Giants, Ticket Scalpers Enjoying Pennant Run

Categories: Business, Sports
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You wanna watch The Freak? Pay up.
If success truly does have a thousand fathers, then "Who's your daddy?" is a complex question for the San Francisco Giants these days. Yesterday's clutch win -- coupled with a crushing San Diego loss -- puts San Francisco two games up with five to play. It's the Giants' race to lose.

Now everyone wants to root the team on. And it won't be cheap.

Ticket scalpers SF Weekly spoke with already hawking their fares this morning are hoping to make up for the lean years following Barry Bonds' departure -- all at once. "L.L." -- who was keen to inform the buying public that he was fully stocked with tickets up to the World Series -- said he'll charge a 400 to 500 percent markup over midseason prices. But you don't need gold chains and a persistent cry of "tickets!" to jack up prices to five times face value. The team does it, too.

The Giants are the first -- and, certainly, not the last -- team to employ "dynamic pricing." Modeled after the airline industry, the team simply charges what the market will bear for tickets -- none too subtly urging fans to buy before the price jumps as game time nears. So, a View Reserve seat vs. crappy Baltimore on a midseason Tuesday may cost $8. That same seat vs. Arizona, today, with the divisional title on the line costs $31.

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What would this cost under 'dynamic pricing'?
A quick glance at the team's seating chart reveals it's quite possible for ticket prices to jump 400, 500, or even 700 percent based on their desirability. As we wrote earlier this year, the dynamic pricing system is "downright evil." We stand by that -- this is profiteering after a visit to an image consultant (though we must admit, you can get some pretty cheap tickets -- at inconvenient times vs. awful opponents). But as we also wrote earlier, dynamic pricing is a great idea and a solid business plan. We stand by that, too.

The standing-room spot behind the right field fence is still free, by the way.

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