If you have bought a ticket to a Dodger game at Dodger Stadium this year, odds are high that your wallet has felt the pinch. To be fair, there are ways around said pinch but if you want to sit in a traditionally good seat at Dodger Stadium, you should be prepared to pay a premium. And said cost does not include parking or concessions or any mementos.
Some statistics on the range of average ticket prices in MLB during this season have been making the rounds on social media. I decided to go to the source of these numbers for a graph that best illustrates the situation.
Find more statistics at Statista
While I have seen these numbers compiled by Statista who compiled the work of TicketIQ.com, it is worth noting two provisos regarding this data. First, the data compiled was of face-value tickets directly from the team or Ticketmaster. Second, these averages are the secondary market average list price.
Moreover, TicketIQ found that year to year, the average price of a Dodgers’ home ticket increased by an average of 43 percent overall. This percentage increase is tied for the third-highest in baseball with the White Sox and Orioles. It is worth being mindful of the fact that 40 percent of something small is usually less than 40 percent of something large. Here, the White Sox and Orioles have average prices of $113 and $123, respectively.
The Padres had the second-highest increase by percentage from year to year of 47 percent with an average price in 2023 of $140. Oddly enough, the Rangers had the highest increase by percentage from year to year of 77% with an average price in 2023 of $131. As I have argued before, ticket prices and a team’s competitiveness have some correlation but are not casual, no matter what the owners might try to get you to think.
While I think that a median figure for ticket prices would be far more instructive, I do not have the technical expertise to make that determination because I do not know how to scrape the internet for this data. Plus, I could not find the relevant data anywhere that I had the expertise to reach.
The median is the amount that is the halfway point of a data set in that half the results are more than it and half are less than it. Whereas the mean or average is the number calculated by adding up all the data points and dividing by the number of data points.
Averages are susceptible to extreme values, which can skew the final result.
Speaking of extreme values...
Eric recently discussed how we as fans are getting fewer inter-divisional games now. Admittedly, I am more torn about the change from an “unbalanced” schedule than most. Yes, I do acknowledge and appreciate that the Dodgers will visit every other stadium every two years instead of every six years.
But that change comes with both the cost of losing some rivalry games (with the Giants obviously — if only they would do something apart from be mediocre) and something else a bit less tangible. When teams like the Yankees or Red Sox come to town, it is not as epic an experience because they will be coming every other year now. Generally, that specific change is a good thing overall, but if you are someone who traffics in mystique, it is definitely in short supply as to the schedule going forward.
Even with all that said, no one passed this memo to the Dodgers.
Why? Because the Dodgers are going all out on hyping an All Access Experience for the Yankees/Dodgers game on June 3. For the
low, low, low exorbitant price of $895, you can get an infield field box game ticket and parking pass, a Yankees-Dodgers themed pregame tour with the team historian, a catered pregame reception with Orel Hershisher, and $100 bucks in concessions credit.
Admittedly, lunch with Orel Hershisher and a tour with the team historian are very cool ideas and are certainly valuable to someone with the means and desire. I cannot fault the Dodgers there. Granted tours normally cost far less than that, but for a specific theme tour with a VIP, I can see the argument for it.
But truthfully, the $100 in concession credit rings a bit cheaply in this package in the same way that food and non-alcoholic drink were not covered in that same irritating way I complained about in Anaheim. Considering that we recently covered the cost of $7 Dodger Dogs and the most expensive beer in the majors, $100 in concessions is not going to go as far as one would hope.
Heck, as of this essay, there are still Home Run Seats available for this game at $385. Yes, that price is expensive, but this ticket comes with all-you-can-eat food (from a selection) and non-alcoholic drinks. If you want the Carne Asada pizza or a Michelada, you’re going to have to pay for those. I have sat in these seats and it’s awesome if you have never sat there before. Moreover, these seats are best when shared with a friend.
But wait, Michael, you say — I want to spend more; $895 is child’s play! For an additional $595, you can get a pregame field visit with Dave Roberts and an autographed ball by a current player or Roberts. If you want to spend almost $1,500 on a non-playoff ballgame, you certainly have the right. I certainly won’t judge you, but I certainly would not spend that amount for the reasons I have listed.
But as I railed against during 2023’s FanFest, you, my dear reader, are not an ATM. Sometimes it just feels like this team treats its fans like living wallets with the sole purpose of giving the team money and attention.
And to add two insults to this potential injury, one, the pace of play changes mean that this game will likely be done without two and a half hours, which feels bad given the cost, and two, the Yankees are pretty mediocre this year. In theory, the visit of teams that have not visited in a while should be exciting, but with the schedule changes, by definition, they will be less so.
Honestly, the games between the Rays and Dodgers in Tampa over the Memorial Day holiday likely will have some more pizazz in the baseball sense.