For the fifth consecutive year, the Boston Red Sox will increase ticket prices.
Team president Sam Kennedy told the Boston Herald that “it’s a goal, not a mandate” to lower the payroll under $208 million while also increasing ticket prices in 2020. He said that ticket the team had a “pretty consistent” approach to ticketing over the last five years; the team froze ticket prices ahead of the 2012, 2013, and 2015 seasons.
“Low single digits and cost of living inflationary increases,” Kennedy said. “We haven’t made a decision for 2020 but I would anticipate another modest increase.”
Ticket prices over the past four years have increased by 1.4 percent, 2.9 percent, 2.5 percent, and 2.5 percent, respectively. The payroll, on the other hand, has shifted back and forth, starting around $204 million, dropping to $192 million, rising to $239 million, and now, reaching at $240 million, the Herald notes.
Kennedy noted that there is a clear correlation between spending and winning, since the Sox had the highest payroll in baseball and still won the World Series last year. Aside from the Yankees, he said the team has invested more into player payroll than any other team, yet still has the highest winning percentage.
The increase in ticket sales follows news of MLB overall attendance dropping to its lowest in 16 years. This season, total attendance is down 1.7 percent from last year, drawing in only 68.49 million, and is the lowest season on record since 2003. Multiple teams have been offering intiatives to bring in more fans next year and the Sox will follow suit; next season, the team plans to continue their student ticket initiative with $9 tickets, while also putting aside tickets for kids free of charge.
“On lower demand games you might have an opportunity to do that,” Kennedy told the Herald of free tickets for kids. “It really is an investment in the future.”