How Event Significance, Pent-up Demand, Playoff Oversaturation, and Series-Clinching Euphoria Can Impact Secondary Market Behavior in Major League Baseball’s Postseason

By Patrick Rishe, Jason Reese and Brett Boyle.

Published by Journal of Sports Management and Commercialization

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Though academic research on secondary pricing behavior continues to grow and commonly features baseball studies, there is little research of secondary market behavior for playoff games in professional sports. Because the postseason presents a unique set of dynamics compared to the regular season, an examination of postseason secondary trends affords an opportunity to test several hypotheses pertaining to consumer behavior in this environment. Using 547 online transactions accounting for 1,378 tickets purchased through online ticket reseller TicketCity.com for 35 different games across eight cities during the 2013 Major League Baseball playoffs, the empirical results suggest that secondary markup percentages are (1) greater for each successive round of the playoffs, (2) larger for teams experiencing longer absences from postseason play, (3) smaller for teams with more playoff appearances over the last 20 years, and (4) greater for games where the home team has a chance to earn a series-clinching victory. Additionally, the results show that markup percentages are lower as face value prices become more expensive, higher for weekend games, higher when the weather is warmer, lower for larger stadiums, lower for local secondary ticket buyers, and lower for upper-tier seats.

Keywords: Secondary Ticket Pricing, Postseason Baseball, Playoff v Regular Season, Sports Consumer Behavior

Journal of Sports Management and Commercialization, Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 478.708KB).

Dr. Patrick Rishe

Professor of Economics, Business Department, George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology, Webster University, St Louis, MO, USA

Dr. Jason Reese

Assistant Professor of Marketing, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX, USA

Dr. Brett Boyle

Associate Professor of Marketing, Saint Louis University, St Louis, MO, USA