With Major League Baseball’s postseason set to start soon, fans of the 10 teams still in contention for a World Series title are scooping up tickets. But with a limited number of games and high demand, ticket buyers must pay a hefty premium for postseason seats.
TiqIQ determined how much the average postseason ticket costs, both in dollars and as a premium relative to regular season prices. On average, tickets for the National League Division Series are nearly twice as expensive as in the regular season. In the American League, they are more than two and a half times as costly. Tickets for a Cleveland Indians game during the Division Series cost nearly 700% more than the regular season.
The enthusiasm of a team’s fanbase, TiqIQ’s Jesse Lawrence explained, often drives up how much the team is able to charge in the postseason. Boston has some of the most fervent fans in sports, Lawrence said, which helps boost Fenway’s prices considerably. Adding to the demand, he noted, “It has been six years since Boston won the World Series. Fans are rushing back in, especially after last year, which was a disaster. Now, they’re one of the favorites to win the World Series. I think that level of enthusiasm has really driven up prices.”
While baseball’s big names do not drive fans to games in the same way as in other sports, such as basketball, Lawrence noted that star players can still increase fan excitement and therefore ticket premiums for postseason baseball. Dodgers’ rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig’s meteoric rise to stardom has likely contributed to fans’ enthusiasm this season, Lawrence added.
A team’s fanbase will often pay a larger premium in the postseason when it has lacked success for a long time. The Pittsburgh Pirates last made the postseason 21 years ago, and fans will pay a massive premium to watch a postseason game. Cleveland, which has the highest premium in the postseason, hasn’t won a World Series since 1948.
While fans may be willing to pay these prices to watch their teams play postseason games, unfortunately, many won’t be able to go to the games. Under baseball’s current format, there are four Wild Card teams, yet only two will advance beyond the single-elimination game held in each league. Fans of the two teams hosting Wild Card games, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, will have to pay premiums of 281% and 427%, respectively, to attend these games.
While fan enthusiasm plays a major role in setting the ticket prices, the availability of seats is also an important factor. “It’s an issue of simple supply and demand,” explained Lawrence. “If you increase demand on top of constricted supply, prices go up.” Boston and Pittsburgh, two of the teams charging the highest average dollar amount for Division Series games, have fairly small stadiums, with a total capacity of under 40,000 seats each.
Using data provided by TiqIQ, 24/7 Wall St. compared the premiums for the average Division Series ticket to that team’s regular season ticket price. All prices are as of October 1. Not all teams selling Division Series tickets will advance past their league’s Wild Card game to the next round. In addition, we reviewed stadium capacity, average home attendance, and win-loss records for the regular season, all obtained from ESPN. Previous postseason records came from baseball-reference.com. All price estimates are subject to change.
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