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The Mavericks Are Raising Ticket Prices Again, and They’d Rather Not Talk About It

We asked the team some questions. We did not get many answers.
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This view might cost a lot more next year. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

On Reddit a user named LetsGoMavs posted yesterday that his Mavericks season tickets are going up 50 percent next year and that, per a team sales rep, the team is doing away with loyalty pricing. Shortly after that Reddit post went up, Locked On Mavs host Nick Angstandt asked his Twitter followers whether they were experiencing something similar.

The answer, as it turns out, is a resounding yes. While I haven’t seen any replies alleging a 50 percent hike to their own seats, all but one respondent I saw reported a double-digit percentage increase, with the bulk of them citing a number more than 20 percent. Many of those also reported hikes in parking prices, too. (You can peruse the whole thread here.)

Here’s the thing: sports teams are loath to make their season-ticket rates publicly available. They do not want people like you and me to know how much they charge year over year. The best publicly available data you’ll find is invariably tied to studies involving single-game tickets sold on the secondary market. At the top of Google’s results, some of those studies are dated, while others factor in concessions pricing. That’s minimally useful stuff. I can tell you, for instance, that one report from the fall pegged Dallas as the 13th-most expensive ticket this season, while another pegs the Mavs at 11th, but we don’t know their methodologies, or how tight the correlation is with the proprietary one, or how even the proprietary single-game market compares to the season-ticket rates. Again: the teams want it this way.

What we do know is that last year, fresh off missing the postseason in tragicomic fashion, the team instituted a rate hike between 8 and 10 percent for select tickets. Less than a year later, they’re doing considerably larger hikes. That’s going to make people angry no matter what the bottom-line figure is, and so I figured it was worth asking the team some questions. Specifically, the following:

  • Is the team in fact doing away with loyalty pricing?
  • Can you give me some insight into the price hike structure?
  • What prompted changes this widespread?
  • When was this decision made—and, more specifically, was this decision made after the Adelsons took control of the franchise?

The response was the following statement by way of a team communications representative:

With the implementation of new benefits and incentives for our Club Maverick Members, next season’s ticket prices have increased incrementally, but remain at or below league averages. We will always keep our member pricing competitive and provide optimal service for our loyal fanbase.

That prompted a pair of follow-ups I’ve yet to hear back on: what are these aforementioned benefits and incentives, and can the team provide further clarity on what the league average will be next year and where the Mavs will be pricing their tickets relative to that? I’ll update this post if I get further clarification on any of this.

(While we’re here, a note on “league average” pricing: the public studies I linked above show that number is pretty skewed due to the sky-high prices from the Knicks, Warriors, Lakers, and Celtics. Depending on how that quartet adjusts its rates, it’s plausible the Mavs can claim that they’re at league average while still knocking on the door of one of 10 most expensive tickets in the NBA.)

Absent further context, it’s possible this can all be explained away as necessary to keep pace with the rest of the league and/or infrastructure upgrades to the American Airlines Center, where the Mavericks still have a lease through 2031.

But because the Mavericks have so far chosen not to provide that context, fans are left to grapple with what little they do know: a new, out-of-state ownership group took over the team in December, has yet to address the fanbase in a meaningful way, and now some of the most invested fans are being asked to pay considerably more money next year or lose their seats.

Not the best way to make a first impression.

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Mike Piellucci

Mike Piellucci

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Mike Piellucci is D Magazine's sports editor. He is a former staffer at The Athletic and VICE, and his freelance…

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