The All-Star Game, which will be played tonight, Tuesday July 12 at Chase Field in Arizona, is still the crown jewel of the all-star games in the four major sports, and whomever wins tonight will lock up home field advantage in the World Series for its league champion. But despite the attempt to add some meaning to the Midsummer Classic, tickets are going for far less than face value and far less than brokers paid for the ducats months ago.
StubHub.com had 1,131 tickets available as of this afternoon, the cheapest of which was a $64.98 Outfield Reserve seat. Data released by TiqIQ.com on Monday, July 11, meanwhile, revealed the average ticket to the All-Star Game was a little more than $290 — about half the average ticket price to last year’s All-Star Game in Anaheim.
“The market has sort of gone flat in the last couple of weeks and prices have dropped about 25 to 50 percent,” Bob Bernstein, the CEO of Arizona-based eSeats.com, told TicketNews. “We have a lot of seats behind home plate and those seats two weeks ago were selling for $650 to $700. Right now they’re between $350 and $500, and we haven’t seen a $500 sale in about a week-and-a-half.”
The tepid market is due to the general indifference fans and players have for the All-Star Game as well as a poorly timed spate of fury by Mother Nature in Arizona. Though the game will be played under the roof and in the air-conditioned comfort of the Arizona Diamonbacks‘ home stadium, people still have to brave the almost unimaginable desert heat to get to and from Chase Field. Temperatures in Phoenix have pushed 120 degrees this month — the city’s all-time high of 118 degrees was set July 2 — and it is expected to be a “cool” 106 degrees for tonight’s first pitch.
In addition, Arizona received some more unneeded bad weather-related publicity last week, when a surprising dust storm carried a mile-high plume of dust over a 150-mile swath of land.
“The thing is, people are not crazy about flying into Phoenix in July,” Bernstein said. “And that dust storm we had last week hasn’t helped.”
The market also hasn’t been helped by a Pro Bowl-like series of defections. Fifteen players selected to the game will not play in it either due to injury, indifference or, in the case of starting pitchers who pitched for their teams Sunday, because they aren’t allowed. The National League’s starting third baseman will be Scott Rolen, who is hitting .241 with a .276 on-base percentage and .398 slugging percentage. In addition, annual All-Star Game starters such as Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki weren’t elected this year due to injury and ineffectiveness, respectively.
“I think the market’s soft to begin with,” Bernstein said. “You add to that Phoenix in July, you add to that top marquee players not making it to the All-Star Game — no A-Rod, no Jeter — I think there’s some disappointment and I think it just translates into lower ticket prices.”
That is good news for last-second buyers who normally would be priced out of an event such as the All-Star Game. “Corporate buys are backing out of these types of big national events, to a large extent,” Bernstein said. “So we’re dealing with individual shoppers on a budget who are looking and waiting for deals. And those are the folks that are coming out on top.”