Playing With House Money: MLB, Led By Cubs, Braves Sees Ticket Prices Rise
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 08:57AM
NYSportsJournalism.com in Chicago Cubs, MLB, MLB, New York Yankees, Vivid Seats, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

March 28, 2017: While many people are tracking the rosters for the start of the 2017 MLB season, others are tracking something else: the cost of tickets to see the Boys of Spring and Summer play.

One situation that baseball fans won’t want to hear: The price for regular season MLB tickets has increased 14% (or $10 per ticket) to $82, on average, year-over-year, according to Vivid Seats, Chicago, an independent secondary marketplace for tickets to live sports, concert and theater events,

The World Series champion Chicago Cubs have the highest average price at $130 per ticket in Wrigley Field, an increase of 55% versus 2016. Concurrently, the Kansas City Royals saw the largest decrease in average ticket prices, declining 22% to $74.

The New York Yankees are the only other team MLB team with an average ticket price over $100, with tickets through Vivid up 32% to an average of $117 in Yankee Stadium.

The Boston Red Sox are third, with an average ticket price of $99 in Fenway Park.

But the Atlanta Braves have the highest increase by percentage — 58% to $80 per ticket — due to increased demand to attend games in the team's new stadium, SunTrust Park.

The most popular Opening Day match-up  is the San Diego Padres visiting the Los Angeles Dodgers (April 3), followed by the Cubs at the St. Louis Cardinals (April 2) and the American League champion Cleveland Indians visiting the Texas Rangers (April 3), based on the number of tickets sold on Vivid Seats as of March 22.

The Top Five most-popular Opening Day games also include the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Red Sox (April 3) and the Philadelphia Phillies visiting the Cincinnati Reds (April 3).

"With Opening Day just around the corner, states without baseball teams like Utah, Rhode Island, Tennessee, North Carolina and Louisiana are experiencing the biggest increase in ticket sales for the upcoming season," Marita Hudson Thomas, a spokesperson for Vivid Seats, said in a statement. "We are also seeing an increase in the overall average ticket price for the league."

Behind Atlanta and the Cubs as the teams with the biggest average ticket price increases versus 2016 are the Cardinals (+37% to an average of $75), Tampa Bay Rays (+36% to $89), the Yankees, Dodgers (+26% to $64), Milwaukee Brewers (+21% to $66), Reds (+16% to $80), Phillies +13% to $60) and the Houston Astros (+12% to $73).

The average cost for tickets on Vivid to see the San Francisco Giants is $77, the same as 2016.

Besides Kansas City, eight other teams saw the average price of their tickets via Vivid go down versus 2016: the Oakland A’s (-1% to $64), Baltimore Orioles (-4% to $73), Detroit Tigers (-4% to $79), Arizona Diamondbacks (-5% to $66), New York Mets (-6% to $86), Rangers (-7% to $75), Pirates (-11% to $71) and the Los Angeles Angels (-16% to $52).

The pricing guide features the average ticket price of each MLB team based on tickets sold on Vivid Seats as of March 7 vs. tickets sold as of the same date in 2016.

Vivid Seats, LLC is not affiliated with or endorsed by MLB or any MLB team, but last month signed a deal to become the online ticket marketplace for MLB media partner ESPN across all of its platforms.

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