The Carolina Hurricanes have recently announced the pricing for single game tickets. The information can be found on their website. As with previous seasons single game tickets, they will be cheaper if they are purchased a week in advance. That discount for these Advanced Game Purchase tickets ranges between just over 6% for Mezzanine seats to almost 30% for Second Row seats. The average discount is just over 14%.
In a change to previous seasons, the Hurricanes have created two new classes of games. These new classes of games, Marquee and Marquee Gold, cover 8 home games with four games in each category. The games in these new classes are on either Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday and are against the opponents that tend to attract higher crowds. There are two games each against Detroit, Philadelphia, and the New York Rangers as well as one each against the Penguins and Capitals.
Games in the Marquee and Marquee Gold category will have higher prices than other games. Further, these games will not be eligible for any Advanced Game Pricing. A typical Marquee ticket will cost a little less than 15% more than the Standard Game price. A typical Marquee Gold ticket will cost over 25% more than a Standard Game price. The table below has a complete break down of all ticket prices for the upcoming season, including the per game price for the various season ticket packages. All data is taken from the Carolina Hurricanes website.
There is no doubt that this season pricing represents a deviation from years past. While a Marquee plan is nothing new in the sports world it is new to the Carolina Hurricanes. For a team that sells so many single game and walk up tickets it will be interesting to see how this impacts the bottom line. The eight games that make up the Marquee and Marquee Gold nights represents nearly 20% of the regular season home games. Further, these are games that in years past would draw a large crowd. Will the Hurricanes realize money they have been leaving on the table in seasons past or will they cost themselves revenue?
Also of interest this year is the extent to which season ticket packages, even the 12 game package, are incentivized compared to single game purchases. Season ticket package holders have always received a discount on ticket prices. What is new this year is the amount of that discount. When compared to buying all game week tickets, Marquee, or Marquee Gold the full season ticket package is on average a savings of over 40% with some areas, such as First Row, Second Row, and Fan Zone having savings of over 50%. Even when compared to buying Advanced Price tickets to the 33 games for which they are available and the Marquee or Marquee Gold for the remaining 8 games a season ticket packages is a savings of approximately 35% on average. Lesser packages have less, but still significant, savings.
With these changes one thing is clear: even more so than in years past the Hurricanes are trying to persuade fans to buy ticket packages through the use of pricing of individual games. What would be curious to know would be what impact the hiring of Don Waddell had on this, versus what impact Peter Karmanos taking on more responsibility had on this, versus how much this is natural growth of the SAS analytics that began a few seasons back. Unfortunately, we will likely never know the answer to that question.