September has been rough for the Boston Red Sox. At the beginning of the month, they were leading the American League East by one-and-a-half games over the New York Yankees, but the team has gone 6-18, as of today, September 26. The Sox are now eight games behind the Yankees and are struggling to maintain the one-game lead they have over the Tampa Bay Rays for the last Wild Card berth.
The Red Sox are typically a lock for strong secondary ticket sales, due in part to the team’s eight-year-old streak of sold-out games at Fenway Park. But for the first time in several years, the team’s poor performance on the field could possibly affect ticket sales.
On the secondary market, prices for post-season Red Sox tickets have been falling. Russ D’Souza, founder and CEO of ticket search engine and price forecaster SeatGeek.com told TicketNews that uncertainty about the Sox is spooking some buyers and resellers.
“There has certainly been a drop in ticket prices over September,” D’Souza said. “Most teams are going upward in ticket prices because it’s clear they’re going to make the playoffs. But there’s so much uncertainty about the Red Sox right now that it’s actually driving prices down.”
Currently, the average price for a Sox ticket on the secondary market is $59, according to SeatGeek, which is considered low by Red Sox standards. The Red Sox have three games left this season, against the Baltimore Orioles, at Camden Yards. The Rays face the Yankees down in Tampa for their last three games.
The Red Sox hold the highest sellout streak in baseball and one of the longest in professional sports. The current record holder, the Portland Trailblazers, sold out 744 games from 1977 to 1995. Continuing the streak is not just a matter of pride: for the Sox, the streak is a huge revenue source.
Jim Holzman, owner of Red Sox ticket resale partner Ace Ticket, said that primary market sales will likely remain strong despite the team’s record — and that the streak is not in danger as there are no more regular-season home games. “If they had a home game [this] week,” he said, “I could see that being a problem.”
But, if the team misses the playoffs, all bets might be off. According to Team Marketing Report, the Red Sox have the highest ticket prices in baseball, with non-premium seats costing an average of $53.38 each.
“If they end up not making the playoffs, it could affect the streak, but I expect them to come back,” Holzman said.