CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

World Series time! Enjoy Premium-level access to most features through the end of the Series!

No Previous Article
No Next Article

April 30, 2004

Ticket Price Survey

AL Central

by Doug Pappas

This is the second installment of my six-part survey of how much fans can actually expect to pay for tickets to major league games. I choose a mid-week game, then shop for tickets on MLB.com a few weeks in advance. First I look for a block of "casual fan" seats: ideally, four behind the plate and towards the front of the upper deck. These are usually, but not always, cheaper than the "average price ticket" used by Team Marketing Report to calculate the Fan Cost Index.

Then I repeat the process three more times. Twice I look for the "best available seats," as determined by the MLB.com ticket computer--once for a family of four and once for a single fan. The seats available for the family of four serve as a rough proxy for the club's season-ticket and advance sales, while the best single-seat option shows where a fan who doesn't care about the cost can sit without paying scalpers' prices. Finally, I look for the cheapest seats to find the lowest a fan using MLB.com could pay to get into the ballpark.

To complete the survey, I check the club Web sites for promotions that could reduce the cost of my hypothetical fan's attendance, scan the club's promotional schedule for unusual events, and put it all together in the form below:

Chicago White Sox

Average ticket price: $21.56 (11th in majors). 2003 attendance: 54.0% of capacity (18th in majors).

Tickets available on April 27 for Wednesday, May 12 night game against Baltimore:

Four "casual fan" seats: Box 530, Row 5, Seats 5-8: Premium Upper Box seats behind home plate, $18 each
Best four seats: Box 117, Row 35, Seats 1-4: Lower Box seats in right field, $28 each
Best single seat: Box 119, Row 31, Seat 10: Lower Box seat in right field, $28
Cheapest single seat: Section 520, Row 3, Seat 11: Upper Reserved behind first base, $12
Tickets purchased through MLB.com include a $4/seat convenience charge.

Ongoing Promotions:

All tickets $4 cheaper on weekdays (Mon-Thurs), $5 more expensive during Cubs series.
Mondays: All tickets half price
Tuesdays: Tickets half price with empty Pepsi product
Thursdays: Hot dogs $1 (regularly $2.75)
DON'T MISS: September 17: "Halfway to St. Patrick's Day"--green White Sox cap giveaway

Overview: Go on Monday or Tuesday if you can. Relative to its peers, U.S. Cellular Field is overpriced the rest of the week--especially on the weekends, when you'll pay $26-$28 to sit in the outfield stands.

Cleveland Indians

Average ticket price: $20.29 (13th in majors). 2003 attendance: 49.2% of capacity (22nd in majors).

Tickets available on April 27 for Wednesday, May 19 night game against Chicago White Sox:

Four "casual fan" seats: Section 554A, Row E, Seats 15-18: Upper Boxes directly behind home plate, $19 each
Best four seats: Section 155F, Row CC, Seats 6-9: Field Boxes behind home plate, $40 each
Best single seat: Section 149B, Row H, Seat 5: Diamond Box seat behind home plate, $45
Cheapest single seat: Section 521A, Row G, Seat 8: Corner Reserved seat in right field, $5. (This is a truly terrible section, but you should have no trouble moving to a better angle.)
Tickets purchased through MLB.com include a $3.50/seat convenience charge and a $2.75 delivery charge.

Ongoing Promotions:

None listed on Web site.

Indians Ticket Marketplace through stubhub.com: limited to sale of season tickets at face value or below.

Overview: Although the Indians don't discount their tickets, the 12 categories of tickets available to the general public offer almost any tradeoff between view/proximity and price a fan could want--and with the Tribe in a rebuilding phase, there are plenty of seats available wherever you want to sit.

Detroit Tigers

Average ticket price: $17.90 (15th in majors). 2003 attendance: 42.6% of capacity (27th in majors).

Tickets available on April 27 for Wednesday, May 12 night game against Oakland:

Four "casual fan" seats: Section 324, Row 4, Seats 5-8: Upper Boxes behind home plate, $20 each
Best four seats: Section 131, Row 34, Seats 7-10: Infield Boxes behind home plate, $30 each
Best single seat: Section 131, Row 15, Seat 5: Infield Box behind home plate, $30
Cheapest single seat: Section 345, Row 3, Seat 11: Skyline seat in left field corner, $5. (Another awful seat, but tolerable if you can move.)
Tickets purchased through MLB.com include a $3.50-$4.50/seat convenience charge

Ongoing Promotions:

Thursdays: Upper Box ticket, small Pepsi and hot dog or pizza slice for $20 (the regular price for the ticket alone) Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: $59 Family Value Pack: four Upper Reserved tickets, four hot dogs, four soft drinks for $59. (The Upper Reserved seats alone cost $48.)

Overview: This is the first park in which my hypothetical family had to pay more than the average ticket price to get a good view from the upper boxes. For a modern baseball-only park, Comerica is oddly designed, with thousands of cheap, bad seats in the outfield and down the lines.

Kansas City Royals

Average ticket price: $13.42 (28th in majors). 2003 attendance: 56.2% of capacity (16th in majors).

Tickets available on April 27 for Tuesday, May 11 night game against Toronto:

Four "casual fan" seats: Section 300, Row J, Seats 9-12: View Boxes directly behind home plate: $13 each
Best four seats: Section 214, Row F, Seats 5-8: Club Box seats between home and first, $25 each
Best single seat: Section 208, Row H, Seat 6: Club Box seat behind home plate, next to press box: $25
Cheapest single seat: Section 332, Row E, Seat 12: Hy-Vee View Level seat down right field line, $7
Tickets purchased through MLB.com include a $2-$3/seat convenience charge and a $2.50 delivery charge.
Web site allows prospective purchasers to see the view of the field from their chosen section.

Ongoing Promotions:

Eight "Dodge Buck Nights": hot dogs, small Pepsi and peanuts $1 each all game
DON'T MISS: May 29: "Christian Family Day." "Stay after the game to hear testimonies by Carlos Beltran, Mike Sweeney, Tony Graffinino and others to be announced as well as a concert by the group Go Fish."

Overview: As befits the club owned by Wal-Mart honcho David Glass, the Royals offer everyday low prices. What's more, there's hardly a bad seat in the house.

Minnesota Twins

Average ticket price: $14.42 (27th in majors). 2003 attendance: 49.4% of capacity (21st in majors).

Tickets available on April 27 for Wednesday, May 12 night game against Seattle:

Four "casual fan" seats: Section 225, Row 5, Seats 8-11: Family Section behind home plate, $15 each
Best four seats: Section 129, Row 32, Seats 1-4: Lower Club boxes between home and third, $35 each
Best single seat: Section 121, Row 13, Seat 5: Lower Club box behind home plate, $35
Cheapest single seat: Upper deck general admission, $6.
Tickets purchased through MLB.com include a $2-$3/seat convenience charge and a $2.50 order processing charge.
Web site allows prospective purchasers to see the view of the field from their chosen section.

Ongoing Promotions:

Tuesdays: $15 lower pavilion tickets for $7.50
Wednesdays: Hot dogs for $1 (regularly $3; limit two/person)
Thursdays: $15 lower pavilion ticket includes $5 food voucher
Fridays: $15 lower pavilion ticket, hot dog, "bounce back" coupon and soft drink for $16
Saturdays: $15 lower pavilion ticket, pizza, soft drink and Dairy Queen coupon for $16
DON'T MISS: August 22: "First Annual Minnesota Twins Rummage Sale."

Overview: The Metrodome was built as a football stadium, and it shows. The average ticket price is artificially low--the Twins have acres of bad seats available cheaply or at a discount (the heavily promoted lower pavilion seats are behind the left field wall, and there's another deck above them), but relatively few seats in the infield. Compare the Twins' seating chart to Kansas City's.

As part of the club's campaign for a new stadium, the Twins' own Web site describes the Metrodome as "one of the two worst baseball facilities in Major League Baseball by a considerable margin."

Related Content:  Hot Corner,  Tickets,  Single,  Fan,  Best,  Home Plate,  Mlb.com

0 comments have been left for this article.

No Previous Article
No Next Article

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, Octo...
Pebble Hunting: An Illustrated Guide to the ...
Raising Aces: Ghosts of World Series Past
Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game 3 P...
Playoff Prospectus: A Decade of Planning an ...
Playoff Prospectus: Never-Wrong Ned?
Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game Fou...

MORE FROM APRIL 30, 2004
Prospectus Triple Play: Atlanta Braves, Tamp...
Premium Article Can Of Corn: Magglio, Hidden Hitter

MORE BY DOUG PAPPAS
2004-05-17 - Ticket Price Survey
2004-05-11 - Ticket Price Survey
2004-05-06 - Ticket Price Survey
2004-04-30 - Ticket Price Survey
2004-04-27 - Ticket Price Survey
2004-04-21 - Fixing The Fan Cost Index
2004-04-12 - Marginal Payroll/Marginal Wins
More...


INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2004-05-17 - Ticket Price Survey
2004-05-11 - Ticket Price Survey
2004-05-06 - Ticket Price Survey