MLB Pro Ticket Price and Attendance Analysis

MLB Pro Ticket Price and Attendance Analysis

The following takes a look at ticket price and attendance information from the 2016 and 2017 MLB Pro seasons.


The influence of fan support on the outcome of a baseball game cannot be measured. While many argue that a loud fan base can energize the home team, intimidate a visiting team, or play a role in influencing an umpire on a tough call, what cannot be disputed is the economic impact fan attendance can have on a franchise.  Quite simply, the more fans that show up to a game, the more money that franchise can potentially put back into the on-field product.

In the 2017 MLB Pro season, attendance jumped just over 4.2 million fans compared to the season before.  Eighteen franchises saw an increase in their attendance, led by the Los Angeles Dodgers who averaged an additional 18,000 fans per game. Of the twelve franchises that saw their attendance drop in 2017, no one saw a bigger drop attendance than the Miami Marlins who lost over 14,000 fans per game.  Besides disappointment on the field, the Marlins decision to raise ticket prices nearly $3.50 was a big cause for the attendance drop-off.  While the attendance rise was seen league-wide, the league-wide average of +1,768 falls to just +647 when the dramatic increases in Los Angeles and Tampa Bay are excluded.

In a recent Baseball Illustrated survey, fans indicated that they believe the average ticket price should be $25. [NOTE: $25 is the in-game average ticket price within the financial setup page]  Last season, twenty-one teams had a ticket price above that price point.  The Cardinals, Cubs, Rangers, Red Sox, and Yankees had the five-highest ticket prices last season.  The quintet averaged just 71% filled stadium capacity.

Last season. eight teams averaged a filled stadium of at least 85% on the season. Of those eight teams, the Angels, Phillies, Tigers, and Twins all were above 90% — with the Angels 98.2% just edging out the Tigers at 97.9%.


LEAGUE OFFICE TAKE

This material was put together at the request of a few GM’s.  The decision to price your tickets at any price point within the rules.

SECTION OF LEAGUE CONSTITUTION WITH REGARDS TO TICKET PRICE:

While ticket prices will be acceptable anywhere within the $15-$40 range, it is imperative that teams use some discretion when adjusting prices. In 2013, only 1 team had an average ticket price for the season exceed $30. Please keep in mind the average price when determining if your team should exceed the league average and by how much. Use common sense, recent and current team success, fan interest, and market size to determine what is appropriate for your franchise. The Board will continue to monitor teams and what they ultimately decide to charge. If we determine a price to be unrealistic according to the above guideline, we will be in contact with said team in the hope of finding an appropriate ticket price.

Taking that into account, keep in mind a team like the Yankees have priced tickets at just over $31 last season.  A team with the pedigree, fan interest, market size of New York should continue to serve as a high end of things — the 75% stadium fill of the Yankees does not bat at an eye to the league office.  Teams like the Angels, Mariners, Tigers — three teams with lengthy periods of MLB Pro success, with varying market sizes and high fan interest, are all in the $26-$28 range.

Coming off of losing seasons, drops in attendance, and an average stadium capacity at roughly 60% of lower, teams such as Cleveland, Colorado, Miami, Oakland, and Pittsburgh..etc. MIGHT want to look at lowering ticket prices.

If you have any questions on the matter, do not hesitate to ask. I would be more than willing to offer my take on any price change you are considering.


 

MLB PRO 2017 ATTENDANCE & TICKET DATA

Team

2017 Wins

2017 Attendance

Game Avg.

Change From 2016

Capacity

Percent Capacity

2017 Ticket Price

2016 Ticket Price

Arizona

53

2,149,293

26,534

+6,773

49,033

54.1%

$20.64

$26.56

Atlanta

89

2,999,220

37,027

+4,394

50,096

73.9%

$27.00

$26.70

Baltimore

89

2,649,878

32,714

+11,601

48,876

66.9%

$15.92

$19.02

Boston

72

2,320,267

28,645

-533

37,400

76.6%

$31.56

$35.93

Chicago (AL)

61

2,052,906

25,344

+1,415

47,098

53.8%

$18.98

$22.84

Chicago (NL)

85

2,485,656

30,687

+4,900

41,118

74.6%

$35.90

$33.13

Cincinnati

93

2,872,464

35,462

+9,197

42,059

84.3%

$24.49

$23.04

Cleveland

67

2,136,130

26,371

-11,967

43,345

60.8%

$25.31

$24.37

Colorado

76

2,156,638

26,625

-5,384

50,445

52.8%

$26.59

$24.39

Detroit

90

3,313,910

40,912

-461

41,782

97.9%

$26.89

$26.97

Houston

54

1,278,866

15,788

+1,949

40,950

38.6%

$21.76

$25.22

Kansas City

79

1,035,955

12,789

+2,321

30,030

42.6%

$29.79

$30.73

LA (AL)

105

3,582,976

44,234

+1,317

45,050

98.2%

$28.76

$27.29

LA (NL)

89

3,748,331

46,275

+18,443

56,000

82.6%

$23.22

$25.51

Miami

66

1,627,792

20,096

-14,449

37,000

54.3%

$26.03

$22.58

Milwaukee

85

3,038,380

37,510

+1,272

42,200

88.9%

$26.07

$25.39

Minnesota

97

2,951,293

36,435

+5,926

39,504

92.2%

$25.22

$25.83

NY (AL)

86

3,198,448

39,487

-2,077

52,325

75.5%

$31.02

$30.65

NY (NL)

95

3,195,608

39,451

-1,469

45,000

87.7%

$29.18

$29.43

Oakland

79

1,433,538

17,698

-502

35,067

50.5%

$28.14

$29.37

Philadelphia

86

3,209,921

39,628

+7,043

43,647

90.8%

$28.83

$29.86

Pittsburgh

72

1,932,981

23,863

-3,513

38,496

62.0%

$21.85

$21.06

San Diego

88

2,122,417

26,202

+10,121

42,245

62.0%

$28.39

$31.72

San Francisco

62

2,782,060

34,346

-6,055

41,503

82.8%

$28.40

$27.14

Seattle

100

3,259,195

40,236

+1,365

47,116

85.4%

$26.44

$26.32

St. Louis

87

2,630,733

32,478

+671

46,861

69.3%

$30.27

$30.82

Tampa Bay

85

2,344,165

28,940

+16,491

36,048

80.3%

$26.16

$34.00

Texas

82

2,438,926

30,110

-2,653

49,115

61.3%

$30.51

$29.83

Toronto

85

3,409,321

42,090

-3,412

49,539

85.0%

$24.81

$23.43

Washington

74

2,309,571

28,513

+315

41,888

68.1%

$22.71

$22.03

League Avg.

2,555,561.3

31,550

+1,768

71.8%

$26.36

$27.04