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Dropping Ticket Sales

From Neil deMause at Slate:

Even so, there’s a good chance this will mark the fourth straight year that Major League Baseball has seen ticket sales slide after a record year in 2007. You can’t blame it on steroids, either. NFL, NBA, and NHL attendance have likewise dipped over the last three years.

The obvious culprit is the sinking economy: Lose $4 trillion in spending power, and at least a few consumers are going to save by watching games at home in hi-def. Yet as the economy lurches back to its feet, there are signs that the sports ticket bubble will continue to deflate. That could have far-reaching effects on ticket prices, competitive balance, and the very existence of the major pro sports leagues that aren’t the NFL.

Sports leagues’ ticket woes aren’t always visible to the naked eye. According to Team Marketing Report’s Fan Cost Index, three of the four major leagues saw average ticket prices rise last year. (The NBA, which cut prices by 2.3 percent, was the exception.) These figures, though, only take into account the face value of tickets.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink



I got tickets for the Panthers last year for $27 off of Ebay that had a face value of $114.  Teams need to lower their prices a lot!

Posted by Devils In The Details on 08/04/11 at 05:41 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The NBA cut tickets because in comparison to the other 3 sports (hockey included) their attendance was getting just awful—the NHL has stomped them at the gate for a few years now.

I agree that pro sports is suffering, but it’s not the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB (and NASCAR even) that are in danger.  Minor pro sports are in a far worse position.  The economy has created a situation where minor pro sports already just aren’t viewed as economically-viable by most markets and venues.

Some venues already outright refuse minor pro sports teams because they know they’ll have better luck filling dates with concerts and other events.  For all the talk about the Sprint Center in Kansas City “needing” a team, that arena is *already* turning profits fine without a sports tenant.

In the longview the major pro sports will be just fine.  It’s things like the AHL and ECHL, minor baseball, the NBDL, and arena football that are already seeing far worse and more-dire consequences (as well as the NASCAR Truck and Busch series’).  Markets are losing teams, and entire leagues are folding.  It’s just… bad.  Even NASCAR’s premiere series has seen a more-dire hit in the gate because of the big travel involved for most fans to attend races.  You don’t draw 150,000 fans to a race by just gleaning from the local area, you do it by bringing in fans from states and provinces away.

Don’t fret for the NHL, MLB, NBA, or NFL though.  They’ll be just fine, they’re basically bulletproof.

Posted by Primis on 08/04/11 at 11:28 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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