The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of the Los Angeles Dodgers overshadowed some of the most impressive good news in sports business. Twenty-five of the 26 sports to be played at the 2012 Olympic in London have sold out, a year in advance of the events. Many of those tickets are quite expensive. Prime “AA” seats at the finals in women’s track and field sold for $1,200.
This news marks a long-term trend towards greater interest in sports beyond the Major League brands. You can still see archery for free at venues like the US Olympic Training Center. But the total prize money at stake in this summer’s FIVB World Tournament of Volleyball has reached $22 million, elevated by ticket sales and television advertising. The Diamond League in track and field is also giving Major League Baseball a run for its money.
Some benchmarks from the high-priced tickets that sold out for the Olympics give a good indication of what fans would like to see more of. The gold medal matches for men’s badminton, a favorite of host country UK, sold out with top ticket prices at $250. Ditto for men’s kayaking. Tickets for the finals of BMX cycling, featuring the best male and female riders, surpassed the $200 mark. The diving finals and victory ceremonies for both men and women commanded $750 for the best tickets.