Opening day is just a weekend away, and baseball fever has reached its peak. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to dig into a unique ticket-pricing promotion by my hometown Milwaukee Brewers. The package is called Chance 2 Advance and lets fans upgrade their tickets to better seating areas for minimal cost when the Brewers win select home games. Here’s an explanation of the package from the Crew’s website:
For just $99, we'll give you a Bernie's Terrace ticket to nine select Tuesday games at Miller Park. And, on Tuesday, April 30, you'll sit in Bernie's Terrace for the first game of the plan. When the Brewers win, you advance!
Every time the Brewers win, you exchange your Bernie's Terrace ticket for the next game in the plan for just $2 to the next best seating area (see list below). You remain in that seat location until the Brewers win the next game in the plan. If the Brewers don't win, you simply exchange your Bernie's Terrace ticket at no cost for a seat in the same section where you last advanced — no backsliding.
If the Brewers win the first eight games in the plan, the ninth game would enable you the opportunity to sit in the Field Diamond Box!
1. Bernie's Terrace
2. Terrace Reserved
3. Terrace Box
4. Loge Outfield Box
5. Loge Infield Box
6. Club Outfield Box
7. Field Outfield Box
8. Field Infield Box
9. Field Diamond Box
This sounds like an entertaining promotion and a great way to be even more interested (if that is even possible) in seeing the Crew win. But I couldn’t help wondering: Is this package a good value?
The short answer is yes. If you bought nine individual tickets for Bernie’s Terrace (the starting point of Chance 2 Advance) at $11 a ticket, you would pay $99, the exact same amount you would pay for the Chance 2 Advance package. So unless the Brewers lose all of their first eight games (keep in mind, we are talking about the Crew, not that poor excuse for a baseball team 90 miles south), you would end up with a better deal by purchasing the package because you will watch at least some of the games from a better seat.
But how much better? That depends on how many games the Brewers win and requires some probabilistic thinking.
Let’s start with the basics: They play eight games that give you an opportunity to advance to the next best seating area. That means there are 256 (or 28) different combinations of winning/losing during this eight-game stretch. And let’s suppose for the sake of this analysis (and to make the math easy) that the Brewers have a 50% chance of winning each of these games. This means each of these 256 possible outcomes is equally likely to occur. For example, one possible combination could look like this:
Win, Win, Loss, Win, Loss, Loss, Win, Win
In this scenario you would watch the nine games in these seating locations:
If you bought the Chance 2 Advance package, you would have paid $109 for these tickets ($99 initial payment, plus $2 for each of the five times you advanced). If you decided not to buy the package, however, and bought these exact same tickets individually, you would have paid a whopping $261 (see table for assumed face value individual game ticket prices). That means for this possible outcome, you would have saved $152 for the exact same seats by purchasing the Chance 2 Advance package. Not bad!
But that’s just one scenario. What if we did this for all 256 possible scenarios? You would find that you could expect to pay $107 for tickets with the Chance 2 Advance package and $223 for the exact same tickets if you purchased them individually. That means you could expect to save, on average, $116 by going with the package instead of buying the tickets individually.
So we know the Chance 2 Advance is a great deal, but let’s add one caveat: If you are buying the tickets with an expectation of watching the ninth game in the luxurious Field Diamond Box, prepare to be disappointed. Once again assuming the Crew has a 50% chance of winning each of these games, there is only a 0.4% chance you will be watching the last game in the Field Diamond Box.
But on the flip side, it’s just as unlikely you will be stuck in Bernie’s Terrace all nine games, so you have a great Chance 2 Advance, if you will. In fact, you have a better than one-in-three shot of watching the final game in Club Outfield Box or better. So no matter what, it’s a great value and another reason to visit Miller Park this season—just in case the Sausage Race wasn’t reason enough.