As winter turns to spring, and spring turns to summer, there are few pleasures that sports fans love more than heading to the ballpark to see your favorite baseball team battle it out on a beautiful afternoon. In 2008, those sports fans are going to have reach a little deeper into their pockets.
According to a study by the company Team Marketing Report, the average ticket price for a Major League Baseball game increased 10.1 percent from last season to $25.43.
Nearly every team has increased their ticket prices for the 2008 season with some of the usual suspects leading the way. In what has become a pattern for Red Sox fans will have to pay a league high $48.80 a ticket, while Cubs and Mets fans have seen an increase to their average price to $42.49 and $34.05, respectively.
But the team that has made the biggest splash in the world of ticketing is the New York Yankees. This year can be described as an impact year for the Bombers; it is their final year in the historic Yankee stadium before moving into their brand new stadium in 2009, and that is to go along with their already incredible drawing power. So what would be a better time to raise the average ticket price to $41.40 each and elevate the highest box seat price from $150 to a whopping $250 apiece, an increase of 67 percent. Just twenty years ago that same seat cost just $11.00.
The Yankees also announced this past week that beginning next season in their new ball park there will be 1,800 luxury seats that will be located right behind home plate, and will include amenities like free parking, free food and waiter service. For those few that can afford it, they will get to pay $2,500 a seat, one of the highest prices for a single ticket in sports.
“Some people can afford to fly first class and others can’t,” Yankees’ Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost told ABC News. “This is about providing luxury. It is an additional experience.”
Trost added that the price for the bleachers at the new park will not increase and therefore will not price out the average fan. But once completed, the New Yankee stadium will seat about 50,000 which is 4,000 less than the current stadium, all while increasing the number of luxury suites.
This year’s price increase has not turned away fans from buying tickets to MLB games, though. According to the league more than 19 million tickets have already been sold online surpassing the mark of 14.7 million sold by this same point last year.