Tuesday 7 June 2011

Go Canucks!

CBC Vancouver interviewed me last week about prices and ticket scalping; the resulting feature aired Monday morning and is here. The CBC used a lot more of their interview with Mike Munger than they did of mine, but that was efficient.

A few bits that didn't make the cut:
  • Economists are usually puzzled by scalping; why would the venue be leaving money on the table?
  • In the music industry, the puzzle was largely solved by that the venue was in cahoots with the scalpers and earning a good chunk of those rents; but, I'd be surprised if the Canucks were selling blocks of tickets via StubHub.
  • The Canucks are doing very well financially. Why might they be selling tickets lower than market clearing rates? To keep the loyalty of long term season ticket holders for starters: those folks might fail to renew tickets if they thought they'd been hard done by. And, the mix of fans at the game changes in ways potentially detrimental to television revenues and to merchandise sales; the Canucks have a more complicated maximization problem than just "get the highest possible ticket revenue."
We'd also talked a bit about the benefits of price gouging in Christchurch after the earthquake, but that went far too far afield for this piece.

I did chuckle that Mike was introduced as being a wacky libertarian while no such disclaimer was put on my bit.

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