The Angels will put single-game tickets on sale Feb. 23. They won't tell you the prices in advance, so you could go to the Angel Stadium ticket office that day without knowing whether you can afford tickets to the game you really want to see.
That is one result of the Angels' dynamic pricing system, part of an industry-wide trend in which teams try to adjust prices to supply and demand rather than let scalpers do it for them.
The concept of selling the same seat for the same price for every game appears increasingly dated. After all, if USC can charge more for the Notre Dame football game than for the Washington State game, why shouldn't the Angels charge more to see the New York Yankees than the Houston Astros?
The Dodgers and Angels each offer season tickets for a fixed amount, with savings from single-game prices. Beyond that, the local teams take a different approach.
The Dodgers assign a star rating -- four stars for the most attractive games, down to one star for the least attractive games. For instance, a preferred reserve seat at Dodger Stadium costs $6 per game as part of a season ticket, $11 per game as part of a mini-plan and $35 as a single-game ticket against the Yankees or Boston Red Sox.
The Angels let supply and demand determine the price for each ticket and each game, with the price subject to change up to, and including, the day of the game.
If the Angels can clinch the American League West on a homestand, or if Jered Weaver is trying for a second consecutive no-hitter, they can raise the ticket prices accordingly. If they fall out of the pennant race and attendance drops, or if the Astros generate no interest, they can lower the prices.
As a result, the Angels will not set prices for single-game tickets until the day they go on sale, said Robert Alvarado, vice president of marketing and ticket sales. Those prices will be determined in part by how many seats already have been sold for each game -- via season tickets, mini-plans and group sales.
Once single-game tickets go on sale Feb. 23, the Angels plan to constantly adjust prices based on supply and demand.
"The cost might change on that day," Alvarado said. "It's just like you were looking for a hotel room or an airline ticket."
For now, Alvarado said, the date with the highest demand -- and presumably the highest single-game price -- is June 14, a Friday night game against the Yankees.
The Angels -- and all of Major League Baseball -- are trying to make more money from their most popular games. At the same time, teams want to draw more fans to the least popular games, with the hope that relatively lower prices will offer an incentive.
The Angels sold the equivalent of about 24,000 season tickets last season, Alvarado said, and the team projects a similar number this season.
He said the Angels sold a franchise-record 31,000 tickets in 2006, in the midst of a string of five playoff appearances within seven years. The Angels have not reached the playoffs in each of the last three years.