Bundling in LA: Baseball and Dodger Dogs

The Los Angeles Dodgers are providing all you can eat Dodger Dogs this year in an example of mixed bundling in the sports industry:

You won't be able to buy a ticket for under $10 on game day at Dodger Stadium next season, but you will be able to pay $40 for a bleacher seat and an endless supply of Dodger Dogs.

The Dodgers are converting the right-field pavilion into an all-you-can-eat section. They also are raising the price of the cheapest game-day ticket, in the top deck, from $6 to $10, matching the price in the left-field pavilion.

A ticket to the right-field pavilion — at $35 in advance and $40 on game day — will entitle fans to an endless supply of ballpark staples, including hot dogs, peanuts and soda but excluding beer, which hasn't been sold in the pavilion for years. The Dodgers tested the concept several times last season.

With free Dodger Dogs*, I'd excuse the explicit cost of beer.

"The fans really liked it," spokeswoman Camille Johnston said. "We know it's a good option for groups."

Fans spend an average of $12.30 on food and drink per game, a major league executive said. The all-in-one package affords fans the opportunity to "spend a few extra dollars and have everything taken care of," said David Carter, executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute. "Most people probably believe they're into a ballgame for $40, even if they're just in general admission."

This is an example of mixed bundling because fans still have the choice of paying $6 - $10 to sit in the left field pavillion (depending on when you buy your tickets) and paying for Dodger Dogs and other concessions.

This example also underscores the trial-and-error nature of pricing strategies. The Dodgers tried a bundling strategy that fans liked, so they made it a permanent feature of their pricing structure.

*In the interest of full disclosure: I've never had a Dodger Dog. Have I even begun to live?