Stephen Strasburg is making his Major League debut for the Washington Nationals tonight. For those of you who don't follow baseball he's predicted to be a great player in the future (or maybe even now). If you want to buy tickets to tonight's game at this point you have two options. You could buy off the secondary market or you can buy tickets to tonight's game as part of a 4 game package.
Surprisingly this package includes one free game. So really you just have to buy 2 more games to see Strasburg. The Nationals must think they make more money from selling tickets to three different games at 2/3 the price then they would not selling those tickets. Since other than tonight the Nationals probably won't sell out a game the rest of the year this isn't a bad bet. Unless fans who would buy tickets to future games decrease the number they would have purchased when the buy the 4 pack of games to see Strasburg tonight.
A lot of teams do this trick where in order to see a marque game they force you to buy less desirable games. I tried to see a Twins game earlier this year and they were sold out unless you bought tickets to many more games as part of a season ticket plan.
Why don't teams just raise their prices for marque games? They are starting too, many teams charge more for better opponents (Yankees, Red Sox) or weekend summer games. There is some negative reaction to this. I think there would be even more if the Nationals raised their prices just for tonight.
In short people hate it when teams or companies increase prices, but don't seem to mind so much when the increase in price is including as part of buying a larger item such as tickets to 4 games.