Blog Entry

'Dynamic pricing' = 'price gouging'

Posted on: November 19, 2010 11:24 am
Edited on: November 19, 2010 11:25 am

You've got to love marketing speak. The Cardinals say their ticket prices next season will be subject to a new "dynamic pricing" model in which ticket prices "float" to "create a better match of supply and demand."

Hear that? It's dynamic! It floats! Who doesn't like things that float? Balloons. Fluffy clouds. Inner tubes down a lazy river.

It sounds so much better than saying "we've come up with a new way to make sure we can drag every possible penny out of our fans," which is really what "dynamic pricing" is. The system, previously employed on a limited basis by the Giants and Astros, will allow the Cardinals to tweak the prices on tickets daily using factors such as pitching matchup, weather and bobblehead nights.

"It's something that people are familiar with in other industries, such as the airline industry, where prices are floating based on factors that change over time," Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch . "We just felt like there's been enough research to see it as a win-win for the fans and for the club."

Yes! It's a win-win for fans! Wait, let's think about this. You ever hear of things "floating" downward?

The Giants admit that their dynamic pricing resulted in increases 90 percent of the time. Plus, the Cardinals say they can't lower prices on tickets to levels lower than what season-ticket holders paid for similar seats, or the season-ticket holders would riot. So even the actual demand would dictate that tickets for a lousy game (like a September game, in the rain, against the Pirates, with both teams eliminated and throwing call-up pitchers) might cost $2, you're not going to see that adjustment. But every time Tim Lincecum rolls into town, the Cardinals cash in.

Doesn't that sound dynamic?

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB

Since: Nov 23, 2010
Posted on: November 23, 2010 3:12 pm

'Dynamic pricing' = 'price gouging'

I recently wrote a letter to the editor of the St Louis Post Dispatch, that will be published this Thursday.  I would like to be credited with coining the phrase that I used for these so called value priced tickets, I am calling them  PRE-SCALPED TICKETS.  I arrived at this site because the more I thought about it, the more I thought about phrases like "price gouging" and "price fixing".  This seems to be uncharacteristic of the Cardinals and I am shocked that they would use such a negative scheme to make more money.  Maybe they should check down the street where a positive spin (a promise to win or you only pay half price) was put on tickets sales and they are selling ouy every night. 

Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: November 19, 2010 1:50 pm

'Dynamic pricing' = 'price gouging'

This is the most ridiculous posts I've ever read. Price "gouging" is to use monopoly power to charge exorbitant prices for things people need -- charging a dying man in the dessert thousands of dollars for a bottle of water. A St Louis consumer's entertainment dollar can go to many things, and a Cardinals game is but one of them, and it certainly isn't a life-altering need. Charging more for games that are more in-demand makes those tickets more readily available to those who value them most. How is that a bad thing, for anyone?

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: November 19, 2010 12:13 pm

'Dynamic pricing' = 'price gouging'

As a Cardinals fan, it's not often I agree with a cubbie fan but he & the article author are correct. DeWitt was also quoted as decribing  this as a "opportunity" for Cardinals fans. It is of course, an "opportunity" to be over-charged & fleeced. Marketing lingo is wonderful isn't it ? This is just like the garbage many people bought into in the election though, so it will probably be a great success for the Cardinal owners. Marketing = deceptionor as we used to call it, a con game.

Since: Aug 29, 2007
Posted on: November 19, 2010 12:08 pm

'Dynamic pricing' = 'price gouging'

So, does dynamic pricing go down when Albert's not in the lineup or Kyle Lohse is pitching?

Since: Nov 19, 2010
Posted on: November 19, 2010 11:37 am

'Dynamic pricing' = 'price gouging'

Righ on David. Thanks for keeping us in the 411 as to how the Cardinals plan on ripping off their fans.

I gotta say...I ain't got much sympathy for 'em cuz I'm a diehard Cubbie myself, but whose to say these kind of stupid price-gouging gimmicks won't come to your home ballpark?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or