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SALT LAKE CITY — Want to see Donovan Mitchell dunk? How about Rudy Gobert block shots? The price just went up.
With high demand comes a higher price.
Season ticket holders were informed on Wednesday their package prices would go up. That wasn’t all too surprising for fans. Season tickets for the 2018-19 season sold out, so fans were anticipating a price hike. But not the one such a drastic one.
Many upper bowl season tickets will cost more than double for next season.
For this season, fans could buy season tickets for as low as $6 per game. The cheapest package next year will be $15. Tickets have also increased from $12 to $15 or $30, and $18 seats have jumped to $30 or $36. Not all the news was bad, though. Some $35 have decreased to $30.
“I completely understand that we’ve been spoiled in the sense that our prices have been well below other arenas and markets, so I’m not upset about an increase,” third-year season-ticket holder Emily Carlson said. “I’m mostly upset in how drastic it was.”
Why was it so drastic?
The Jazz’s lowest priced seat has been undervalued. Before the 2014 NBA Draft, the organization ran an NBA lottery promotion where fans who signed up would be granted a per game price of whatever pick the Jazz got. They got the No. 5 pick. But those prices haven’t increased drastically since that year — until now.
The price increase actually put the Jazz more in line with the rest of the league. Utah is now eliminating that pricing group — along with a couple others. For the 2018-19 season, the Jazz sold season tickets at seven different price points in the upper bowl. That has now been dropped to just four.
“There wasn’t enough differential between the price levels,” said Chris Barney, Jazz senior vice president of ticketing. “Part of this processes us to simplify the pricing.”
Even with the price increase, the minimum per-game cost for a Jazz season ticket package ($15) is less than the minimum cost of Utah football and BYU football and is the same as the new Salt Lake Stallions football team.
There’s also another reason for the price increase: to try and halt the secondary market.
"This approach also fights back against price gouging on the secondary market," an email sent to one season ticket holder read. "By better-regulating prices, we hope to preserve a fair pricing structure for all guests regardless of where they sit.”
The Jazz say that forty percent of the lower priced seats end up on Ticketmaster for resale at much higher prices. And that doesn’t include the amount which ends up on KSL.com Classifieds.
The Jazz are simply following an entertainment industry trend of selling low-end seats at higher prices to try and fight the secondary market. That approach keeps the money going to the organization, but it has also priced some fans out.
"Before the increase, we were 100 percent planning on renewing and had plans to be lifelong season ticket holders as long as we were able," Carlson said. "But my paycheck didn’t grow 150 percent overnight, so now our likelihood to renew is next to none."