Baseball’s Opening Day Ticket Prices: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not?

Adam Young | March 31, 2017
Ticket prices.
With an average resale price approaching $300, tickets for the Chicago Cubs’ home debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers is baseball’s most expensive opener in 2017. The Cubs’ season opener on April 2 in St. Louis comes in second with an average purchase price of $221 on the secondary market.

According to data released by online resale marketplace Event Tickets Center, both Cubs games are the only openers with average prices above $200. The next highest average prices are in Texas, Atlanta—where the Braves are set to open SunTrust Park—and Kansas City. On the other end of the spectrum, the cheapest openers are in Anaheim, Minnesota and Miami.

“The Cubs are dominating everything right now,” said Event Tickets Center CEO Adam Young. “They led the market in Spring Training and their fans are clamoring to see them start their season as defending champions.”

Across the league, there are 19 teams with opener tickets averaging more than $100 and only four – Milwaukee, Miami, Minnesota and Anaheim – averaging under $70. The Boston Red Sox show strong demand as an early World Series favorite, as do the Cleveland Indians coming off their 2016 American League pennant. Their division rival Kansas City Royals are only two years removed from a World Series title of their own.

It’s that recent playoff history that Young sees is exciting fans across the league.

“If you look at teams in the top half of sales, they’ve all been in the playoffs at least one of the past few seasons. The only exception is Atlanta, where they’re opening a new stadium and fans are eager to be there for the experience. We’re seeing less demand in markets where teams haven’t made recent playoff appearances,” said Young. It’s not, he pointed out, helping every team. Pittsburgh and Washington have both been playoff entrants in recent seasons but demand for their opener is below struggling teams like Cincinnati and San Diego.

Teams like Miami, Milwaukee and Minnesota at the bottom of the list are in the midst of long playoff droughts. Miami, however, is seeing prices go 15 percent higher than their 2016 opener after the team had its best year since 2010. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have the cheapest average ticket price for their opener having missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons and coming off their worst season since 1999.

Savings to be had for fans who wait

Young said fans looking for a deal on tickets can skip Opening Day and go to their team’s second game. On average, a fan who waits just one day to see their team can save $80 compared to what they would have spent on Opening Day.

“Markets with more expensive openers generally see a drop of $100 or more from game one to game two. The data shows this year that’s closer to $150 in places like St. Louis and Texas. Fans of teams with relatively low-priced openers won’t see as much savings, but there’s still a deal to be had if you don’t mind missing the ceremony that comes with the openers.”

The average resale price for every Major League Baseball team’s home opener is listed below. The figures are calculated on a per-team basis and represent the average selling price of all tickets sold for each team’s first home game.
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