Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead Analyst) Follow @chuckbooth3024
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Stop me if you heard this before…Baseball is dying.. Come on folks, the actual facts don’t suggest that at all. Sure if you are going back to the day when there were 3 networks on TV, and that is it.
I am going to let you in on a little secret here. Back in 2004, I was once a NHL hockey fan. Yeah, let the stereotype stand for living north of the border, but yeah I followed the sport religiously, even more than baseball for a period.
At that point in my life, I had been to about a hundred games live in Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary, and had been to exactly 3 MLB games (1 at Skydome in 1989, and 2 at Olympic Stadium) in the mid 90’s.
Once I went to Safeco Field once in 2005, I was hooked and had the vibe to see all other 29 parks in rapid fashion.
My love for viewing baseball parks escalated from there into 4 world record chases – to become the fastest to see a full game live at all 30 MLB Stadiums.
A lot of my friends and family are often baffled why i don’t just watch hockey, and support the local hockey team. My interest dwindles every year, and especially now that I am more rabid about baseball than ever, doing this website daily.
This year was the 1st year I bought a ticket for an NHL game in 13 years. The Vancouver Canucks were playing one of those “Heritage Winter Classics” and the venue was BC Place Stadium.
I have often been on board saying this multi-purpose building would be in the top 15 MLB Parks should a team be granted to Vancouver in the MLB.
Okay, the main reason why I bought a ticket, was because my oldest brother Trent was turning 40, and wanted his 3 brothers, (me being the 3rd of out 4 boys) to join him for the match.
it took an extreme circumstance for me to fork down my hard-earned cash. The price tag was $180 for the ticket. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw the price.
i mean I could buy 9 single game tickets to watch the Seattle Mariners play baseball 110 Miles away. Even with the travel costs included, it is still about a 1/4th of what tickets go for to watch hockey.
Canada is hardcore when it comes to their national pastime,. as such I have been left out of the buying market since 2001.
There is no way I am paying more than $40 for an event. I mean, I have bought tickets to Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium for about 30% of even that mark before. No chance in hell I am laying out $150 for horrible seats.
I still like hockey live, but it may be another 13 years before I hit another game in Vancouver.
Not all markets are bad for that sport. I have been to the arena’s in Columbus and Denver while abroad on travel, and paid what I would typically for any baseball park.
2014 was the 1st year I have had season ticket holder rights. I don’t go to every game, but have a stake in a timeshare of duckets, that see me pay about $35 for a pair of tickets in the LF bleachers at Safeco Field.
As stated previously, I live 110 Miles from Safeco Field, and just 2 miles from the border to the USA. Believe me, I spend more than half of my free cash there- in food, clothing and entertainment.
Canadians make more money on average, and are able to border hop, where the prices reflect what the economy makes down there. Meaning I can buy things for about half the price as I can in Canada.
At about $20 in gas per round trip, it is less than the parking I could find in downtown Vancouver for a hockey game, and where there is absolutely no where to park for free.
Out of the whole year in Seattle, i have only paid for parking once, and that was opening Day. $15 for the whole campaign is outstanding.
I am quite sure I could have skated on that too had I left earlier in the day.
There are about 10,000 places to park in downtown Seattle if you are wiling to walk about a mile. The same can be said for a lot of the U.S. cities that have baseball parks.
Out of the 300 games or so i have been to in the last 6 years, I have averaged about $17 per ticket purchased. The cheapest single game tickets are in Atlanta (Skyline tickets for $1 on gameday at the box office), and I paid $2 for a ticket at O.co during a summer Tuesday game.
There are the $4 or $5 tickets that place you in the Rockpile Seats in Colorado.
The one park that is not so cheap is US Cellular Field, where the cheapest ticket runs about $20 – and you can’t visit the lower deck at all.
Most MLB Parks you can roam around the concourse for a single game ticket, and have a great vantage point for the game despite not paying for it.
My favorite stadiums for doing this are; Safeco Field, AT @ T Park, Yankee Stadium and Minute Maid Park.
Back to my original point. I am able to travel on a day trip to Seattle, and myself and a guest only costs about $55 total for the entire event combined.
I hardly ever buy any food at the park, as Little Caesars, Carl’s JR, Sonic and Popeye’s are favorite places to fill up on food before you make it to the stadium.
Now baseball is smart to have this kind of pricing. Yes, they still have the stupid money cost tickets at some of the ballparks, however it is one’s choice whether they want to dole out the cash for it.
More importantly, if you just need one singular ticket to a game, I have never had a problem in any of the parks in the last 5 years.
i will say about 5 – 6 years ago, it was tough to find tickets for Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field, but all of that has changed now.
Stubhub and other ticket buying communities online have helped squeeze out the tickets people were selling to folks outside of the stadiums before, ripping them blue.
I particularly love the New Yankee Stadium. I always buy last minute single tickets from Stubhub, and go down to the Will Call ticket wicket, (which is nice because there is not a huge generic wait like the regular wickets).
The last time I bought a game ducket in the Bronx, it ran just $12.
Next year, I am going to about 230 games total over the 183 days of Major League Baseball. I would never be able to fathom this idea in hockey. At least of 1/3rd of the markets would bleed my dry in the wallet for their single game tickets.
In contrast, i was scouting out going to a Seahawks game this year. Good luck,..The cheapest ticket was for $130.00, and finding parking on those days is impossible. I mean, they are selling $55 Parking vouchers as a good deal.
NBA is much like hockey, in that some arena’s are better than others. but all of them can’t compete with the value of baseball.
When you are going to a barrel full of games in one MLB Season, the key is to not spend any money inside the park.
I routinely make sure I am so stuffed before entry, that food is the last thing on my mind. I will do the same thing in my quest next year.
Out of my 230 games next year, I will be stunned if I spend over $3000 in total for all the tickets. That would not even equal $15 per game, it is roughly $13 per. I am not sure you can even gain admittance to a movie these days for that much.
During the trip next season, I am divulging full financial disclosure on every day of competition.
Look, I understand people’s motivation to sit in closest proximity to the games, and for people willing to shell out vast amounts of money to see games, I am just not that person.
I love walking around to watch the action live from all over the ballpark. I will always buy the cheapest tickets to enter a stadium. Of course if teams want to comp me (like they have done before….hint…hint..) I am all game for that.
Baseball is alive and well in my view. I see people from aged 1 – 100 attend baseball games, and where do you see that in any other sport
Some of the parks I have been, I swear on certain days, the girls outnumber the guys.
I also see the biggest amount of kids at baseball games than I do at NFL, NBA or NHL games. I can’t speak for collegiate and University Sports, but I am sure I am right on the mark in that assessment against them as well.
Minor League Baseball will also see 60 MIllion fans this campaign, which is about 10 more Million than Major League Baseball.
While I advocate going to the yard whether it is Major or Minor League, I prefer watching the big league’s more than the Minors, and the cost had narrowed between the two entities more than ever..
This article is written about value only. I will leave another article for writing about the growing amount of length per game each year, as I believe that may be a major deterrent in future generations, however when you talk about bang for the buck, baseball is it.
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