ELYSIAN PARK (CBSLA) — The Dodgers opening pitch for the 2018 season is about two months away, but some fans are finding that when it comes to scoring good seats, they're already striking out.
"Every time I tried to purchase tickets, they were sold out," Patti Rivero told CBS2 News. She was all decked out in her Dodger blues and feeling the blues Friday, the first day tickets for this upcoming season became available.
"It hurts when you're a devoted fan and you want to go to the games, and sometimes the prices are ridiculous," Rivero laments.
She's not wrong. With the Dodgers' popularity still soaring following their unsuccessful World Series run against the Houston Astros last year, the high demand is driving up prices.
It's also the result of the team's new "dynamic" or "variable ticket" pricing.
MLB.com explained it like this:
"This year, the pricing employs a four-tiered system, with games grouped by stars. The more stars, the more expensive the tickets."
For example, seats next to the bullpen for the April 21 game against the Nationals, which also happens to be bobble head night, will cost $80. For the same seats four days later, when the Dodgers play the Marlins and no one is getting a bobble head, tickets will cost $33.
In the aforementioned article, David Siegel, senior director of ticket sales said, "We believe the pricing encourages fans to explore the benefits of being a season-seat holder," versus buying single tickets.
"It's something that every other team in the MLB does," said Alex Soto. He runs the company Pantone 924, a reference to "Dodger blue," with Desiree Garcia. They book groups to see the Dodgers when they're on the road.
"I'm a little shocked the Dodgers haven't done it," said Soto. "I don't want to say I'm happy with it, but I was expecting it."
Hello Kitty night, is a popular, and therefore, more expensive ticket, which might make it harder for families to attend.
"There's a lot of families that don't make a lot of money," said Garcia. "I feel with the price increase you're catering to a different market, and you're losing out on a lot of hardcore fans."
This year marks the fifth season the Dodgers will be televised only on Spectrum, as they have failed to reach a deal with other cable carriers.
For Patti Rivero, that means not being able to see her favorite team at all.
"Since I don't have Spectrum, I have to go to a Dodger game to be able to see them, and when the prices are so high, it makes it that much more difficult to see them," Rivero said.
Opening Day tickets are currently only available in package deals.
The Dodgers would not comment on the matter.
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