World Series Tickets at All Time High, The Increasing Price of Major Sporting Events

Jacobs Field in Cleveland the day of game one of the 2016 World Series between Cleveland and the Chicago Cubs. Photo Credit: Arturo Pardavilla III

As the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in the World Series this year, fans found it harder and harder to enjoy the game they love with the steepest ticket prices of all time. The average selling price for tickets to get into Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, was just under $3,000 according to TicketIQ. This was almost half of what the average asking price was, between $5,400 and $7,400 for games 3, 4, and 5 in Chicago. As for tickets at Progressive Field, Cleveland’s home stadium, prices were much lower yet still more expensive than almost every other World Series game. The average sell price for tickets in Cleveland are around $1,500 according to Samuel Chi of ThePostGame.

Most of the large increase in prices can be attributed to the fact that both the Indians and the Cubs have not won a World Series in decades. The last Indian’s World Series was in 1948, which is not much compared to the Cub’s last World Series in 1908. Both teams have a combined 176-year title drought, the longest combined by two teams in the World Series ever. Fans of both teams were craving to have a World Series title brought home and clearly were willing to shell out the money to have the opportunity to see it live.

These long title droughts do not mean that tickets prices for future World Series games will be more expensive than this year. Over the past few years, average resale prices for tickets have been around the $1,000 mark. Fans wanting to see their teams break their title droughts has increased demand, but this won’t be the same next year. The Cubs had not played in a World Series since 1945 and therefore fans had an exceptional demand to even see their team play in the series. Of the 30 MLB teams, 28 have been in a World Series since 1979. The other two teams, the Nationals and Mariners, have yet to make a World Series. A matchup between these two teams would possibly have tickets as expensive as this year’s World Series, but is still doubtful since the combined title drought is only a mere 88 years compared to the 176 years between the Cubs and Indians.

In an attempt to save some money, Cubs fans realized they could sacrifice watching the games at Wrigley and instead purchase tickets to the games in Cleveland. Cubs fans were able to save more than $1,000 by doing this, and then use that saved money to travel to Cleveland and purchase a hotel room for the night. This has most likely been realized by Cubs fans, as SeatGeek reports that “25% of the people who have searched for tickets on its website live in Illinois, compared to 36% in Ohio” as stated by Matthew Rocco of Fox Business.

“The face value of Super Bowl tickets have increased almost exponentially.” Chart credit: Stephen Smith of CBS News

This increasing trend in ticket prices is not uncommon in the other major sporting event championships. The face value of Super Bowl tickets have increased almost exponentially. In comparison, NBA Finals average ticket resale prices from this year’s matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors were the highest ever recorded at just over $1,500 according to Brad Tuttle of Time. For almost every year, ticket prices have increased for these championship games. Clearly the demand is high enough where fans are willing to spend thousands of dollars to attend their team’s championship games. In the future, it would not be surprising to see tickets for title games increasing, but it is unlikely to reach the level of this year’s World Series.


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