Is it really for the fans?

By: Bobby Beaudoin

Have you ever thought about how expensive it is to take a family trip to the ball park, and asked yourself why are ticket prices so expensive? The sports industry in today’s world is worth billions of dollars; baseball alone is worth over 30 Billion dollars.

Baseball tickets alone have begun to increase with the economy beginning to turn around. The average price of a family to go to a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway park is almost double the price of the average baseball team. The price of the tickets are becoming more and more determined by other factors besides the economy, such as the weather, the opponent, and what day of the week the game is on. Similar to airlines, major league baseball is beginning to implement the marketing strategy of dynamic ticket pricing. This way they can get the most for their money.

As a fan myself, I have asked the question of, “Why am I paying this much for one ticket,” but I continuously return to watch my beloved team play. This is why the teams can have such high prices for their tickets. They use the tactic of supply and demand. These sports teams are criminals when it comes to taking money. They know that, with the right team, they can make the most money. This is where trade oriented promotion takes its role. The teams begin to purchase the best athletes to attract more of a crowd, because they know the better the team, the better the attendance at the games.

Another major role into how these companies make so much money, and why the ticket prices are so high, is the investments that they make in advertising. Advertisements are key to the team’s success. Each team needs to carefully choose the correct advertising that will help get their team the best publicity possible. An example is all of the advertisements leading up to a major rivalry game, or every logo you see on cups or anything branded by the team. All of the branding costs money, and the teams need to generate enough revenue to be able to brand their team to the maximum potential.

One of the key ways for teams to get their names across is not only being good and having talented players, but paying for the best time slots and television stations available. An example of this would be the Patriots trying to buy the 4 o’clock broadcasting of the football games. They would do this to get on to a nationally televised station, which would help brand their name and improve their sales in all memorabilia and tickets.

Overall, I do not believe that the teams need to charge such an extravagant amount of money for their ticket prices. I believe that they are doing it to be greedy and try and make the most money for themselves. I mean, after all, isn’t it supposed to be about family time, and watching all of your favorite teams winning at a low price? Many families aren’t even able to afford to go to these games, which is a shame. The sports teams need to look themselves in the eye and ask the question, “are we doing what is best for their fans?’


19 thoughts on “Is it really for the fans?

  1. Chris Lantagne March 31, 2015 / 2:11 pm

    Obviously, everyone is going to want ticket prices to be lower, but I don’t envision teams ever reducing the pricing simply because they know they can charge a lot and they know people will still attend. I’ve been a San Francisco Giants fan my whole life and they do the same pricing strategy (I’m sure every team does it). Whenever they play the Dodgers for example it’s usually always a 3 game series starting on a Friday night. Also, in the past, tickets for when they played the Padres were usually cheaper than other games. It’s like the Red Sox playing the Astros. However, this year I’m sure ticket prices for Padres vs. Giants games will skyrocket since there is a lot of hype this season with the Padres (Kemp, Upton Shields signings).

    I will say though that if we are paying such high costs for tickets it would be nice if other costs were down. For example, I personally would never drive in for a Red Sox game and physically park my car somewhere. San Francisco is the same thing. The parking prices are just as bad as the ticket prices. Lastly, concessions. I don’t see concessions going down in price, but I do expect half decent quality for the price we pay. A perfect example was with the Kansas City Royals. Concessions in Kansas City skyrocketed during the World Series last year for obvious reasons, but they later found that there was mold where the food was being prepared and dough being used for pizza that was way past the expiration date.


  2. Cody J. Russell March 31, 2015 / 5:27 pm

    Coming from San Diego, I don’t have any storied franchises (baseball or football). Unless you want to count the late 90’s when the Padres got swept in the world series by the Yankees, or the Chargers getting slammed by 23 points against the 49ers in Super Bowl 29, San Diego isn’t a team in a place raise ticket prices for any reason. It is almost the opposite. When the Padres moved from Qualcomm to Petco Park, ticket prices were actually lowered in some aspects. There is a hill in center field (the park in the park) where you can get into the game for $5-8. For field level seats or behind home plate range from $50-125. Prices are fairly low. For the Chargers, tickets are possibly as expensive as other teams, but some games can’t even be shown on TV because of the blackouts. Prices vary for different teams and it’s all about 1 thing… wins baby! If it is a lower team in the league without any world series championships, no one will pay as much to see them as the will the Yankees with 20 some World Series wins.

    Fans will come no matter what, that is a given. But in my opinion teams should lower prices. Maybe if they spend less on tickets they can spend more on merchandise. It is just a thought, but trying to make a few extra bucks in what they think is a guaranteed way (ticket pricing) is very greedy and even has the possibility to draw customers away.


  3. Ryan MacLeod April 1, 2015 / 12:37 pm

    It’s unfortunate but Baseball seems to be a big business as opposed to a fun loving game we used to play as kids. We hear about big off-season signings which are almost always followed up with bigger ticket prices. You hear about teams starting certain pitchers on certain nights to attract more fans to come and essentially make more money. I also recently heard that a minor league player who is dominating in the pre-season will not start for the major league club, but stay in triple A because the team will save money in the long run if they keep him in the minors for another year. Each one of these instances further prove that baseball is sadly a business before it is a fan loving game.


  4. Andrew Dresner April 1, 2015 / 4:56 pm

    This is a trend that I don’t see slowing down anytime soon. Going to a game is truly an experience and can sometimes resemble an outdoor bar scene. Organizations are consistently trying to put the best product on the field and when they do they reap the rewards from the fans and everything else that comes with winning games and championships. All the time fans complain when they’re team isn’t performing at a top notch level and often money plays a big part in bringing a team back to relevancy. Prices are what they are but when history is being made on the football field or baseball diamond people seem to forget about the other things.


  5. Zi Wang April 2, 2015 / 3:42 am

    I think that the expensive tickets of sports game could be accepted. Sometime, the ticket’s price equals to team’s performance and achievement. If a sport team is popular, undoubtedly most people are willing to watch the live games. Therefore, the ticket price will increase along with more and more people like it, vice versa. In addition, I believe that high price tickets is a kind of marketing method. The high tickets can represent the team’s games which are popular. At the same time, it also show that there are a lot of people who want buy it.


  6. Brandon Gobbi April 3, 2015 / 6:35 pm

    I do agree that ticket prices across the four major sports in the United States are expensive, especially for the teams who are successful. But working for the New England Patriots, I understand why ticket prices are so expensive. Teams like the Houston Astros in baseball or the Jacksonville Jaguars in football have only a few players on their teams that are payed a huge amount of money. Looking at the 2014 season, the Patriots had players like: Tom Brady, Darelle Revis, Rob Gronkowski, Jerod Mayo and Devin McCourty all make over $20,000 a year. I do understand that ticket prices are outrageous, but I do see why these teams need to charge large amounts of money for a game.


  7. william matthews April 5, 2015 / 10:53 pm

    As a huge baseball fan myself I am always looking to go catch a game at Fenway, but it’s not always easy because of high ticket prices. But that does not stop me, last summer I went to multiple Red Sox games for less than $20 each. I believe that if Professional sports teams did not have such high priced tickets, they would not be able to provide a good game for the fans to watch. Although it is unfortunate for families to have to pay so much money to catch a game, I feel as though if they didn’t pay that much the game would not be as entertaining. They should keep charging high prices for tickets because the ticket revenues pay for better players and more team publicity. In conclusion, although it is unfortunate to have to pay so much money just to see our favorite team play, they are our favorite team for a reason (amazing big name players.)


  8. Mattia Lanzi April 6, 2015 / 11:32 pm

    I also do agree that ticket prices must be expansive in the United States and all around the world. Its a business and i can understand why they are expensive, there is a big work behind it. It is very hard for families to purchase tickets to catch a game, but for big games the tickets are worth for the show that they offer. Popular teams have expensive tickets and thats totally acceptable.


  9. Joe Greco April 14, 2015 / 8:20 pm

    I really enjoyed this presentation in class and also enjoyed reading the article because as a big sports find I find this all to be so true. For example the average Bruins ticket is priced atleast $70 and can go up as much as even another $100 more depending on the opponent, as a die heart Bruins fan i find this to be a big slap in the face. But it is just not the Bruins, other big time sports franchises whether it is in the NBA, MLB, MLS, or NFL all do the same thing with outrageously high prices. Going to a sporting event is so costly it isn’t even fun anymore, I’d rather watch for free at home by this point.


  10. Patrick Saunders April 23, 2015 / 11:12 pm

    I agree with one of the first comments mentioning how ticket prices are so high simply because the organizations know they can charge that amount and still draw an exceptional crowd or even sell out. Going to any live sporting event such as a Sox game, B’s game, or Pats game as high as the ticket prices are i still understand and can’t complain too much. It is unfortunate, but i feel that you have to realize the “experience” behind it all. By attending any sporting event no matter the time, you have the chance to witness history happen. That exact point is another reason why i feel that prices will just continue to go through the roof. You just have to realize how big of an industry it is.


  11. Ryan Etter April 27, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    In this article i think you get what you pay for. Yes its expensive but sports are a business too they have to make money. The achilles heel is how expensive the food is there. Nobody likes paying 7 bucks for a water and 15 bucks for nachos its absurd. I think sometimes the experience is outweighed by the prices though.


  12. Billy Muldoon April 28, 2015 / 12:11 am

    I agree that the average cost to attend a sport’s game is a little outrageous. However, you are paying for the experience of the game. You are able to see the game first-hand rather than through a television screen and the organizations know that, hence why the price’s for tickets are continuously rising.


  13. Meghan Saldutti April 28, 2015 / 1:24 am

    I agree that prices of going to baseball games should be lower especially for big families to attend but it also a business that needs to make money. I do think baseball players or even other athletes make a ridiculous amount of money but sadly that is just the way it is. Maybe one day baseball parks will have “family days” where there are discounted prices so people of all different incomes can bring their children to the games.


  14. Blake Boudreau April 28, 2015 / 6:19 am

    As fans, we will always want the ticket prices to be lower. It’s in our human nature, but it’s simple. As long as the ball park has the demand for the tickets then the prices will stay high. People will ultimately pay for these tickets. The ball park is a business it doesn’t feel bad about the people who can’t afford a ticket. Their goal is to turn around much profit as possible.


  15. Brian Vatkevich April 28, 2015 / 9:02 pm

    All people whether they are fans or not can decide how low a ticket is, it is however unfortunate that good teams typically have higher prices as the demad is much higher. All people are “votes” that decide how much they want to pay for things. When the demand is high ball parks and other venues can charge more for their tickets. Bobby Buckets.


  16. Jimmy Clark April 28, 2015 / 11:42 pm

    There have been few time where I have considered to go out for an afternoon at Fenway Park but decided again’t it because I didn’t want to pay $60 to sit 600 feet from home plate. I understand these major league sports teams have demands to make revenue, but if you’re looking to increase attendance, it doesn’t help that a majority of your fans can’t afford tickets. My dad tells me stories about the old Hartford Whalers where him and his buddies would walk up and buy $20 tickets to watch a playoff game against Boston Bruins or the Montreal Canadians. Major league sporting events have become something targeted at adults with high income, where they are losing the popularity of young college kids and teenagers looking enjoy a day watching their favorite athletes.


  17. Charlie O'Connor May 7, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    Ticket prices around professional sports obviously vary from city to city and team to team and depending on success or the organization. We have been blessed to have won many championships here in Boston and we need to recognize that is going to drive ticket prices. One thing I wanted to point out is that going to Fenway Park is clearly not to experience a state of the art facility, in fact it’s quite the opposite. With the Red Sox playing in the same stadium for the past century, they are able to sell tickets based on the nostalgia people get from sitting in an old park, where their grandfather brought their father and their father brought him. I know this is the case for me at least, if I ever have a son, I will be more than willing to pay a higher price in order to experience the same thing generations before me did. Even when the Sox stink we tend to see a relatively full stadium which is much different in places like Tampa, where they can’t give tickets away. I have friends from PA and the first thing they want to do this summer when they visit is go to Fenway. I think the Red Sox are striking while the iron is hot and I don’t blame them for that. Not to mention multiple World Series Championships will also drive the price up….In the mean time, take the train, everytime.


  18. Alicia April 14, 2016 / 7:08 pm

    Referring to the Boston Red Sox, I don’t think their tickets prices are outrageous. I know it costs a lot more to go to a Patriots game or Bruins game, than it does to go to a Red Sox game. Obviously, ticket prices also depend on where you are looking to sit int he stadium. The closer you are to the field, for example, the more money you are going to pay. There are seats at Fenway that are far cheaper, and even though they may not be the best seats, you still get to experience the game. There is something special about baseball that attracts anyone and everyone. Even if you aren’t a baseball fan, it is still really exciting to be at a professional game because of the atmosphere in the stadium alone. For many people, the game of baseball is meaningful to them because of the nostalgia it brings. In this case, it shouldn’t matter if you have fancy seats that cost a lot of money. With all professional sport leagues, not just MLB, the way pricing goes, along with attracting fans to the stadium and having a successful team are a cycle. If you have a successful team you will attract more fans and in order to have a successful team, you need talented players and experienced staff. Talented players cost money, which the team partly generates from fans, who attend games, and spending their money on tickets, concessions, and memorabilia.


  19. Kevin Poulter May 7, 2016 / 2:27 am

    Going to a sports game has become more of a business instead of appealing to fans. They know if your team is doing well they will sell out regardless so might as well as raise the prices to benefit the franchise. Prices have fluxuated dramatic for the Celtics over the years and season ticket holders still purchased tickets regardless the price because they love for the desired team. Going to a game is a experience that you cant recieve while watching the tv. They want to experience the next big moment. For example the lakers tickets at the low were 45 dollars for bleachers but for Kobe’s last game that same seats were selling for over a grand.


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