Is Dynamic Pricing Coming to Sports Arenas and Stadiums Near You?

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In the near future, tickets to sporting events could be determined not simply by the section you’re sitting in, but by who is pitching, whether a basketball team’s star power forward is hurt, when you buy your seats, the weather on the day of the game, and all sorts of other factors.

In other words, sports tickets could be priced a lot like airline tickets, reports BusinessWeek, which features a company called Qcue (pronounced “Q Q”) that has developed software to study flexible (also known as dynamic- or market-based-) pricing systems.

This sort of market-based approach already takes place, albeit in the secondary marketplace—meaning scalping. When seats are in high demand, secondary sellers make a killing selling tickets. Sports teams would rather reap in those revenues and milk their customers directly, hence the idea of dynamic pricing. The San Francisco Giants are testing out the concept this season using Qcue, and a team executive predicts that the entire league will adopt dynamic pricing within five years.

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