Dodgers deliver lump of coal to STH for Christmas

Los Angeles Dodger season ticket holders have been receiving their invoice for the 2018 season and they aren’t happy with what they are seeing.  I’ve heard a few complaints and Bill Shaikin decided to find out just exactly how much of an increase is really happening.

Follow the tweet above for the replies to Bill as he tries to document the price increases for Dodger Season Ticket Holders.

20% seems to be the norm for the price increase from 2017 ticket prices compared to 2018 ticket prices.  This comes after substantial price increases from the previous year leaving many season ticket holders wondering if they have reached the end of their relationship with the Dodgers as season ticket holders.

I gave mine up a few years ago and don’t miss the hassle of figuring out what to do with 80 games. I then went with a group but gave that up this past winter.  With all of the secondary ticket markets in play right now like Stubhub and SeatGeek,  it is easy to get tickets for only the games you want to see in the areas that you want to watch them instead of being tied to the same seat for the whole season.   The Dodgers, of course, come out ahead either way. They charge the season ticket holder a high price and collect that money in advance, When the season ticket holder sells some tickets on the secondary market on StubHub, the Dodgers also collect a percentage of that fee. The season ticket holder holds the short end of the stick because the price on the secondary market rarely matches the price the season ticket holder paid for their ticket.

The Dodgers can point to the excellent product they put on the field for their fans having won five straight National League West Division pennants. The organization has been remarkedly consistent as a winner with only two losing seasons in the 21st century.

Dodger baseball is a business, the ownership paid a staggering two billion for the team in 2012 and have had the highest payroll in baseball by far since they took over the team. They have been so committed to fielding an elite team they have paid a record $150M in luxury taxes since 2013.

On the field, the ownership has done everything but deliver a World Championship and they almost even delivered that coming within one Yu of doing so.

Off the field maybe not so much. They cut a great financial deal with Time Warner ($8.5 Billion over 25 years) but ended up alienating much of their base because half of their fans could no longer watch the team on TV. Bill Shaikin analyzed this deal this past summer. 

Has the blackout killed interest among a significant number of fans, or do people still want to watch the Dodgers?

They still want to watch. The average SportsNet LA broadcast this season has attracted 79,000 households. The 10-game KTLA package averaged 378,000 households, including the SportsNet LA viewers — an audience almost five times as large as the one for games aired only on the Dodgers’ channel.

How much of their cable television audience have the Dodgers lost since launching SportsNet LA?

You have a lot of Dodger fans disgusted with the fact they can’t follow their team on TV. Now you have the core of their fanbase a bit upset with the substantial increases in their season ticket prices over the past two years.  I expect most of them will continue to be season ticket holders for 2018 as no one wants to give up tickets after finally getting to the World Series. But they will be annoyed, and those who have to make other financial sacrifices to be Dodger season ticket holders might think more than twice next year at this time if the same scenario unfolds as it has the past two years.




  1. 68elcamino427

    Not long after the current ownership took control of the Dodgers a question about ticket prices was answered.

    The answer was that the team would begin implementing a pricing plan for seating that would imitate the seating pricing used by the Lakers. The better the team performed, the higher the pricing for seats would become.

    This is what he’s been happening and it will continue until the strategy reaches the point of diminishing returns.

    Wish I had a link to this article, it appeared in the LA Times.
    After reading it, I decided not to renew my mini plan.

    Since this time I have purchased seats on the secondary market.
    There were a couple of times last season when I questioned myself as I pushed the “purchase” button. So the diminishing returns line is getting closer for me now.


    • I remember that article. Without the secondary market I’d probably have a mini plan but with such a robust secondary market I like choosing which game I want to see. No one wants to go to the games I want to go to which are non giveaway midweek games.
      The only time I regretted not having some kind of season ticket plan was when this year when they finally made the World Series and now that I’ve gone to a World Series game, I probably won’t go to another one.


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