Thursday, January 20, 2011

Orioles Raise Ticket Prices: Huh?

According to, the Baltimore Orioles have decided to raise ticket prices for this upcoming season.  With an average increase of $3 per ticket, the increases for 2011 will range between $1 an $8 per seat.  Tickets purchased before game day will cost between $9 and $60.  This is the first increase for all tickets to Orioles games since 2007.  Why, might you ask, could this even be an issue?  Well, 2010 just happened to be the Orioles 13th consecutive losing season.  Yup, you are reading that correctly.  The Orioles haven't managed to win at least 81 games since 1997, when they registered a spectacular 98-64 record and won the AL East.  Their attendance that year?  3,711,132.  Their attendance in 2010? 1,733,019.  That's a decrease of just about 2,000,000 (check out the Orioles' past records and attendance numbers here).

Obviously, raising ticket prices is part of baseball.  It's a business and teams don't want to risk losing possible revenue.  However, when you're a team that has been absolutely horrible for more than a decade (the Orioles posted a 66-96 record in 2010 and finished 30 games out of first place) and attendance has gone from a franchise-peak average attendance in 1997 (45,816) to the 24th best attendance in the majors (21,662), you shouldn't necessarily be raising ticket prices.  Especially when the Orioles won't be putting a winning product on the field again this year (most likely: if it happens it will be a miracle).  Management needs to worry about putting people back in the seats at Camden Yards and should find other avenues to increase revenue.

Of course, the Orioles ticket prices are still nowhere close to being the highest in the big leagues.  If they were the most expensive, even fewer people would attend games. offers what they call baseball info graphics and the following one shows each team's ticket prices from the 2009 season.  Click on the image to see it full size.

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