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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  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.


    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:


    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.