Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Some numbers, notes on Series tickets

Tickets remain are out there for the World Series here, and they're costing an average of $822.

Some numbers, notes on Series tickets

Part of the hunt for Red October is already under way in Philly, where StubHub.com reported that Phillies World Series ticket sales between midday yesterday and midday today increased 141 percent.

 

 

 

 

Mike Garvie, of TicketNetwork.com, said earlier today he saw about 1,400 available tickets listed for Citizens Bank Park for each of the three possible games here. StubHub was showing more than 2,500 tickets for Game 3 next Saturday. A comparatively new platform, ninjatickets.com, featured listings from several different secondary sites that, for Game 3 anyway, totaled 21 pages. Game 4, by the way, is next Sunday, Oct. 26, and Game 5 will be played here Monday, Oct. 27.

 

 

So what are tickets costing? On average, StubHub reported $822 for Games 3 through 5 in Philly. Get-in prices appear to be around $450, with the upper range going into the thousands of dollars. Tickets in Tampa seem to be selling on average about $260 cheaper than in Philly, around the cost of a round-trip AirTran flight from here to Tampa International Airport .

 

 

Garvie didn’t see the outcome of the American League Championship Series affecting prices too much. “I have the feeling if the Red Sox would find a way to win that Series, it might send the prices a little bit higher,” he said, “because that Boston-Philadelphia rivalry might be more of an attractive draw than a Tampa-Philadelphia series.”

He said the get-in price to Tropicana Field was $275, as compared to $600 to Fenway Park in Boston . Overall, the average price for World Series tickets in Tampa was $565 as of today and a little over $1000 for seats in Boston .

 

It’s hard to tell how soft the demand will be in Tampa , where the Rays averaged just over 22,000 despite occupying first place for much of the season. Only in the last month has the team really caught on in that market. Capacity at Tropicana Field is similar to Citizens Bank Park , around 45,000. StubHub was reporting that 2,500 tickets remained for Games 6 and 7 of the ALCS, scheduled to be played in Tampa, at an average price of $186 on Saturday and $179 on Sunday.

 

 

Meanwhile, the average price for Boston ’s three games in the ALCS was $257. But the Boston Globe was reporting in a Thursday story that playoff games at Fenway Park this postseason were “selling barely above face value, and sometimes less.” A field-box ticket that would have gone for $1800 in 2004 and $900 last year was selling for $300 for this series, only $25 above the face value. So maybe even that market would give Phillies fans a chance to root on their team in enemy territory. 

 

 

Sean Pate, of Stubhub.com, said that he expects to see two trends over the coming week as the remaining tickets are sold for the games here. Some will jump in now and buy what’s available, while others will wait to see if the lower-priced seats or standing room dip to their price point. “The market is setting itself right now,” he said earlier today. “It remains to be seen how low they will go.  I wouldn’t expect to see anything below $350.” Then, echoing Garvie, he added: “Now if the Red Sox were to come back and somehow win this series, that could change the price. You’d have Red Sox Nation in the mix and the more glamorous marquee series.”

 

 

A spokesman for the Phillies said today that all their tickets are taken. Not only did season ticketholders who wanted them receive the tickets back before the playoffs started, but an online lottery that could be accessed on the team's Web site is finished and the winners were notified yesterday by e-mail.

 

 

Should Philly stick around the $820 average price for a ticket, it would be somewhere in the middle of what it has cost the past five years to attend a World Series game. It will higher than what it cost to see the Cardinals ($627) and Tigers ($623) play in 2006 and the Cardinals ($721) in the 2004 World Series, but lower than the prices to see the Red Sox in 2004 ($1767) and 2007 ($1279), the Astros ($1135) and White Sox ($1421) in 2005, and the Rockies ($927) last year.    

  

In fact, the average price of a ticket for this World Series figures to be lower than any recent Series except for 2006.

 

 

Bottom line, it’s a big, big investment for a lot of folks, but on average the ticket price for this series comes pretty close to matching the cost of other league championships. For instance:

 

 

  • The average cost of a ticket to the 2008 Stanley Cup finals between the Penguins and Red Wings was $531.
  • The average cost of a ticket to the 2008 NBA Finals between the Celtics and Lakers was $773.
  • Same for the 2008 NCAA Final Four in San Antonio , which was $655.
  • Meanwhile, football is in its own league as far as where those ticket prices settle. The average price for this year’s BCS Championship between LSU and Ohio State was $1363.  
  • And the Super Bowl trumps them all. All these numbers come from StubHub’s Pate, who noted that the average price of a ticket to see the Eagles and Patriots play in Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville in February 2005 was $2659. That number had increased appreciably for Super Bowl XLII between the Giants and Patriots, played in February in  Glendale , Ariz. That AVERAGE cost? $3540.   
Paul Vigna
About this blog
Paul Vigna still has the seat he wrestled out of the concrete at Connie Mack Stadium parked in the finished basement, a 1980 Phillies championship mirror hanging above it. Now, why he’s kept an autograph of former Flyer Bruce Gamble on a sheet of Hockey Hall of Fame paper is another story. A native of Philly who grew up in Lansdale, he’s an assistant sports editor at the Daily News in charge of special projects who has written two columns related to sports and consumers: View From the Seats and Savvy Consumer.

ABOUT THIS BLOG:
Athletic contests were, for a long time, simply fun and games. Nowadays they’re just a small part of a sports entertainment industry that puts billions of dollars into play and a number of issues into motion. Moneyball indeed. You might be closer to the action than ever before, but that privilege comes at a price - and often it’s beyond what you can afford.

With that as the backdrop we’ll use this blog to dig out stories and swap advice about how the fan experience is changing and what it’s costing you now and in the future. Some of it will educate, some will let you vent. And in a sports panel format, it should allow for a consensus of opinion that can carry some weight.

Reach Paul at vignap@phillynews.com.

Paul Vigna
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