Sixers season ticket holders have received emails informing them that their mezzanine level tickets will remain the same price next season (never mind that the email also went to lower level season ticket holders, whose prices will go up a few bucks, according to ticket reps). That’s all welcome news given the Sixers’ improvement on the court and their penchant for being a tad greedy. A reward to fans!, if you will.
Well, unless you had season tickets in the risers behind the basket – sections 106 and 108 with lettered rows – at $55 per game. Because your tickets, you lucky, devoted soul, are going up 300%. CONGRATULATIONS, you’re in a market economy!
Email from an anonymous reader:
Hey Kyle –
Not sure if this is interesting to you but thought I’d pass along. I have been a Sixers season ticket holder for around 4 years now. Today they called to tell me they were raising my ticket prices by about 400% for next year. I currently sit in the Risers at $55 a ticket per game and they are increasing to well over $200 per game. They now want to charge me $20k for my ticket package when I used to be paying $5k.
I bought into this team when they were the worst team in the league and as soon as they see any progress they are essentially kicking me out. My ticket rep told me today that people would be lining up to purchase my tickets if I did not renew. I can’t afford a $20k ticket package, so they forced me to relocate. They offered me other tickets in the lower level but they are nowhere near to what I had before. I get that this is a business but am extremely disappointed and feel like they screwed me.
Happy to answer any questions
Yeah, I had a few.
The reader forwarded me his email exchange with his rep and explained to me that he didn’t receive an invoice at that new price (phew!), but rather a phone call explaining the increase. He was offered tickets further back in the lower level, for actually less than what he was paying before, even though he was willing to pay a bit more for better seats.
Kevin Jones (@KEAZY30) is having the same problem:
Here was our exchange:
Ditto for the Brogan brothers:
So what’s going on here? It seems the Sixers have turned these into VIP seats.
Sixers ticket prices are a bit of a black box thanks to the fact that single game tickets are available from the team exclusively through StubHub, but the Sixers do publish group and season ticket rates. In their season ticket brochure for next season, risers seats are listed as $75 per game– an increase from $55-$60, but still in the same stratosphere:
Nowhere on the brochure does it indicate that tickets in these sections will approach $200 or more. Our emailer saw the published prices, which made him all the more surprised about the phone call he received about the massive increase.
I’ve reached out to the Sixers for comment and clarification and will update this post when I receive a response.
With this in mind, I decided to do a spot-check of single-game ticket prices on StubHub. Since there’s no “face value” anymore for single-game seats, the best way to estimate their true cost is by looking at the group and season ticket prices. The cheapest season ticket section in the building is the upper mezzanine ends, at $15. For group tickets, those seats range from $11 to $44, not including the Warriors game, which will cost you a small child and your virginity if you still have it. I chose a random sampling of games – all of which can’t possibly be sold out yet – and compared the cheapest upper mezzanine end tickets available on StubHub (with at least two seats together) to the advertised cheapest group ticket price (which likely has some sort of discount built in for bulk pricing):
Knicks: Tier B, listed cheapest group ticket is $24, cheapest ticket available on StubHub is $49
Pistons: Tier D, listed cheapest group ticket is $18, cheapest ticket available on StubHub is $49
Mavs: Tier D, listed cheapest group ticket is $18, cheapest ticket available on StubHub is $29
Wizards: Tier D, listed cheapest group ticket is $18, cheapest ticket available on StubHub is $39
Bucks: Tier G, listed cheapest group ticket is $11, cheapest ticket available on StubHub is $25
It’s impossible to know which tickets on StubHub are from the Sixers because they blend their inventory seamlessly with the secondary market, ostensibly for a better fan experience (sure). But it looks like what’s happening is that increased demand has led to higher ticket prices. Go figure.
Thoughts? Sixers season ticket prices are fairly reasonable and the fact that second level seats are remaining the same price next year, after what has been a surge in popularity over the past few months, is commendable. What’s happening in the risers seems to be the addition of VIP-level seats, which makes sense from a business standpoint, but it’s a perfect example of pricing out the average fan, even if it affects relatively few people. The Sixers did make reasonable offers to relocate these folks to similar seats at a comparable price. But this still isn’t the best look.