The Life and Death of the Chicago Cubs Season Ticket Waitlist


The Chicago Cubs season ticket waitlist is meaningless. Yes, there are over a 100,000 names on the waitlist, but there will be 100s of unsold season ticket seats on Opening Day 2013.

I attended the season ticket holder seat relocation event this year and downgraded my seats to a cheaper section. I was one of the last to attend the event this year and took photos of and counted the number of available season ticket seats. The photo above is one I took of the left field corner – look at all those seats! My count is a conservative estimate and is by no means exact, but it could be the best information available outside the Cubs front office (it does not include partial plan seats, which had their own color tags).

There are approximately 1,700 season ticket seats available in the bowl. The majority of the available seats are located in Field Box OF (500), Upper Deck Box IF (410), and Upper Deck Box OF (420). While these are great sections to sit in, they are very expensive per seat: $5,200, $4,800, and $3,400 respectively.

The season ticket waitlist select a seat event was Saturday (12/8). The Cubs will not be able to sell all of the available seats to those invited or on the list: ticket prices are too high for the typical fan to afford as season tickets; the economy and wages remain depressed; and the Cubs have played and will likely continue to play loosing baseball.

Yes, I and many other season ticket holders renewed, but I’m shocked by the number of season ticket seats available at the end of the relocation event, a dramatic change from 2008. The numbers are clear: declining attendance since 2008 (-12%); high rates of no-shows in 2012 (24.9%); rock bottom prices on the secondary market ($0.16); and now, season ticket seats will go unsold in 2013.

These numbers suggest the business side - Crane Kenny and crew - are failing in the face of challenging conditions on and off the field. Their approach for 2013? Stay the course, which will result in a bloodbath in terms of ticket sales and attendance. This is more lost revenue that the baseball side could have spent to improve play on the field.

Ultimately, this is about if and when the baseball side can bring winning baseball back to Wrigley, and whether the demonstrated and continued failure of the business side will delay or possibly prevent a World Series win by 2020. Time will tell.

One additional comment regarding the bleachers:

It is not possible to do a similar count of the Bleachers, but I would estimate that there are between 250 and 500 bleacher season ticket seats available, if not more. I base this estimate on the high cost of a bleacher seat, a similar price point as the sections with the highest availability, and conversations I had with a Cubs ticket rep during the season ticket event. Add these to the 1,700 I counted and there could be between 1,950 and 2,200 season tickets available, or between 7.8% and 8.8% of the 25,000 total. Here’s the table of my count and the dollar amount associated with those lost sales (before the 12% in taxes):


$ Per Seat Price

Seats Available

$ Total


$ 24,000.00


$ 432,000.00


$ 7,110.00


$ 14,220.00

cb of

$ 5,912.00


$ 23,648.00


$ 5,858.00


$ -

fb of

$ 4,610.00


$ 2,305,000.00


$ 4,299.00


$ -

tb of

$ 3,443.00


$ 137,720.00


$ 4,249.00


$ 1,742,090.00

bx of

$ 3,050.00


$ 1,281,000.00


$ 3,602.00


$ 216,120.00

tr of

$ 2,176.00


$ 478,720.00


$ 1,644.00


$ -

r of

$ 1,457.00


$ 29,140.00


$ 2,746.00


$ 686,500.00


$ 7,346,158.00

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Al Yellon, managing editor (unless it's a FanPost posted by Al). FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans.

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