Wrigley Field: Less Affordable Than Ever

According to a study by Team Marketing Report, the Cubs have the highest average ticket price in baseball just ahead of the Boston Red Sox ($52.56 vs $52.32) with the New York Yankees third at $51.83 and the White Sox fourth at $38.65 (I guess shirtless fan attack insurance is expensive). The average ticket price in baseball is $26.79. The Cubs are second in Fan Cost Index (the price of taking a family of four to a game) to the Red Sox ($329.74 vs. $334.71). The Cubs also raised ticket prices by 10.1%, the second highest increase in baseball behind the Twins and their new stadium. The bulk of that increase being due to the addition of 12 platinum games to their tier-pricing schedule. There is no economic crisis for Cubs fans apparently.

While this is unfortunate news for anyone trying to raise their kids as Cubs fans, I don't think it's a coincidence that Boston and the Cubs lead the pack. Two of the more popular teams that play in old stadiums with limited capacity and amenities. Say what you will about the Cubs whoring out Wrigley with things like the Toyota sign, but it's a drop in the bucket to what most stadiums do, especially with their fancy jumbotrons. The economic laws of supply and demand certainly contribute, the Cubs can charge so much because people will pay so much and the cycle continues. Nonetheless, when going to a baseball game takes as much planning and budgeting as a family vacation, it's a sad reality that kids will be limited to their exposure to Wrigley Field as they grow up. Of course, with the typical crowd that seems to now take in a Cubs game, that might not be so bad.

PS - Thanks to Rob Richardson in the comments for the link, but Rob Neyer has his take on this article and explains the Fan Cost Index which includes: 2 adult tickets, 2 kids tickets, 4 soft drinks, 2 beers, 4 hot dogs, 2 programs, Parking and 2 Adult-size caps. So yeah, that's an insanely bogus little metric they've invented.

- Wrigley Field rooftops have gone insanely upscale. The Ivy League Baseball club has converted an entire apartment to a 5-level skybox. (H/t to Hire Jim Essian).

- Boston Globe has put together a real neat interactive graph showing how teams have done in various categories over their history. For example, 78% of playoff teams have been above the league average in on-base percentage, but only 56% above the league average in stolen bases. They have 10 stat categories you can break down by each of the 30 teams as well as playoff teams and World Series winners. It would be nice if they had a sliding scale for years though as right now the average numbers it spits out are for all-time. Here are the Cubs numbers:

  • 58% of the time they've hit more Home Runs per game than the average (not sure if that's MLB or NL average, probably MLB which is another issue).
  • 39% of the time they've scored more Runs than the average
  • 37% of the time they've had a higher On-Base Percentage than the average
  • 41% of the time they've Stolen more Bases than the average
  • 45% of the time they've had a higher Defensive Efficiency than the average (much better the last decade though)
  • 63% of the time they've had a higher UZR than the average (since 2002)
  • 66% of the time they've Struck more batters out than the average (2003 seems to be missing oddly)
  • 57% of the time they've had a lower ERA than the average (quite good since 2001)
  • 59% of the time they've had a lower WHIP than the average
  • 77% of the time they've had a higher Payroll than the average (since 1988)

- Congrats to The View From the Bleachers on being selected as part of Rob Neyer's Sweet Spot Network.

- Lineup for the Cubs looks the same as yesterday with Ryan Dempster making the start. Jair Jurrkens (see what I did there?) goes for the Braves with the same lineup as Opening Day as well.


thanks for the link.

Brewers win, Astros lose.


Half of the Cub's cost is parking. ;-)

ESPN 1000 Jurko said today a buddy of his who is #2000 on Cubs' season tix was called by Cubs and offered season bleacher tickets. For $ 14k he would get two bleacher tickets and the topper, early entrance to the game. So he would get seats first before regular bleacher tix holder.

Didn't hear the rest of the program to see if it anyone else called to collaborate the story.


picked up by Deadspin and other affiliates now, but Tito found it back in October and the ensuing commentary by Samardzija's friend, "jakester".

I want some of that pot that Hollandsworth is smoking.

Dude looks perpetually baked.

I enter my login name, it asks for my password, I enter it. (Correctly, even.) It asks me to enter my password, again. I enter it correctly, again. It asks me to enter my password, again. I go to register/change password, change my password, wait, then try to enter parachat. It asks me for my password, I enter it, and it asks me for my password again.


Did anything change from Monday?

I changed my password from the default one. When I requested they re-send my password, just in case, the password they sent was exactly what it should have been, the changed one.... Kept entering it, nothing. Re-submitted it as my password, waited, entered it, nothing.

check your email in 2 minutes.

Not to quibble, but in the last decade 11/13 new ballparks built have been about the size of Wrigley and several are smaller. The trend is away from big parks. And when you consider that the Cubs also get a cut from the rooftops, the ticket increases are just ridiculous.


skybox revenue and the sweetheart WGN TV/radio deal Tribco cut need to be considered...

Navigator and I looked at this when the article originally came out. If memory servers, he wasn't using a weighted average.

So if there are 900 $20 tickets and 100 $100 tickets, the 'average ticket price' is $60 (instead of $28).

So you can't look at that number and say if the Cubs sell 3.2 million tickets they get $167.4 million in revenue.

I could be wrong, but that's what I concluded.

I don't think Team Marketing Report is the same study as the earlier article which I believe was biz of baseball and Maury Brown although I could be wrong about that.

I just always assume that navigator is spinning the info somehow.

OK - the numbers look about the same, though, so I wonder if they're doing the same faulty logic - or if there are so many 'premiums' that the weighted average and stupid average are close.

I'd probably guess that these chaps bought the info from the other guy and added in their hot dog and pennant prices.

Something I'd love to see from Team Marketing Report is substantiation of the ridiculous claim that Cubs fans are no more caucasian than the average MLB team.


May be 3/44, but an interesting analysis of Wilken's drafts. I'm so discouraged by the Bears that I have to get my draft fix somewhere other than the NFL


What a team!

You go you Cubbies!

Way to blow a masterpiece by the best starting pitcher on the team.

Ted Lilly won't be back until June.

Ted Lilly is not pitching for them now.

Demp is the "Ace" at this moment.

Believe in the Demp.

Game 1: Can't pitch
Game 2: Can't hit.

Really looking forward to Game 3 -- should be a doozy for either fielding or baserunning.

It's like watching the 2008 playoffs, with the game order mixed up. Fun!

{insert angry comment here}


DET & KC tied 1-1 in the 11th. In comes Farnsworth.

Me: "Hey it's the Farns"
My 3-year old daughter: "Farns?" She turns to look. "I don't like that Farns. I only like baseball."

My thoughts exactly. Farns gives of a run. Then my fantasy closer (Valverde) loses the game. Now, I don't like the Farns or baseball.


My two year old son loves to watch baseball. Fortunately for him he doesn't yet understand the difference between the teams and what's going on and such. He just puts his arms up like the touchdown signal and screams "YYYEEESSSSSS!!!" whenever the batter makes contact. I wish I could watch Cubs games in this manner. Instead, I have to drink.

I am disappointed in the outcome, but at least Grabow did not walk anyone. Marshall looked solid. Need to escape Atlanta with one win. Look for Colvin in the lineup tomorrow.

Who sits?

Rhymes with 'soriano'.

Recent comments

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  • James Russell elected free agency.

  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the mlb.tv internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.