Optimal timing of switches between product sales for sports and entertainment tickets

Drake M. J., DURAN S., Griffin P. M., Swann J. L.

NAVAL RESEARCH LOGISTICS, vol.55, no.1, pp.59-75, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 55 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/nav.20266
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.59-75
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Like airlines and hotels, sports teams and entertainment venues can benefit from revenue management efforts for their ticket sales. Teams and entertainment venues usually offer bundles of tickets early in their selling horizon and put single-event tickets on sale at a later date; these organizations must determine the best time to offer individual tickets because both types of ticket sales consume the same fixed inventory. We model the optimal a priori timing decision for a seller with a fixed number of identical tickets to switch from selling the tickets as fixed bundles to individual tickets to maximize the revenue realized before the start of the performance season. We assume that bundle and single-ticket customers each arrive according to independent, nonhomogeneous Markovian death processes with a linear death rate that can vary over time and that the benefit from selling a ticket in a package is higher than from selling the ticket individually. We characterize the circumstances in which it is optimal for the seller to practice mixed bundling and when the seller should only sell bundles or individual tickets, and we establish comparative statics for the optimal timing decision for the special case of constant customer arrival rates. We extend our analytical results to find the optimal time for offering two groups of tickets with high and low demand. Finally, we apply the timing model to a data set obtained from the sports industry. (C) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.