The Detroit Lions are raising season-ticket prices after missing the playoffs for the 13th time in the last 14 years, but they’ve drastically reduced the price of exhibition tickets with a new variable pricing model.
Beginning this fall, the Lions will put every home game into one of three pricing categories, with exhibition tickets making up the lowest category and prime-time games and high-profile matchups making up the highest.
The Lions are the first NFL team to use variable pricing.
“Our fans have been asking for years, ‘Hey, these preseason prices are ridiculous,’” Lions spokesperson Ben Manges said. “And to be able to right-size those prices, and we’re smart enough to do it now, based on a lot of the data that we’re getting from the secondary market, it makes sense.”
For season-ticket holders, the price of preseason games will fall by 70%, the team said. Overall, season-ticket prices will increase by 8.2%, according to the team.
The Lions’ average ticket price for 2014 is $83.36, just below the NFL average of $85, and they currently rank 25th in the NFL in average ticket price.
The Lions’ home schedule for 2014 includes games against the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants.
Games against the Packers, Bears, Saints and either the Dolphins or Bills, whichever team the Lions play on Thanksgiving, will fall into the “touchdown” tier with the highest prices.
Games against the Vikings, Giants, Buccaneers and the non-Thanksgiving AFC opponent will fall into the “field goal” mid-level pricing tier for season-ticket holders.
If any of those games is scheduled for prime time, it will be priced in the “touchdown” tier for single-game tickets.
Both preseason games will be in the lowest tier of prices.
Last year, the Lions finished 7-9 and lost six of their last seven games.