Most Teams Hold Ticket Prices Steady, A Few Raise The Roof

Baseball’s season-ticket holders will be able to take in a game this year for about the same cost as last season. They’ll also enjoy a hot dog, a beer, a soda, a program and a cap for 2012 prices — more or less. But long-time fans of the Nationals, Tigers, Giants, Angels and Rangers have had to dig deeper into their pockets. With those teams, season-ticket holders saw ticket price increases of more than 10%. The Mariners, Diamondbacks and Pirates also raised their prices for season-ticket holders by at least 7%. On the flip side, the White Sox, Royals and Mets lowered non-premium seats by 7% or more.

The ticket price information comes courtesy of Fan Cost Experience, which released its annual ticket price survey this week. The site reports on the “average ticket price” for each team — which it defines as “a weighted average of season-ticket prices for general seating categories, determined by factoring the tickets in each price range as a percentage of the total number of seats in each venue.”  Across the league, the average ticket price in 2013 is $27.48, a mere 1% increase over last season.

To no one’s surprise, last year’s World Series teams look to cash in on their increasing popularity. Detroit’s “average ticket prices” went up 12% from 2012, from $23.54 to $26.36, while San Francisco raised average prices for its season-ticket holders by 10.6%, from $27.21 to $30.09. But the Tigers lowered prices on their premium seats, going from an average premium price of $76.88 to $70.65. Not so for the Giants. Premium seats at AT&T Park are 5% more expensive this year, moving from $82.45 to $86.63.

But it was the Angels — a team that fell short of its postseason aspirations in 2012  — with the largest price increases this season. The Halos raised season-ticket prices by a whopping 34%. To be fair, the Angels had one of the lowest average ticket prices in the league in 2012, just $19.71. That’s now up to $27.54, still below the league-wide average.

Fenway Park season-ticket prices continue to lead the league, as they did in 2012. The Red Sox charge the average season-ticket holder $53.38 per seat, edging out the Yankees by less than $2 per ticket. But do not despair for the Bronx Bombers, as Yankee Stadium holds 50,291 fans while Fenway squeezes in only 37,400. The Yankees more than make up for the small lag behind the Red Sox on average ticket prices by charging $130 more for premium seats. Yes, the average premium ticket price at Yankee Stadium is $305.11. The only other team with premium seats at more than $200 is the Dodgers, at $222.38. The Nationals, Red Sox, Mariners and Marlins round out the list of teams with premium seats priced at more than $100.

Both Chicago teams lowered season-ticket holder prices for 2013, though White Sox fans will enjoy a much steeper decline. Tickets on the South Side dropped 10.2%, from $29.00 to $26.05. On the North Side, Cubs’ season-ticket holders will pay 3.9% less this season, following a price drop from $48.30 to $44.55. The Cubs still hold a firm grip on the third-highest average ticket price in the league, behind the Red Sox and Yankees, and ahead of the Phillies.

After the White Sox, the Mets posted the largest decrease in season-ticket holder prices, going from $27.24 last season to $25.30 this season — a drop of 7.1%. The Marlins lowered average ticket prices by only 4%. Perhaps that’s why Miami is now offering two-for-the-price-of-one tickets through Groupon. You want to watch the Marlins on Opening Day at Marlins Park?  For only $20, you get a ticket to Opening Day, a ticket to another game in April or May and a $10 merchandise voucher.

Fan Cost Experience also published its Fan Cost Index this week. The FCI tracks the price of four non-premium seats, two beers, four hot dogs, four sodas, parking, two programs and two adult-sized baseball caps. The average FCI across major league baseball is $208.01 this season, a 0.1% increase over 2012. As for beer prices, Fan Cost Experience reports that the Nationals have the most expensive beer in the league, at $8.25 for the smallest available size. Beer brand isn’t identified, which would be a big problem for BeerGraphs entrepreneur (and RotoGraphs editor) Eno Sarris. Friend of the site Amanda Rykoff wrote earlier this week about the Yankees’ efforts to sell “craft beer” for $12 a pop. Stay tuned for more on that burgeoning scandal.

Wendy writes about sports and the business of sports. She's been published most recently by Vice Sports, Deadspin and You can find her work at and follow her on Twitter @hangingsliders.

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10 years ago

The White Sox also dropped daily parking down from $25 to $20 ($10 on Sundays) which was very much needed. Though I’m still a cheap SOB. Public transportation + behind home plate upper deck + no beer + no food + no merchandise = $30-$40 dollar experience