Last Wednesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced the team was temporarily halting season ticket sales because they’d exceeded the supply of seats. Two days later, the Dodgers re-opened sales on an “extremely limited basis," this time with prices as much 140 percent higher for the cheapest seats. For example, the season ticket price of preferred reserve value seats increased from $410 to $984.
The Dodgers didn't officially announce the price hike. The Los Angeles Times was the first to report on the increases, noting, "While it is common for a pro sports team to raise prices on season tickets each year, it is highly unusual for a team to raise those prices twice within a year."
You can blame the team's increased popularity after a season some called magical - 98 percent of season ticket holders renewed this year, compared to the low 90’s in most years, or 80’s for most other teams, according Dodgers Vice-President of Ticket Sales David Siegel.
“We are in unchartered waters here in regards to the number of season seat holders that we have and the demand,” Siegel said.
With more than 31,000 season ticket sold, fewer single game tickets will be available, and for the first time, prices on those could change during the season.
Currently the Dodgers use a four-tiered pricing structure with the most popular games being four stars and the least popular games one star. Siegel said he didn't anticipate changing a game's tier, but the Dodgers reserve the right to do so.
Some fans took to social media to complain about sticker shock after single-game tickets went on-sale Friday.
Siegel defended the higher prices, pointing out that season ticket holders still get a substantial discount from the single-game rate, and the Dodgers' tickets are still relatively affordable.
“We still stand by our value," said Siegel. "For certain games, you can still buy a walk-up ticket for only ten bucks”
That's true, though as the Times notes, the cheapest top deck ticket is only available at 16 games this year, down from 49 games last season.