Cost of attending MLB games going up

Red Sox player at bat

Going to an MLB game is getting more expensive. Photo Credit: Parker Harrington/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

Attending professional sport events is an expensive habit, especially for the NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball. The MLB is by far the most reasonably priced, but fans can expect the cost of MLB game tickets to go up this year.

Most reasonable sport getting less reasonable

Major League Baseball has long been the most reasonably priced sport to attend, but the cost of MLB tickets has been going up in recent years. In 2009, according to Bleacher Report, the Team Marketing Report observed an average MLB ticket rose 5 percent in price to $26.64. The typical cost of a beer at an MLB game was $6 and a hot dog cost $4.

In 2011, according to ESPN, the cost of a ticket had risen to $26.91. The average ticket in 2002, according to the Huffington Post, cost $18.31, meaning tickets rose 47 percent in that time.

This year, according to the Associated Press, the cost of the average ticket is $26.92, the smallest increase observed in years.

Varies by market

The cost varies by team, though. In 2011, Pittsburgh Pirates fans paid $15.30, which is a bargain compared to the Boston Red Sox, who asked baseball fans in Beantown to shell out $53.38. New York Yankee fans were a close second, at $51.38. The Red Sox, according to Bleacher Report, have had the most expensive tickets in baseball for all but one of the past 15 years.

This year, according to the Associated Press, the Red Sox are asking $53.38, and the Yankees are asking $51.55. Pittsburgh, the most economical team to watch in 2011, raised the average price to $17.74. The cheapest team to watch in the MLB is now the San Diego Padres, at $15.67 per game.

However, according to Time magazine, the average cost is a little higher once one counts the secondary market through sites like StubHub. Once secondary market prices are included, the average price for a Red Sox ticket shoots up to $151.10. That’s just the average; Opening Day tickets for Fenway cost $305.58 and tickets for the April 20 game between the Red Sox and the Yankees is a stratospheric $509.

Still cheaper than other sports

Baseball, often referred to as the National Pastime despite far more people watching the NFL, is still the most economical sport to attend. The Associated Press reports that the average NFL ticket was $77.36 last year. The current prices for an NHL and NBA ticket are $57.10 and $48.48, respectively.

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The TMR also compiles a Fan Cost Index, which tracks the cost of four tickets, two beers, two soft drinks, four hot dogs, two hats and two programs, which for the MLB is $207.34 this year. The FCI for the NBA was $301.06, $326.45 for the NHL and a staggering $427.29 for the NFL in 2011.


Huffington Post


Associated Press


Bleacher Report:

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