Walcoff: Dynamic pricing takes the next step

The Giants’ expanded dynamic ticket pricing plan for 2010 is pure marketing genius. Making fans pay more to see Tim Lincecum pitch against the Dodgers on a sunny Saturday during a playoff chase in September simply follows the basic economic law of supply and demand.

But as ticket scalpers and stock traders know all too well, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Besides, the sliding scale ticket program could set a scary precedent.

What if the Giants decide to charge $10 to park a clunker at AT&T Park, $20 for an American car and $30 for your pimped-out ride? Maybe a beer will cost more during hot summer afternoon games. Would that mean beers would be cheaper during cold, weeknight games against the lowly Pirates? Who knows, maybe we’ll see drink discounts for big dudes. Hey, if that means $10 drafts for the ladies, so be it. Gals, if you want to pay less for a brew, bring a heavy date.

The Giants might also consider extending the dynamic pricing plan to their popular ethnic heritage program: Get 50 percent off a kosher hot dog on Jewish Heritage Night when showing your bar mitzvah certificate or a buck for a burrito when ordering in Spanish on Latino Heritage Night. If you can read the menu in Mandarin on Chinese Heritage Night you get three dishes instead of two on your combo plate. How perfectly San Francisco to have concessions to diversity at the concession stand.
Don’t forget the players. The Giants might want to introduce a tiered pay scale based on peak and off-peak performance.

Clutch hitters would still get big contracts. But you off-peak losers don’t go looking for a raise after padding your stats during an 11-0 blowout. Break a bat? You bought it.

Fans who catch a ball, give it back. In these tough economic times the Giants are forced to run their baseball business like the cash-strapped airlines. “Excuse me sir, but that will be $5 for the seat cushion, $8 for a blanket and if you want to watch the game on the Jumbotron that will be another $10, unless of course you sign up for our frequent buyer ticket plan.”

Troubled water

The first race of the long awaited America’s Cup was postponed again on Wednesday due to big waves. Race organizers will try again on Friday. How appropriate that after a 2½-year legal battle, Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing and Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli were left waiting at the dock this week as Mother Nature first made the winds too calm and then the Mediterranean Sea too choppy.

While the battling billionaires can’t seem to agree on most anything, we do know that Ellison’s trimaran with its radical wing sail that towers 223 feet off the deck and Bertarelli’s two-time defending champion catamaran are the most technologically advanced sailboats ever built, both capable of sailing at three times the speed of the wind.

A win for BMW Oracle in the best-of-three race would not only bring the America’s Cup to San Francisco Bay, it may also free up Ellison to get more serious about buying the Warriors. Pretty please.

KGO (810 AM) Sports Director Rich Walcoff can be heard weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on the KGO morning news and is also the co-host of “Raiders Gameday” and “Recap” talk shows on KSFO (560 AM). He can be reached at RichWalcoff@gmail.com.

BaseballMLBOakland A's & MLBsportsTim Lincecum

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