Monday, June 18, 2007

Market Failure for Baseball Columnists in Denver

Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla is in a premature tizzy about the Rockies jacking ticket prices for the upcoming series against the Yankees:

This week, and this week only, in return for a cool $75, Dick and Charlie Monfort will rent you one chair at the corner of 20th and Blake for three hours to watch the New York Yankees scratch themselves. Now, there's no denying that Derek Jeter is a fine-looking ballplayer. But I would not pay 75 bucks for a seat at Coors Field, unless I got to sit alongside Angelina Jolie.

It's a premature tizzy because we don't know what the attendance figures will be for those games. If they're sold out or if there is a substantial uptick at the gate, then I guess the price isn't out of line, is it? Kiszla offers a weak shoutout to this concept, but he's obviously not willing to let basic microeconomics stand in the way of his outrage.

And he's certainly not thinking ahead, either. That's because if the games do sellout or at least come close, Kiszla's column must necessarily be reinterpreted from "the Rockies are jerks for charging so much" to "Rockies fans are jerks for spending too much." That's not something I'd write in a local paper, but maybe the Post has a policy encouraging anticipatory contempt for the local fan base.

By the way, that block quote has been altered a bit. Kiszla is one of those writers who fills half of his column inches with empty space via the one-sentence-paragraph technique, which is always the sign of a world class writer. I squished, like, ten of his own paragraphs together in order to make for somewhat coherent reading.