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The price increase

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It’s probably not news to you that the Orioles increased ticket prices by an average of 20 percent for this season.

It was just the third time in 12 years that the team increased prices, but it did come shortly after a smaller 5 percent hike before 2014.

We already know that year-over-year season ticket sales appear to have declined. The question is, how much did this rise in prices contribute in 2016?

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After the Orioles’ exciting 2014 division championship and playoff run into the ALCS, the team decided not to increase ticket prices. And, not surprisingly, season ticket sales jumped. Orioles vice president of communications and marketing Greg Bader told The Baltimore Sun in March, 2015:

“Advancing to the ALCS certainly assisted in driving our season plan member base higher,” he said. “We also believe the decision not to raise ticket prices has also led to some good season ticket numbers.”

So, a division title and ALCS appearance, coupled with flat ticket prices, led to increased season-ticket sales. If that’s the case, it would seem reasonable to me that a 20 percent average price increase following a .500 finish – the team’s worst since 2011 – has contributed to the reverse.

And the comfort of one’s “man cave” and flatscreen are increasingly difficult to compete with, even for a jewel of a ballpark like Camden Yards.

But television aside, it’s obvious fan interest isn’t translating into ticket sales, and that’s certainly a concern.

Is the fanbase at fault? Even with higher prices this season, should we blame the consumer? Or has the organization, its players, and marketing staff failed to connect with the community?

The only thing absolutely clear to me is that no single factor has caused this attendance decline. It’s a complex issue with a number of elements at play. Here are some of the major contributors, as I see them.

And the comfort of one’s “man cave” and flatscreen are increasingly difficult to compete with, even for a jewel of a ballpark like Camden Yards.

But television aside, it’s obvious fan interest isn’t translating into ticket sales, and that’s certainly a concern.

Is the fanbase at fault? Even with higher prices this season, should we blame the consumer? Or has the organization, its players, and marketing staff failed to connect with the community?

The only thing absolutely clear to me is that no single factor has caused this attendance decline. It’s a complex issue with a number of elements at play. Here are some of the major contributors, as I see them.

And the comfort of one’s “man cave” and flatscreen are increasingly difficult to compete with, even for a jewel of a ballpark like Camden Yards.

But television aside, it’s obvious fan interest isn’t translating into ticket sales, and that’s certainly a concern.

Is the fanbase at fault? Even with higher prices this season, should we blame the consumer? Or has the organization, its players, and marketing staff failed to connect with the community?

The only thing absolutely clear to me is that no single factor has caused this attendance decline. It’s a complex issue with a number of elements at play. Here are some of the major contributors, as I see them.

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