Average Ticket Prices Spike for Baseball’s Top Teams

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Opening Day 2012 is upon us, baseball fans. How much are you willing to shell out to see your favorite team? If it’s the Boston Red Sox, be prepared to dig deep – deeper than any fans anywhere in baseball.

The average price of a ticket for a Red Sox home game is $151.10, according to Chris Matcovich at ticket aggregator TiqIQ.com. The company both collects and analyzes data about tickets being sold on the secondary market, where you’ll find the most opportunities to get a ticket for an in-demand game as well as see where people are dumping tickets below face value.

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After the Red Sox, the teams starting the 2012 baseball season with the highest average home ticket prices are the Chicago Cubs ($108.70), the Philadelphia Phillies, ($100.71), the New York Yankees ($90.21) and the Washington Nationals ($88.24). On the flipside, you can score the cheapest tickets (all about $50 on average – meaning there are plenty of cheaper seats) if you go to home games of the Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds.

If you’re hoping to get into an actual Opening Day game, it’s going to cost you a lot more than most games for the privilege. It should come as no surprise, the Red Sox – where a sports-crazy town combined with tiny Fenway Park add up to big prices – tops the list at an average of $305.58 per seat, according to TiqIQ.com. The Red Sox play their first game at Fenway against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 13.

The next highest Opening Day average ticket prices:

  • Yankees ($256.54)
  • Miami Marlins ($255.28)
  • St. Louis Cardinals ($248.68)
  • Texas Rangers ($237.22)

If you’re wondering what the toughest-to-get ticket is – at least before the season has started – look no further than, well, Fenway Park on April 20. That’s when the Red Sox’s rival, the Yankees come to town. The average ticket for that game is going for $509, according to TiqIQ.com.

Adding star players and winning the World Series can also force up the price of a ticket.

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The average ticket price for a Detroit Tigers game is up 34% over last year, which TiqIQ attributes to the acquisition of Prince Fielder. Los Angeles Angels tickets are up about 10% after the team added Albert Pujols and C. J. Wilson. Meanwhile, the Cardinals, as defending World Series champs – despite losing Pujols, have an Opening Day ticket price that is 335% above the average home ticket.

Watching the secondary ticket market is the economy theory of supply and demand in practice. If you’re going to play that market, play safe, and be sure you’re getting the real deal. There are plenty of secondary sellers that will guarantee ticket authenticity, unlike Craigslist and other online ad sites, where it’s up to you to sort out what you’re getting.

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