The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Marlins' Samson: Season Tickets Down, Revenues Up

I was disappointed to read this in today's Miami Herald:
Samson said ticket revenues have increased from a year ago, but the actual number of season tickets sold have declined. The Marlins raised ticket prices this season, but Samson said he still expects total season attendance, which hinges greatly on the team's record late in the season, should hit 2 million. The Marlins attracted 1.7 million fans last season. They haven't hit 2 million since the 1997 season

Hopefully Samson will be right and the Marlins will hit the 2 million mark this year. It would require nearly a 20% attendance increase (on top of last year's 30% increase over 2003).

What bothers me about it though is the overall philosophy the team is taking here. Yes, by selling fewer tickets at higher prices the Marlins are most likely maximizing their short term profits. But they're also likely forgoing a long term fan base at the same time.

By keeping prices lower this year and doing everything that they can to get everyone out to the ballpark, the Marlins could start to dramatically grow their fan base. Combining that with the success on the field that they should have this year, they could build a huge demand for the tickets in future years.

Assuming that the new ballpark comes through, they could leverage the demand for tickets with the new ballpark and go for the kill with higher ticket prices then. By that time, they'd stand to make a fortune, as they'd likely be able to fill their new ballpark and also charge higher prices.

In the short run though, they can do neither. And for some reason they've elected to go after short term profits (which should allegedly be small since such a large percentage of every dollar goes to Mr. Huizenga) instead of looking at the big picture, the long run, and the future potential for this franchise.


Post a Comment

<< Home