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Over 1.3 Million Fans Attend Opening Day Across MLB, Up Under 1% From 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 11 April 2011 00:00

Opening Day 2011UPDATE: Using ESPN's Team Schedule data for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010 has uncovered an error. That data (which shows 16,191) as attendance for the 2010 home opener is incorrect. The actual game report on ESPN shows that the game was a sellout of 36,973 (102.6 % of capacity). This article and data has now been updated to refect the correction. (A hat tip to Cork Gaines for addressing the error. -- Maury Brown


Each of Major League Baseball’s 30 clubs have now hosted their Opening Days, and with it paid attendance for the first games totaled for 2011 was 1,310,905, up .3 percent from 1,314,467 on Opening Day in 2010.

Ballparks saw attendance at an average of 101.3 percent capacity on Opening Day, a sign that clubs were able to sell standing room only tickets. Two-thirds of the league saw attendance on Opening Day above 100 percent with the Marlins seeing the largest over normal capacity figure of 41,237 or 113.5 percent of the 32,495 that the Marlins normally allocate in cavernous Sun Life Stadium that also hosts the Miami Dolphins. For a true ballpark where it is not a multi-purpose, such as the Marlins and Athletics play in, the Brewers drew 109.8 of capacity, or 46,017 against the Braves. The “least filled” ballpark on Opening Day was U.S. Cellular Field where the White Sox hosted the Rays. The club drew 38,579 or 95 percent of the ballpark’s 40,615 seating capacity.

In a sign that fans revel in the love a new season, total paid attendance for the game after the season opener was 925,853, a 29.4 drop from Opening Day. Just two clubs (Phillies and Red Sox) saw increases of less than 1 percent (.8% for the Red Sox and .5% for the Phillies). The largest decline from Opening Day to the second game after opener goes to the Cleveland Indians who drew 41,721 on Opening Day against the White Sox, only to free fall to just 9,853 the next day, a decrease of 76.4 percent. The other large decliner was the Baltimore Orioles who saw 46,593 on Opening Day but just 12,451 the next day, a decrease of 73.3 percent against the Tigers. It should be noted that the Orioles lowered seating capacity from 48,290 to 45,971 this year, thus filling Camden Yards to 101.4 percent.

As a matter of comparison, MLB saw an average of 30,138 across 2,424 games last season. Opening Day 2011 drew an average of 43,697, a difference of 13,559 per game.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE HOME OPENER ATTENDANCE; ATTENDANCE FOR SECOND GAME OF HOME OPENER SERIES; 2010 HOME OPENER ATTENDANCE; BALLPARK CAPACITIES; % OF CAPACITY FOR THE 2011 HOME OPENER, AND; AND % +/- ACROSS THE DATA

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Is MLB Poised to see an Attendance Rebound in 2011? PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 29 March 2011 07:50

Whether it’s the economy beginning to pull back from its chilly ways, increased competitive balance, flexible pricing, or all of the above, according to early season metrics, Major League Baseball is poised to see an attendance rebound this season after seeing declines the last three years.

According to a report in this week’s SportsBusiness Journal, “Commissioner Bud Selig declined to project a specific attendance increase for the season. But after drawing 73.06 million fans in 2010, down 0.4 percent from 2009, this year’s total will likely fall somewhere between 75 million and 78 million, an increase of 3 percent to 7 percent.”

Over the off-season, the league created new panel called the Commissioner’s Ticket Review Committee. That committee has several league departments in play, including, MLBAM and senior executives from six clubs: the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians.

As the report notes, there are still question marks, namely around the New York Mets who are fighting off the Trustee working to gain monies back as part of the Bernie Madoff scandal. Ownership was deeply involved with Madoff. On top of the legal battles, attendance has been down considerably since moving into Citi Field – 19 percent. The club has  employed ticket discounts to try and gain fans back.

Early numbers show that the Twins already sold more than 2.9 million tickets for 2011, and as expected, after winning the World Series for the first time since moving to the West Coast, the San Francisco Giants are seeing robust sales. Other increases have been with the Texas Rangers, and Brewers, who in mid-January had reached one million tickets sold for the 2011 season, which tied the 2009 season for the earliest date that the club had achieved the milestone in franchise history.

“I’m really bullish on this season. We’ve got some great empirical data coming in,” Selig said to the SBJ. “I want to see a nice increase this year, and I’m very hopeful, very optimistic and confident that we’re going to do it. It should be a big, big year.”


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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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. 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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Not Just Tickets, Brewers See Increase in Suite Sales After Greinke Trade PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 23 December 2010 14:51

On Weds. the Milwaukee Brewers announced that since the Sunday afternoon when news of the Zack Greinke trade with the Royals broke, the club had added over 1,500 new season seat account holders. That compares to 400 new account holders who signed on during the first two-plus months of the off-season at the same time last year.

But what about suite sales? Since news of the trade broke, the Brewers say that they have secured renewals on two of their Founders Suites, which are located on the Field Level. They have also renewed five Club Suites (Club Level) and have also had a number of inquiries from potential new customers regarding Club Suite availability.

In many ways, the Greinke trade is likely to generate more revenue than when they worked the trade with the Indians for CC Sabathia in 2008. That was an in-season deal that happened just before the All-Star Game, and therefore couldn’t be leveraged toward season ticket and suite purchases.


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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. 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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Phillies Feeling Ticket Bounce After Cliff Lee Signing, But How Much? PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 20:35

PhilliesGive it to the Philies (and their fans) for packing the house. Last season the Phillies drew a total of 3,647,249 to Citizens Bank Park ranking them second to only the New York Yankees. The total comes to an average of 45,027 or 103.5 percent of capacity and averaged 44,453 of 102.2 percent of capacity in 2009 (filling above 100 percent denotes bringing fans into standing-room only).

With the Phillies bringing Cliff Lee back into the fold (see the contract details here), some have asked how the club will be able to keep from collapsing under player payroll weight. The Phillies ranked second in average player salary last season, according to the MLBPA’s annual report (see details here). Unless the club sheds considerable payroll, the likelihood is the Phillies will be in the same position next year, possibly worse.

Back to the Lee signing and attendance, it isn’t to say that the Phillies aren’t benefiting from his signing in terms of ticket sales. According to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer the Phillies sold 15,000 tickets on the day Lee made his decision to go back to his former team. Through StubHub, secondary ticket sales for the Phillies after the Lee signing ranked behind New York Knicks games - especially one against LeBron James' Miami Heat - and the Auburn-Oregon BCS Championship game as selling hotter.

But, taking full advantage of the Lee signing, as it might have been with the Rangers, is a matter of limited ticket resources. Season tickets for next season are sold out leaving just six-pack ticket packages and single game tickets left for purchase. The latter won’t go on-sale until Feb. 17.

John Weber, the Phillies’ vice president of sales and ticket operations said that on top of season tickets being all gobbled up, before the Lee signing, all suites had been sold for the upcoming 2011 season. “The signing had no impact on long-term leased suites,” Weber said.

So, while there is clearly a benefit in bringing Lee in to a “historic rotation”, as he put it, in terms of ticket sales it might be marginal compared to how key free agents impact sales (a good example was when Manny Ramirez came over to the Dodgers). So, Lee’s signing value in ticket sales might only be seen in the postseason or in following years, and even that is debatable given how the Phillies have been filling the house in recent years.

And while the signing might not be leveraged as completely as other clubs through ticket sales, it will likely be a part of any discussions when renewing television deals at the local and regional level.
In other words, the Phillies have a bit of a problem, but it’s a nice one to have. Most any club would love to say they’re in a position where months before the season starts, they have nearly sold out of all their ticket inventory.


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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. 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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Mets Lower Ticket Prices for Most Seats for 2011 Season PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 05 November 2010 07:38

MetsWith declining attendance that has been tied to a poor showing in the standings, the New York Mets are lowering some ticket prices throughout CitiField for the upcoming 2011 season. The restructuring will see a reduction in ticket prices by an average of more than 14 percent from last season. In addition, season ticket, ticket plan and group ticket customers receive an additional 10 percent discount.

Within the 14 percent average price decrease, the Mets have made the following adjustments to Citi Field's 41,800 seats:

  • Ticket prices for 62 percent of the ballpark have been reduced
  • More than half of all seats have double-digit price reductions
  • 18% of the seats have been cut by 20 percent or more
  • 8% of seats have price decreases of 30 percent or more
  • Several seat categories have increases that average approximately 5 percent

Along with those changes, the Mets are looking to not only pick up gains at the turnstiles, but retain those that may be consider jumping ship on the club. Season Ticket Holders will begin receiving their invoices - which reflect their additional 10 percent discounts - by next week.

In addition, the Mets have added the "Amazin' Mets Perks" (AMP) program that allows Season Ticket Holders access to some additional benefits such as being able to do BP on off-days, meet and greets with new GM Sandy Alderson, players, and meet Mr. Met.

The Mets have revised their variable pricing plan to four tiers named as followed: Marquee (four games), Premium (22), Classic (25) and Value (30).

"The Mets are committed to providing quality and value to our fans," said Dave Howard, Executive Vice President, Business Operations. "We reduced ticket prices for 2011 based on fan feedback and marketplace information. We introduced Season Ticket Holder discounts and the 'Amazin' Mets Perks' program as a way to thank and reward them for their loyalty and commitment."

Select READ MORE to see the complete list of Mets 2011 ticket prices

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Red Sox Hold the Line on Most Tickets for 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Tetreault   
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 10:00

The dreary economic situation continues to hold ticket prices mostly in check, even for the franchise that holds the longest streak of consecutive sellouts in MLB history. The Red Sox announced that ticket prices would be held at 2010 levels for the majority of seats at Fenway Park.

Of the increases, none exceeds $5, and affect approximately 30% of seats, all of which are in locations designated as "prime infield ticket locations."

In addition the club announced that all their 2011 spring training tickets would continue at 2010 pricing levels for City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Florida. This is the second consecutive year the organization has frozen tickets for spring training games.

Tickets will be available to fans beginning on December 11th at the annual "Christmas at Fenway" event.

Click here to read the full Red Sox press release and a chart of the new ticket costs.

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World Series Ticket Sales on Resale Market Averaging Over $1,000 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 22 October 2010 14:51

2010 MLB World Series

The Phillies fought off elimination last night, and the Yankees will try to do the same tonight against the Rangers (8pm ET on TBS). But, fans are already thinking ahead to the World Series, which will start next week in San Francisco or Philadelphia on Weds. With that, here's what tickets are going for on the ticket resale market based on * FanSnap, a online ticket comparison shopping site, as of yesterday.

Asking price

- Phillies = $1,597

- SF Giants = $1,431

-TX Rangers = $1,081

- Yankees = $847

In terms of how ticket sales are going for the remaining LCS games...

ALCS tickets in Texas

- Game 6 tickets average $223 (lowest price tickets are $83)

- Game 7 tickets average $305 (lowest price tickets are $85)

There are more than 11k tickets currently listed for Game 6 and more than 17K tickets listed for Game 7.

NLCS tickets in Philly

- Game 6 tickets average $437 (lowest price tickets are $168)

- Game 7 tickets average $514 (lowest price tickets are $178)

There are more than 6k tickets currently listed for Game 6 and more than 5k tickets listed for Game 7.

* Fans use FanSnap to shop 50+  secondary market ticket sites for the best deals on sports, theater and concert tickets. Of those 50+, 17 are listing tickets for the ALCS in Texas.


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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. 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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Texas Rangers Near Complete Sellouts for Potential World Series Games in Arlington PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 17 October 2010 22:25

Texas RangersWith the Rangers knotting up the ALCS at a game a piece against the New York Yankees, fan interest in tickets for possibly the first World Series in Texas Rangers history is a fevered pitch.

As of 4 p.m. CDT today when the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington ticket windows and phone sales closed for the day, all reserved seats and most other ticket inventory have been sold for all three possible 2010 World Series Games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The Rangers first potential home game, Game 3 on Saturday, October 30 is a complete sellout. Less than 50 obstructed view tickets remain for the Rangers second potential home game, Game 4 on Sunday, October 31. Less than 500 obstructed view and standing room tickets remain for the Rangers third potential home game, Game 5 (if necessary) on Monday, November 1.

There are less than 2000 obstructed view seats and standing room tickets remaining for a potential Game 6 of the 2010 ALCS versus the New York Yankees, which would take place on Friday, October 22 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (7:07 p.m. CDT).

There are less than 2500 reserved seats, obstructed view seats and standing room tickets remaining for a potential Game 7 of the 2010 ALCS versus the New York Yankees, which would take place on Saturday, October 23 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (7:07 p.m. CDT).


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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. 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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Phillies Highest, Yankees Lowest for LCS Ticket Prices on Resale Market PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 15 October 2010 00:50
LCS by team
Damn Yankees? Of the 4 LCS teams in 2010, the Bronx Bombers are  posting,
not the most expensive, but lowest average ticket price on the resale market.
The Phillies, with Roy Halladay pitching only the second no-hitter in postseason
history, are leading for most expensive resale tickets (Source: FanSnap
)

Some might look at these numbers and say we’ve entered Bizarro World. Of the four LCS teams (Phillies, Giants, Yankees, Rangers), the vaunted New York Yankees are not the highest priced tickets on the resale market, but rather the lowest of the four.

According to ticket comparison company FanSnap, at $276, the Yankees have the lowest average ticket prices for the LCS. The highest average resale ticket price goes to the Phillies ($504) followed by the Giants ($375), Rangers ($310), and then the aforementioned Yankees.

NLCS tickets, for the entire series, are averaging $447, which is 50 percent higher than the ALCS average ticket price of $298.

AL vs NL - LCS Ticket prices

As far as individual games go, according to FanSnap, the hottest games by a sizeable margin in the LCS are both in Philadelphia where Game 7 is averaging $575 and Game 1  featuring Lincecum vs Halladay is running at an average of $552.

Below is a breakdown of prices, by club, for LCS tickets on the resale market as tracked by FanSnap:

Phillies tickets:

  • Average = $504
  • Lowest price = $160
  • Diamond Club seats start at $770 and average $1,174
  • Infield seats start at $400 and average $620.
  • Baseline tickets start at $350 and average $499
  • Outfield tickets start at $300 and average $443

Giants tickets:

  • Average = $371
  • Lowest price = $120
  • Lexus Dugout Club seats start at $1,398 and average $1,565
  • Field Club seats start at $650 and average $1,138.
  • Club Infield tickets start at $450 and average $690
  • Bleachers tickets start at $150 and average $239

Rangers tickets

  • Average = $315
  • Lowest price = $85
  • Premium Infield seats start at $518 and average $1,059
  • Lower Infield seats start at $379 and average $563.
  • Corner Box tickets start at $138 and average $350
  • Bleacher  tickets start at $150 and average $215

Yankees tickets:

  • Average = $276
  • Lowest price = $114
  • Legends seats start at $1,844 and average $3,077
  • Field Dugout seats start at $515 and average $896.
  • Field Outfiled tickets start at $185 and average $400
  • Bleacher  tickets start at $120 and average $170

Source: FanSnap


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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. 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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