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Flying in Coach: Panthers Using Airlines for Ticket Pricing Model

Fletchplane BY GEORGE RICHARDS

Not only are the Panthers expected to announce that they are reducing the capacity for most home games at BankAtlantic Center on Thursday, but the team is also going to unveil a new pricing structure for individual game tickets.

Team president Michael Yormark says the new setup is based on the way airlines sell seats – prices will be determined as it gets closer to game time.

“It will pay to buy earlier,'' Yormark said. “As inventory sells and gets tighter, the pricing will jump from tier to tier. It's all about supply and demand. Fans won't get the best price if they wait. When single game tickets go on sale in September, you will want to buy because the price will increase.''

Catchme The team will have four categories of prices, with bronze being the lowest and platinum being the highest.

As I understand it, the structure will go like this:

Most games will be designated a bronze game. If ticket sales are brisk, the price will go up as it moves up a tier to silver. If that game continues to sell well, it would move to gold and then ultimately to platinum.

Let's use a $100 ticket (for fun: Section 101, Row 15, Seat 1) in the lower deck as our example.

If it's a Monday night game against the Thrashers, that ticket would likely still be $100 for a walk-up purchase (meaning it would remain a bronze-tier ticket) since that game wouldn't be considered a big draw.

But, that same seat wouldn't start at $100 for a game against the Canadiens or Penguins. Instead, it would start off as a silver or gold. So to start, that $100 ticket could be $140.

With the Canadiens/Penguins being a huge draw, the ticket price would climb based on availability – and could end up costing close to double what the same ticket for the Thrashers cost.

The Panthers tried 'variable' pricing before and it didn't get off the ground.

Quagmire A few years back, the team wanted to charge a $25 fee for big-ticket games. This is a similar idea -- only taken to a much, much higher level.

If a game is selling fast, Yormark says TicketMaster is able to jack up a ticket based on information from the team.

So say a ticket (again, using the same $100 ticket if it was a 'bronze') to the Canadiens game in December opens at $140 in September – as a silver or gold.

As it gets closer to game time, that same ticket could rise to almost $200 if it is bumped up to platinum.

Yormark says season ticket holders won't be hit with the premium pricing for the various big games.

“Yes, if a ticket went from bronze to platinum, it could double in price before the game was played,'' Yormark said. “But we wouldn't anticipate a game designated as bronze moving all the way up the tiers.''

Going by the airlines standard, prices fluctuate depending on how many seats have been sold. The fewer seats on a certain flight, the higher the price.

We'll see how this works in a 41 game hockey season.

Airplane2 And Yormark chuckled when I asked if this idea was sponsored by JetBlue. He said no, but I bet he's now thinking about it.

“You could say it's a heavy premium,'' he continued, “but you could also say 'what a great deal that seat is on a Tuesday'.''







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The Dallas Stars, I believe, started this policy last year, as well. The difference being that Thrashers ticket would be about $50...

I'm not sure what the reaction to that has been, or if they even continued with it, but if the Panthers are going that route it probably worked out pretty well (for the owners and team, that is...though the Stars owner is trying to sell them)

Is it just me or does this sound like legalized scalping?

I guess I can see the good side of this in that the 3-4 sellout games we have a year (in December, with Toronto, Montreal, and New York) we can scalp those out of towners that turn the BAC into Air Canada Centre South. Buuut... doesn't that kind of screw the local Panther fan? The few of us who are left, who wants to go to a game, but has to pay $__ more because it's a bigger draw? I don't know, I guess I just don't get it.

Great. The airlines are exactly who you want to copy if you want to see how to screw over your customers. Its hard enough to find time to go from the downtown Miami to Sunrise in rush hour traffic to watch two subpar teams. But now they're jacking up the price after not even sniffing the playoffs for the last decade. You're suppose to raise ticket prices after you win the Cup, not when you're home watching it on TV.

I fail to see how this provides any deals. It just jacks up prices. A deal would be bronze games starting at cheaper prices.

Why don't they just go all out and auction seats? I'd love that. Get some butts in the seats, who cares if they're sold for $1? Make money from them at concessions. It could really work out, letting small groups sneak by with reasonable ticket prices and forcing people to pay the "Buy It Now" cost to guarantee that they won't be sniped (the original cost of the seat or 5% above the current bid, whichever is higher). Auctions close for each game 24-48 hours in advance, when unsold tickets (highly unlikely) go back to regular price.

I hate airlines and I hate how they price gouge. Flying sucks and now so will purchasing hockey tickets. Brilliant.

GR, could you ask Yormark if this new pricing schedule will replace the urinal ads?

I can't see how this will make much of a difference when you can still buy seats from online brokers and in the parking lot for nowhere near face value (bronze, platinum or otherwise) for most games.

And, with the 2 for 1 seats being given to full season renewals, there will be PLENTY of tickets out on the open market for most of the home games this season.

And, when they're sniffing the rear of the Eastern Conference pack again this February, those remaining home games will be cheap and sparsely attended as well.

Yackmark is one relentless fool.A nonstop 24 hr a day smoke and mirror promoter.Does this guy ever stop?

This team has plenty of problems filling seats. It's May. This whole tiered plan will be forgotten by October.

The Miami Arena was a great place to watch a game. Intimate and the prices were reasonable. Management knew that they needed to create new fans to survive and made it affordable and guess what? They created a ton of new fans. The team moved to Sunrise with all the "corporate boxes" and raised the prices-not a little but a lot. Those great seats we had in Miami now became unaffordable for a lot of us and the new seats we were put downright sucked. We understand the team needed to raise revenue's to survive, but, until someone in management understands that you need to go back and start over and create fans again--by a) making it affordable and b) put a decent product on the ice. I agree with litespeed--this guy must stay awake at night thinking up new ways to screw the fan and get money from advertisers. Let's not worry about screwing fans who only come to watch the Rangers, Bruins, Red Wings, etc. See what you can do to recreate Panther fans.

Yormark is a used car salesman trying to maximize his profits, nothing wrong with that, it is basic economics, supply and demand, he is lowering the supply by reducing capacity, he is using that space for advertising where he will get more money then if the seats sat empty.

So on a Tuesday in February with a west coast team in if you wait til game day and there are still thousands of seats available you get a great deal as the supply is greater than the demand.

This is why the owners have Yormark, now they just need to keep him away from hockey operations and they need to have the right amount of scouts and the right salary and budget for these scouts to do the job the way teams that want to win do it. Yes you will lose money on paper (the yankees lose money on paper and the pirates make money on paper who would you rather support), but you will have the name brand and the support of the community

At least some airlines have in-flight direcTV, all we have is Olesz turning the puck over leading to a 2 on 1 rush and a goal for the other team. Not as exciting.

Wouldn't it just be easier to create a "sponsored by ___" legalized scalping section? They have something similar in Baltimore and Milwaukee for baseball games. Take all of your scalpers and put them in the same spot then have prospective customers come and create bidding wars for tickets. It gets people in the building for cheap, it reduces the "criminal element" from roaming free in the parking lot, it sell tickets regardless of the price and it pisses off the scalpers. The only downside is that you have to put signs up letting people know where to scalp and you have to strictly enforce it (jack up the fines and split them between the city and the team).

The only way this airline thing is going to work is if the night of the game you get to "name your price" for the games that don't sell. Of course, the games that won't sell will be the other 32 games that don't involve those certain teams. Having them go back to "normal" level of $50 for a club level seat isn't enough. I imagine this will also piss off the season ticket holders even more than they are now.

This new "plan" is targeting the one group and one group only, IMO...The out-of-town Canadiens. The Leaf fans, The Habs fans, etc.

But Drew: Scalping is legal in Florida now. There is no need for the scalper corral like at Camden Yards...

dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

this team is obsessed with concept for every step forward (dale tallon) they take two steps back (airline ticket pricing, tarps)

how are most airline companies doing by the way????

George, that isn't entirely accurate. It is legal in the eyes of the state but it allows the individual cities and municipalities to make the call on if they want it to be legal at their venue for their event. The city of Sunrise and the team frowns upon that sort of thing, I've been pinched for scalping, if it happens again I'm off to the clink.

My point was, make it illegal, enforce it, advertise it, then take the people that need or want to sell and/or distribute tickets and put them into said snake-pit. Everyone wins except the scalpers.

Isnt this raising taxes during a recession..

Maybe the Panthers should also lower that 100 seat for an empty game down to 50 or to 40 to get someone in it.. Why dont they try that???

As for covering the seats, Minus the top 8 drawing games last year, the Panthers probably averaged 13,000. So is Yormark going to tarp of the entire upperdeck???

My wife wants to know if we now have to pay for bags? I just want to know if we can apply for government assistance like the airlines...

Does this mean we get one complimentary non-alcoholic beverage and a pack of peanuts during the games? SWEET!

Oh, i get it. Your team isn't good enough to draw 16,000 per game, so you wait till a good team does comes to town - Penguins, Blackhawks, Bruins, etc... - and when they do, you jack up the prices. Brilliant! I wish I were a team president dreaming up these moneymaking ideas!

Yormark is the single common thread in all of the Panthers pathetic seasons. Stu et al should fire him immediately. It certainly isn't as if the airlines are driving high levels of satisfaction with a model that is guaranteed to piss off their most important customers. So what will the price be in January when the team sucks and the record is in the second basement? It must go both ways: If there's to be a Platinum game then there has to be a Platinum minus where the prices drop up to game time due to lack of interest. Yorkmark is truly a functioning idiot.

If this is to psyche us up to buy season tickets, it just downright silly. I gave mine up this year, hoping to score free seats from the Panther's Lucheon, The Holiday Power Pack and the Valentine's specials. I have a feeling this plan will fall flat by November and there will be free tickets available soon.

Why not simply charge high fees for red, white and blue face paint and Molson Ice?

Will we also have to raise our seats to the upright position at the start of each period?

Someone already said it--we are all elated with the choice of Tallon and then two steps back courtesy of Yormark. Is there any erason why this announcement couldn't have at least waited a week?! They pissed off the fan base as if we were all too happy with the GM decision.

Even the WASHINGTON CAPITALS have a tier pricing plan. Makes the most sense during this recession. Smart move by Yormuck for once. Weekend games should always cost more than a weekday game because of demand. But the real question is, why did it take him so long to figure this out?!

Simple supply and demand. Why is he still in charge again?

A riddle for Panthers Fans.

What do the worst hockey franchise of the past decade and a 12-70 NBA franchise have in common?


Michael and Brett Yormark

There is the problem

Great article in the Rochester newspaper today. They want to dump the Panthers as a parent....

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20100521/SPORTS02/5210324/1007/SPORTS/Rochester-Amerks-say-they-ll-seek-new-NHL-parent-team

Yorkman is killing hockey in South Florida. He talks about the intimacy of the Miami Arena when cutting back seats, but there was no club level or suite level there.
As for the new pricing...wasn't it Yorkman's idea to cheapen his own product (or Cohens, Viners and Siegels) by giving away seats everywhere from the Quarter Deck to Publix.
Viner and Siegel better smarten up

The Miami Arena was a dump, that's why it no longer exists. All this does, is to discourage walk-up ticket sales to popular games I know I won't walk up.

this from today's Boston Globe: "In Florida, one candidate to be moved could be Nathan Horton, who scored 20 goals in 65 games this season. Despite being the No. 3 overall pick in 2003, Horton is not known around the league for having a work ethic commensurate with his physical talents. “No heartbeat,’’ said a Bruin who has friends in the Florida room."

It appears that everyone realizes this except for JM the GM and Sexton.

Mr. Tallon clean house it is the best bet.

And speaking of Horton how about how this trade helped the panthers thank you Mr. Keenan and Mr. Dudley.

"Florida traded the first overall selection (it would be Marc-Andre Fleury) and the No. 73 pick (the hated Dan Carcillo) to Pittsburgh. In return, the Penguins gave up the No. 3 pick (Nathan Horton), the No. 55 selection (Stefan Meyer), and Mikael Samuelsson, a 26-year-old already in his third organization (San Jose, Rangers, Pittsburgh). "

Again from the Boston Globe as they try to trade up to get Taylor Hall. I think Hall would be the better pick as he is a proven winner and that to me is the difference between two players being nearly equal in talent.

You would think Yorkman would wait until we had a winning product on the ice to announce something like this. Whether it's a good idea or not, it is definitely not the right time. This stinks of urinal ads, streamers and confetti to celebrate the worst record in 10 years, and listing the 3rd overall draft-pick as one of the panthers greatest accomplishments this year in his 360 blog. This man must be kept away from the fans, the Panthers website, all hockey operations, and anything aside from quietly making money in the background. Please listen up owners!

So all the Rangers, Habs, & T.O. fans who go to 2 games a year to root for "their team" , even though they have lived here for 20 years are going to have to pay more money. Or the "fans" who hang out at Quarterdeck to get their free tickets might have to actually buy a ticket. Cry me a river.

Lots of folks who are complaining aren't STH. The idea of giving away thousands of tickets for games hasn't worked. Maybe now there may be some value to all those extra tickets that the Panthers are giving to STH. Ultimatley, the best way to fill seats is by putting a winning team on the ice.

Yormark may be smarmy, & the organization has been clueless as to how to put anything close to a decent product on the ice, but I don't have a problem with this.

They should hire Brett Michaels off his win on Celebrity Apprentice to run the business side of the Panthers. I can't imagine there aren't other more qualified people than Yormark to run things, then again the guy has made the SSE profits over the years and that's the bottom line.

Tampa again outduels the panthers and hires Steve Yzerman.

I like the choice of Dale Tallon (he is the safe choice based on his track record). I love the choice of Steve Yzerman, it shows that the lightning are willing to take chances as they start to build a first rate organization.

they also showed their class by waiting to make the announcement until after the semis were completed during a lull so as to not take anything away from the playoffs.

Of couse since the panthers are not relevent, the hiring of Tallon was a by the way story around the league (there were games the night of the announcement instead of an off day like the lightning have done), if they would have waited then they would of heard the pros and cons of their announcement.

IS ANYONE ELSE GETTING TIRED OF "SEASON TICKET HOLDER SINCE DAY ONE"? I MEAN...REALLY...? BITCHING ABOUT THE TIMING OF GM ANNOUNCMENTS?.
BIT OF ADVICE THERE BUDDY... TRY QUALITY NOT QUANTITY.

I agree on rather taking a "safe" choice in Tallon. He has a track record and his former team is playing for the Cup, and a favorite to win it. Stevie Y is a big name and yes, he's learned under Holland & Bowman, but he's still unproven. It could be a big hit or an even bigger miss. At least he's got a franchise center, all-star winger (St Louis) and defenseman to work with on top of a huge trade chip in Lecavalier.

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