We, Jeff and Sandeep, are working with Northwestern Sports to launch what we think is going to be a revolutionary way to sell tickets to sporting events (and someday theatre, concerts, and restaurants…). Starting today it is in effect for two upcoming Mens’ Basketball games: The February 28 game against Ohio State and the March 7 game against Penn State.
We are using a system which could roughly be described as a uniform price multi-unit Dutch Auction. In simpler terms we are setting an initial price and allowing prices to gradually fall until either the game sells out or we hit our target price. Thus we are implementing a form of dynamic pricing but unlike most systems used by other venues our prices are determined by demand not by some mysterious algorithm.
But here is the key feature of our pricing system: as prices fall, you are guaranteed to pay the lowest price you could have got by delaying your purchase. That is, regardless of what price is listed at the time you reserve your seat, the price you will actually pay is the final price.
What that means is that fans have no reason to wait around and watch the price changes and try to time their purchases to get the best possible deal. We take care of that for you.
It also removes another common gripe with dynamic pricing, different people paying different prices for the same seats. Our system is fair: since everyone pays the lowest price, everyone will be paying the same price.
We explain all of the details in the video below. If you have any questions please ask them in the comments and we will try to answer them.
And Go ‘Cats!
Update: Price alerts are now available. You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified when prices fall. (And if you just want to know when prices reach some target p, put that in your message.)