I hate people whining about ticket prices. This is the first whine I've heard about the dynamic pricing system, and I'm not with Joe Eskenazi.
As noted before, inducing people to spend quickly and pinging those who do not is good business sense.
On the other hand, it just seems downright wrong that you should be made to pay more for a baseball game because it's a "great day for baseball." It seems exploitative that you should be made to cough up extra dollars when Tim Lincecum is on the mound; will we be given a deep discount when Zito is pitching or Pablo Sandoval takes a day off? Further following the airline model, will we be charged extra for using the restroom? Do clean seats cost more? Do I have to pay extra to stay out of the all-felon, all-drunk, all-jerks talking loudly about work on their iPhone section?
I can understand why the same seats that cost $5 vs. Pittsburgh will run you five times that when Boston comes to town (or more, if it's a really nice day and Lincecum ends up taking on Josh Beckett). But the notion of "premium game pricing" sends fans an unmistakable message. It means "premium" teams visit AT&T Park, but the home squad is not one of them.
Finally, the notion of "dynamic" pricing feels so wrong because it completely upsets the "Hey! Let's go out to a game!"-notion that makes baseball unique. Among professional sports, only baseball is still priced at a level that makes spontaneity possible. No, you can't ditch the car in Little Hollywood, buy a sandwich at Piccolo Pete's, walk a mile, and score bleacher tickets for $3.75 anymore. That rose-hued nostalgia is fading fast. But toting a sandwich into AT&T Park and buying view reserve or bleacher tickets really is affordable for the everyman.
Here's the problem with his idea: This is fantastic for real baseball fans, especially those on a budget. It's conceivable that you could see every playoff team in the NL, plus the A's for under $40. It's $51 for bleacher seats to four playoff teams + the A's. You can sit in club seats for $25. Those tickets.com fees suck, but nothing stopping you from going to the ballpark on a Saturday and getting your tix.
The broader idea is that the Giants want your money instead of scalpers getting it, and who doesn't like that? Sure, we can bitch all we want about Bow Tie and the gang, but at least those guys might spend your extra money. Scalpers are definitely not signing Tim Lincecum to a long-term deal.
Hell, even complaining that you can't go to the park whenever you want anymore is largely BS. Those getaway day games versus the Reds and Pirates aren't going to be $30 no matter how good the Giants play. So you can't decide to go to the park when the Red Sox come to town. Big deal, anybody who was there in 2004 knows you couldn't do it then either. Big series with the Mets/Dodgers/Red Sox/Cubs always sold out before dynamic pricing - so you had to buy in advance there too. It's what happens when you live in a city with a popular team and a popular ballpark, plus plenty of transplants who support other teams.
And the nostalgia for Candlestick? I miss Piccolo Pete's, I don't miss the continual discussions about the team moving or the 9,000 people on a Wednesday night with a good team on the field because nobody wanted to go to that shithole.
Dynamic pricing rocks for people who plan ahead. It sucks if you're a Dodgers or Red Sox fan. Net positive, IMO.