Bad Weather and Ticket Sales: How Dynamic Pricing Helps and Hurts MLB Fans
- Apr 14, 2017
Bad weather and ticket sales don’t seem to mix, but they can pay off for the die-hard fan. The weather is just one of many factors that affect the price at MLB ballparks that use dynamic pricing. That means that ticket prices may jump anywhere from $3-$70 or so from game to game. At least 26 teams use some kind of flexible pricing model, including the New York Yankees and last year’s World Series Champions, the Chicago Cubs.
But what goes into dynamic pricing? There are a number of variables that affect a ticket price. These include historical sales trends, current standings, pitchers, the day of the week, the demand in the “secondary market,” (like StubHub), and the weather. During sunny days, the demand for tickets are higher and therefore so are the prices. However, dynamic pricing works both ways. Bad weather means cheaper tickets.
The MLB and Inclement Weather
Inclement weather is normal for baseball games. With the early April start of the season, plenty of rain ruins fields and soaks fans. As the summer months progress, dangerous and sudden thunderstorms light up the sky and delay countless games. During the fall, hurricanes on the east coast and cold weather in the north also pose a threat.Not only does bad weather pose a risk to the fields and fans, but humidity and reschedule games can do a number on the health of pitchers and other team players.
Not only does bad weather pose a risk to the fields and fans, but humidity and reschedule games can do a number on the health of pitchers and other team players.
The weather is such a huge factor for the MLB, but you wouldn’t know it from their official rule book. In it, there’s no mention of prioritizing gathering weather data in real-time. This can be a problem for fans, as umpires cannot cancel a game until 30 minutes after suspending it. Oftentimes, they wait longer. In fact, the rules only state that the “umpire-in-chief may continue the suspension so long as he believes there is any chance to resume play.”
If you’re at a game that gets suspended, you should hang on to your ticket because you will be able to go to the rescheduled game. If the circumstances prevent a rescheduled game, you can normally exchange your ticket for a later, regular-season game.
Bad Weather and Ticket Sales: The Bottom Line
So, with all the bad weather possibilities during the season and dynamic pricing, does bad weather really hurt you as a baseball fan? Well, it depends on what sort of fan you are.
The term “fair-weather fans,” takes on a whole new meaning in this situation. Fans who visit the ballpark for a fun, sunny weekend outing will see higher prices.
However, for die-hard fans, bad weather and ticket sales are a great mix. Big time MLB fans who don’t mind getting a little wet benefit greatly from negative weather forecasts before a game. Plus, there’s always a chance some of those free weather providers will get the forecast wrong and you’ll luck out in the sun.