June 7, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Pricey seats for D.C. elites

Today's Washington Post focused on the pricing structure for the Washington Nationals' new stadium, with comparisons to other big league ballparks. The box seats between the dugouts will cost as much as $400 each, rivaling the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers! There will be a fair number of bleacher and upper-deck seats in the $20-$30 range, and a small section of seats going for $5 each, sold on the day of the game only. That's good, but it's not good enough, and D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) complained about the lack of affordable tickets given that the city is paying for the stadium. Team President Stan Kasten came right out and admitted, "We want to make the most money we can." Well, it is a business, after all.

"The sports industry is fast learning that you cannot price your best and most visible seats too high," said Marc S. Ganis, a Chicago-based sports marketing consultant. "There is always a market for those great seats, especially those that are in the television camera angles. With a new stadium in the nation's capital, where visibility and proximity to power is most important, these seats should sell very easily."

Web site enhancements

In response to a recent surge of interest in the stadium impressions feature, I have put the fans' impressions right on the stadium pages themselves, rather than on a separate page. Fans who have registered for this Web site will notice in the left side navigation bar a link to a special page that shows the last date when each respective stadium's impressions were updated. (That page is server-intensive, and I would probably face extra charges from the Web hosting company if a large number of people used it routinely.) Later on I may create an XML/RSS feed to help keep track of when new impressions are added by fans. Anyway, thanks to Wesley Johnson and other fans who have taken the time to share their impressions of Wrigley Field, Miller Park, and other ballparks.

Also, I have added an automated baseball news update feature in the right column of the Baseball blog page. It is a service of Fresh Content.net (which I found out about from Donald Sensing), and if it performs satisfactorily, I will add similar automated news updates to other category blog pages.