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)
- 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.