $15 tickets were being resold for a higher price on the secondary market, which was against the spirit of our initial offer,” said Nets spokesman Barry Baum.
..."This year we decided to offer $15 seats through our group sales department as a way to ensure that the tickets were being used by people who bought them at the original price.”
Those group tickets--no total number was mentioned--have been gone since August, however.

Was it really about scalping?

I'm not sure the Nets raised ticket prices because they were concerned about scalpers. After all, as Eric McClure of Park Slope Neighbors told the Brooklyn Paper, buyers could be forced to pick up their tickets at a will-call box office. And the Nets themselves are "scalping"--er, selling tickets on the secondary market.

I think a more honest explanation came from Nets CEO Brett Yormark. "We did raise our ticket prices in Year Two," Yormark said. "We did decide that, after giving everyone a sampling opportunity, we are a business."

As I've written, the Nets are now practicing dynamic pricing, and seats for some unpopular games have been under $25. 

And the arena does give away 54 seats and a suite for most events through the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance's monthly sweepstakes, a result of the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement.

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