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The Blue Jays are considering "variable" pricing, where tickets to the most attractive games by opponent, date and/or time suddenly become more expensive. There is no mention in today's Star article of how much cheaper seats might be for matinee D-Rays and Orioles and Tigers and Royals games, but this plan, which scalpers have used for ages, is being spun as an incentive to boost attendance at those events.

About a quarter of MLB teams have already adopted this approach, a clever way to boost revenues. If it costs season-ticket holders more -- a near certainty -- it's also a cash grab from your best existing customers, which won't be very popular. I don't have season tickets, but will vote with my feet at the box office. This type of "marketing" is up there with the famous Rogers "negative billing option" and Sympatico's rude treatment of their core Internet customers, imposing a bandwidth charge. I'll see you at the Dome for the bargain series, and watch the premium games on TV if this ever happens in Toronto.
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Jan Jansen - Monday, December 09 2002 @ 12:52 AM EST (#101651) #
I'll see you at the Dome for the bargain series, and watch the premium games on TV if this ever happens in Toronto.

Hey, if it means an extra million or two in the payroll, I'm all for 'scalper pricing.'

Besides, the flip side of premium pricing is the bargain pricing - cheaper prices on good seats for that thrilling midweek mid-July matchup against, say, Detroit.
_Ian Gray - Monday, December 09 2002 @ 03:27 AM EST (#101652) #
On another topic, does anyone else find the current decrepit state of the Tigers to be a bad thing for Jays fans? I remember loathing the mid-80s Tigers with a visceral passion I've not since worked up for any mere sports team, which is probably a good thing. But it was fun to have a 'natural' rivalry with a team that the Jays were actually in competition with.'s just sort of sad. The teams are in different divisions, division titles don't count for anything anymore, the teams never play each other, the Tigers have stunk for a decade, while the Jays have been mediocre for almost as long...certainly no one much cares in Toronto, and the Tigers and their fans have more history to fall back on and more problems to worry about than the Jays. I dunno. I just remember this game against Baltimore shortly after the Jays lost Tony Batista on waivers. Batista hit a homer, and I started yelling at him, which was classless and stupid. Anyway, this older guy shut me up by taunting me back, and in the banter it came out he was a Detroit fan. Of course, if you're a Detroit Tigers fan reduced to hoping that the Baltimore Orioles will beat the Jays you might as well look for another team, but it struck me that more Tigers fans cared when both teams were good, and that the lost of the Jays' only real rival is a bit of a shame.
_Jordan - Monday, December 09 2002 @ 09:14 AM EST (#101653) #
The Jays-Tigers rivalry of the '80s was a thing of beauty, though unfortunately, I think the Tabbies ended up with the advantage after all was said and done. The '83 squad sank the Jays' first serious playoff aspirations, the '84 juggernaut went 35-5 and whipped the Jays in their Monday Night Baseball showdown, and of course the '87 Tigers will forever live in infamy. The Jays won the '85 round, but Detroit was in free-fall after their World Series victory and didn't pose much of a threat. I make the count 3-1 Detroit. But man, was it fun while it lasted.

I couldn't agree more that the end of this rivalry is sad. The closest thing the Jays have now to a natural division rival is Baltimore, and that franchise won't be posing much of a threat for awhile. The Yankees and Red Sox will never consider the Jays a rival so long as the other team is around: the best Toronto teams will still only be a nagging mayfly buzzing around their ear.

I remember some talk a few years back, when radical realignment was being tossed around, that the Blue Jays might move to the AL Central. The owners fought it, of course, since they didn't want to lose 14 home dates against the Yanks and Sox, but it would have been interesting. Matched up again with Detroit, facing off against another old-time nemesis in Minnesota, grudge matches against Kenny Williams' White Sox, and of course, the team I will always consider Toronto's natural and most deadly rival: those Kansas City Royals. That division could have been a lot of fun, particularly if Cleveland was part of it: the Indians and Jays are building the powerhouses of the '00s, with the Twins not far behind.
Craig B - Monday, December 09 2002 @ 10:25 AM EST (#101654) #
The Central would be interesting, with KC and Detroit there as Toronto rivals. For me, though, I will always have a special distaste for the Orioles. It would have been a shame to have to let go of more games against the Yankees and Orioles.
_Kent - Monday, December 09 2002 @ 05:35 PM EST (#101655) #
Count me among the nostalgic. I loved smelly old Tiger Stadium, and used to go there for at least one series a year in the 80's. A couple of those were memorable for the "road trip" aspects, especially the Q-107 bus trip, sponsored by Labatt's, but despite us vocal Ontarians, the Jays seemed to come up short in a lot of big games there.

Jan, if I thought the "variable" price gouge would add a #2 starter, I'd be first in line. There are better ways to raise revenues -- none beats winning. J.P. & Co. are doing a great job leading the team in that direction, so once there's a contender in town again, and ticket demand outstrips supply, I'll be quiet when they raise prices. Smooth hijack, by the way. :)
_Ian Gray - Tuesday, December 10 2002 @ 04:59 AM EST (#101656) #

I agree. Losing the Orioles and Yanks, not to mention the Bosox, would have been a shame. And besides which, much as I hated the Tigers, there's no point in hating a team as laughable as the current incarnation. That goes for the Royals as well, who I agree should have a special place in any rogues gallery of Jays foes. In my ridiculous baseball fantasy world where the game is run to have entertaining pennant races rather than a plethora of mediocre playoff teams, the AL would expand to Washington and Portland and go to two eight team divisions. And in the eastern division would be, among others, Detroit, Baltimore, Boston, New York and the Jays. Unfortunately, this will never ever happen.
Dave Till - Tuesday, December 10 2002 @ 01:56 PM EST (#101657) #
I'd like to see the Jays in the AL Central because they'd have a chance of winning that division. It's hard to beat both the Yankees and Red Sox, as they can both spend their way to a title. (I think it's safe to assume that Vlad will be playing right field for the Yankees in 2004.)

Having said that, I like seeing the Jays in the same division as the Baltimore Orioles, as it's fun to watch the Jays beat the O's again and again and again.

To return to the original thread: it would make sense to raise individual seat prices for premium games, but keep the season ticket prices the same (or nearly the same). If the Jays are sensible about it, they'll find the formula that maximizes revenue.

On a related topic: I wonder how many people buy $7 fifth deck seats and then try to migrate over to behind home plate? The Jays only have two ushers in each section, and I don't think they check tickets much. (Not that I do this: when I buy $7 seats, I migrate upwards. If you go back a few rows, you can get a row to yourself, and the park becomes a peaceful place to watch a game.)
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