Being a Red Sox Fan Is Expensive
If there’s any downside at all to winning a World Series title, it’s that being a Red Sox fan is now the most expensive proposition in Major League Baseball. Beating the Yankees never felt so … meh.
According to the latest Fan Cost Index, an average ticket at Fenway Park costs $52.32. That’s 80 cents more than the $51.55 it costs to see the Yankees, and almost double the league average of $27.93. Thanks to the Sox’s popularity, the team was able to raise prices 4.8 percent over last year. (On average, league prices went up 2 percent.)
If you were hoping, foolishly, for a price dip, at least note that the teams that saw declines in ticket prices almost usually played some intensely bad baseball. The Houston Astros cut prices by 13.6 percent, having had their worst-ever season with 111 losses. After 2011’s epic collapse, the Red Sox didn’t lower prices (they’d never do something that drastic!), but they did keep them the same. Last season, scared of breaking their streak of “sell-out” games, the Fenway Sports Group offered temporary deals on concessions. A beer cost an astonishingly reasonable $5.
It was not to last. We’re in a brave new world where teams apply a Moneyball-like approach to concession pricing. The Fan Cost Index calculated prices for an assortment of ball-game purchases, like beer, soda, hot dogs, parking, hats, etc., and totaled them. Again, Boston was the most expensive. We saw a 7.3 percent rise in prices for this total-package measure.
Quartz‘s Mike Jakeman points out that the cost of living in various cities affects how much these prices differences matter. Boston has higher wages than Oakland, so we can afford to pay slightly more for our leisure. Jakeman used the Fan Cost Index data and median wage statistics to calculate the affordability of a baseball game in various cities. He found that, yes, it did bump Boston from the top of the list. (Chicago Cubs fans have to spend the biggest portion of their wages on a game.) But we’re still the third least affordable team. But hey, a few more World Series wins should take care of that. (Can’t we can’t say we’d mind too much.)