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Average Ticket Price Up 5.4 Percent in MLB. Yankees/Mets Skew Total PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 02 April 2009 16:23

MLBTeam Marketing Report has released details on their forthcoming Fan Cost Index and average ticket pricing reports, and with it, the league will see a decidedly “New York” hue to the overall pricing for tickets, concessions, and merchandise at the ballpark this year.

Based on season-ticket prices and TMR’s weighted system, the Yankees’ average ticket is an eye-popping $72.97, according to TMR calculations, and the Mets’ 36.99. Both increases helped the league-average ticket price up 5.4 percent in 2009, to $26.74. If you take the Mets and Yankees out of the equation, this year and last year, and the average ticket for the other 28 teams ($23.07) would be up just .09 percent. So the New York teams, who certainly help their peers’ bottom lines with impressive road attendance, are worth about $3.67 to the total average of the league.

The league’s Fan Cost Index is up 3.4 percent to 197.17. The Fan Cost Index (FCI) measures the cost to take a family of four to a sporting event. (For TMR’s inaugural Spring Training FCI, click here)

The Yankees’ ascendance to the top of the FCI and ticket rankings breaks two long streaks by the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox have had the most-expensive average ticket since 1996, and have topped the FCI charts since 2001.

Ten teams show overall average price decreases, and another six have either stayed flat or are up less than 1 percent.

Several teams are offering cheaper concession items, and nearly every team has some kind of value meal proposition. The Cincinnati Reds ($144.76 FCI) has $1 soft drinks and $1 hot dogs.

The Mets’ overall ticket price is lower than some might expect because they classify a large amount of seating as “premium,” as the seats come with extra amenities or private club access. About 48 percent of the Mets’ premium seating is priced at $125 or less, with prices topping out at $495.

About 31 percent of the Yankees’ high-priced premium tickets sell for $135 or less, according to TMR research, with prices famously topping out at $2,500 for some front-row season tickets.

As for the entire league, the overall FCI is up, on average, but 12 teams have lower totals this season, compared to last year.

The Yankees have overtaken Boston ($50.24, up 0.3 percent) and the Chicago Cubs ($47.75, up 10 percent) for the priciest average ticket.

The cheapest average ticket belongs to the Diamondbacks, for the third straight season, at $14.31, a 10.3 percent drop from last year. The D-Backs have, by far, the cheapest FCI in baseball at $114.24, a 29.8 percent drop from last year.

OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST:

The Yankees’ $72.97 average ticket cost is a 76.3 percent increase from last year, the club’s last in The House That Ruth Built when the average ticket price was $41.40, an increase of 18.1 percent from 2007.

Clubs that have deep cuts in their average ticket prices from the year prior include:

  • Padres: down 27 percent ($20.01)
  • Diamondbacks: down 10.3 percent ($14.31)
  • Nationals: down 7.1 percent ($30.63)
  • Pirates: down 9.9 percent ($15.39)
  • Other clubs with increases:
  • Brewers: up 5.8 percent ($20.98)
  • Royals: up 13.3 percent ($19.38)
  • Cubs: up 10 percent ($47.75)
  • Rangers: up 6.8 percent ($19.41)

Clubs that see prices flat or near flat from last year

  • Dodgers (0 percent increase)
  • Mariners (0 percent increase)
  • Rockies (0 percent increase)
  • Braves (0 percent increase)
  • Red Sox (0.3 percent increase)
  • Cardinals (0.4 percent increase)

League Average for Smallest Beer: $5.86

Cheapest Beer (smallest size available)

  • $4.00 (Royals and Diamondbacks)
  • $4.50 (Angels)
  • $4.75 (Pirates)
  • $5.00 (Reds, Astros, Orioles, Brewers, Rangers)

Most Expensive Beer (smallest size available)

  • Giants ($8.75)
  • Rays ($8.00)

League Avg. For Hot Dog: $3.70

Least Expensive Hot Dog

  • $1.00 (Reds)
  • $2.50 (Pirates, Orioles)
  • $2.75 (Diamondbacks, Brewers, Rangers)

Most Expensive Hot Dog:

  •  $5.00 (Dodgers, Marlins)
  • $4.75 (Astros)

Fan Cost Index Avg: $196.75

Most Expensive (by FCI):

  • Yankees ($410.88 – 49.4 percent increase from year prior)
  • Red Sox ($326.45 – 0.2 percent increase from the year prior)
  • Cubs ($305.00 – 18.6 percent increase from the year prior)
  • Mets ($258.97 – 3.1 percent increase from the year prior)

Least Expensive (by FCI)

  • Diamondbacks ($114.24 – down 29.8 percent from the year prior)
  • Pirates ($135.06 – down 4.1 percent from the year prior)
  • Angels ($141.18 – down 2 percent from the year prior)
  • Reds ($144.76 – down 8.6 percent from the year prior)

The timing of the Team Marketing Report for this year’s Fan Cost Index coincides with MLB releasing what they are touting as “Affordable Ticket Options” for 2009.

Select Read More to see MLB's Affordable Ticket Options for 2009

Affordable Options

(Click to read in PDF)

Source: Team Marketing Report, Major League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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