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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Yanofsky: Everything you ever wanted to know about baseball ticket prices

.... but were too poor to ask. (Hint: try to be a Rockies fan who loves going to midweek games against the Mariners in May or September.)

The first pitches have been thrown, and Rick Ankiel is on pace to hit 162 home runs this season. Time to buy some baseball tickets. To help you out, we’ve analyzed ticket prices for every regular season Major League Baseball game in 2012, using data from SeatGeek, which tracks prices on secondary markets like StubHub. The SeatGeek data provides a more realistic view of what tickets are really worth, not just what teams originally sell them for.

Average ticket prices last season ranged from $8.55 (for an early season game between the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians) to $222.58 (a New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox game commemorating Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary). The median price for all games was $39.96. Ticket prices are highest for the first games of the season, but they peaked again around June 11.

 

Warning: Qz.com seems to frown upon older browsers.

Greg Franklin Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:37 PM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baseball geeks, business, tickets

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Dan Evensen Posted: April 03, 2013 at 06:55 AM (#4402885)
We're moving to Ottawa this August. I thought it might be fun to try to make the big drive out to Toronto and catch a Jays game or two. It's looking like I won't be able to afford it.
   2. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: April 03, 2013 at 07:50 AM (#4402893)
We're moving to Ottawa this August.

Ottawa and Montreal are probably the two worst places in Canada to be a baseball fan. It's a shame in a way because Ottawa has a pretty nice stadium. If you can't afford to go to Toronto, drive 4-5 hours the other way, come spend 3-4 days in Quebec City and while you're there, stop by Le stade municipal to watch a Capitales' game. Now, obviously, don't make this trip only to come to a game (indie baseball ain't that great), but if you're already there, it's a nice way to spend a beautiful summer evening in a stadium that'll turn 80 in a couple of years.
   3. Flynn Posted: April 03, 2013 at 08:44 AM (#4402909)
500 seats for the Jays are $14 for premium games. What 'chu talkin' about, Evensen?

What happened to Canadian baseball? Was it really just the weak dollar? Forget the Expos, every decent sized Canadian city had a minor league team in the 90s and they all disappeared except for Vancouver's.
   4. BDC Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:01 AM (#4402921)
Interesting development at StubHub this year. As announced, there's a $6 minimum ticket price. I was annoyed to hear that, because last year there were lots of $1 Rangers tickets. But there was also a $5 fee, so you reckoned $6 for a cheap seat. This year, the fee is built into the price, so they actually haven't gone up at all. Yay!

Sorry to interrupt the Canadian theme. Back to terre de vos aïeux
   5. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4402940)
Ottawa's getting an EL team, in due time. My guess is Erie.
   6. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:36 AM (#4402947)
StubHub is pretty fantastic. Given how bad Boston was last year, I was able to get some really nice seats pretty cheap.
   7. McCoy Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:50 AM (#4402958)
StubHub is nice but SeatGeek is much better since it lists not just StubHub tickets but other merchants' tickets as well. In fact last year I purchased tickets for probably 2 dozen games last year via the secondary market and I think I used Stubhub for maybe 3 or so games worth of tickets.

I just bought tickets to the Sox vs Nats game next week from Uberseat and they were $10 a ticket with no fee.
   8. zack Posted: April 03, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4403102)
What happened to Canadian baseball? Was it really just the weak dollar? Forget the Expos, every decent sized Canadian city had a minor league team in the 90s and they all disappeared except for Vancouver's.

And all the old hockey players talk about how they played baseball in the summer, but it seems like very few of the young players have.
   9. deputydrew Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4403114)
SeatGeek is much better


Agreed wholeheartedly. Love it. At first, I'd double check SeatGeek against StubHub to make sure I wasn't missing out, but now I just go with SG and am always happy. Their value matrix is fantastic.
   10. spycake Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4403152)
Interesting development at StubHub this year. As announced, there's a $6 minimum ticket price. I was annoyed to hear that, because last year there were lots of $1 Rangers tickets. But there was also a $5 fee, so you reckoned $6 for a cheap seat. This year, the fee is built into the price, so they actually haven't gone up at all. Yay!


This explains all the $6 tickets I've seen for Twins games. So that means there's no longer any fees for buying at StubHub? The price displayed is the final price you pay?

How did it work before? Could you buy four $1 tickets on the same order, and just pay one $5 fee? Or was it per ticket?
   11. BDC Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4403192)
From what I can tell, no StubHub fees are now added on after you choose tickets – IOW you see your final price up-front.

The fee used to be a percentage of the ticket price plus $5 per transaction. Depending on the specifics of a transaction, it might be a bit more or a bit less than last year: on the very cheapest single tickets, it's a wash.

I have looked at other vendors, but I still like the ability at StubHub to choose aisle seats; I haven't found any other vendor that lets you do that, but would be happy to learn of one.
   12. Flynn Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4403200)
And all the old hockey players talk about how they played baseball in the summer, but it seems like very few of the young players have.


I don't think baseball is an acceptable summertime activity in the way NHL players in the O6 would all go play semi-pro softball/baseball to pick up a couple bucks, but I do think Canadian kids still play and the Canadian game is booming anyway. Who was the best Canadian position player before the 90s? Jeff Heath? There's been 10 guys as good as him in the past 10 years. I think if you put together an all-time Canadian team, the only guy who didn't play in the last 10 years would be Fergie Jenkins.
   13. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4403205)
From what I can tell, no StubHub fees are now added on after you choose tickets – IOW you see your final price up-front.


I'm pretty sure this was a change they made this year so now the buyer sees a "true" price.
   14. McCoy Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4403227)
The built in fee is a pretty significant raise in prices for Stubhub. It used to be a $5 fee per game but now the fee is built in to the ticket so instead of spending maybe 10 dollars for 4 tickets you'll have to spend 24 dollars for them. So basically after you buy your first ticket every ticket after that is 5 dollars more expensive than it was last year.
   15. McCoy Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4403254)
Looked it up and it used to be $10 minimum fee per transaction with anything over $50 being 10% of ticket price plus $5.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4403303)
There is still a fee with stubhub - the listed price just includes that now.
   17. spycake Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4403304)
Just tried to buy four $6 tickets now at StubHub. Expanding the "Pricing Details" during checkout reveals the following breakdown:

Price details
4 tickets x $3.00 = $12.00
Delivery $8.00
Service fee $4.00
Order total $24.00 USD

Not sure, but it seems like a $3 price minimum, plus a per-ticket $2 delivery fee and $1 service fee, making the effective minimum $6 per ticket. Not that great for a cheap-seat dweller like myself, especially since I have to print the tickets myself too.

   18. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4403325)
For Repoz: Zal and Denny, workin' for a penny...
   19. DA Baracus Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4403326)
Not sure, but it seems like a $3 price minimum, plus a per-ticket $2 delivery fee and $1 service fee, making the effective minimum $6 per ticket. Not that great for a cheap-seat dweller like myself, especially since I have to print the tickets myself too.


I don't understand the complaint. You'd pay more if you bought them through the team, who also hit you with BS service charges.
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4403336)
I don't understand the complaint.


The middleman is taking 50% of the gross sale price.
   21. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4403337)
especially since I have to print the tickets myself too.


If you have a smart phone a lot of places can scan tickets directly off of that.
   22. DA Baracus Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4403339)
The middleman is taking 50% of the gross sale price.


Who cares when the price is less than if you went directly to the source?
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4403344)
Who cares when the price is less than if you went directly to the source?


?? money is money. The source (face-value) prices are not handed down from God as fair and appropriate, so just because it is less than face does not mean it is a good deal.
   24. BDC Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4403390)
I admit I'm a solipsist: I buy single tickets, and on StubHub it's costing me no more this year than last, despite the very lowest end of the market apparently disappearing.
   25. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 03, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4403418)

?? money is money. The source (face-value) prices are not handed down from God as fair and appropriate, so just because it is less than face does not mean it is a good deal.


If $6 for a baseball game isn't a good enough deal, then don't go. I know the Rockies used to sell walk-up tickets in their bleacher section for either $2 or $4 dollars, but there can't be that many places that offer deals like that any more.
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: April 03, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4403422)
If $6 for a baseball game isn't a good enough deal, then don't go. I know the Rockies used to sell walk-up tickets in their bleacher section for either $2 or $4 dollars, but there can't be that many places that offer deals like that any more.


Sure. All I was saying was that when the middle man is getting as much out of a transaction as the seller, the buyer and seller will start to look around for a new middle man.
   27. McCoy Posted: April 03, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4403471)
I doubt it very much when we're talking about 1 to 2 dollars for a ticket. What is more likely to happen is that the seller stops buying season tickets or tickets from a team.

People selling tickets for less than 5 dollars are basically telling you that they think the tickets are worthless.
   28. zack Posted: April 05, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4405560)
At first, I'd double check SeatGeek against StubHub to make sure I wasn't missing out, but now I just go with SG and am always happy.


I was just looking for a Mets ticket for tonight, and there were tickets on stubhub that weren't on seatgeek, even though seatgeek had tons of stubhub tickets. I don't get it, I tried a million different options.

I ended up spending too much money on a Devils ticket for tomorrow.

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