FanPost

A Case Study – the behavior of Cubs tickets on Stubhub for Opening Day

I love doing analysis on various things, it is in my nature. I wanted to have a fact based post on Cubs ticket price behavior. Hopefully this post accomplishes two things:

  • If you are a buyer of Cubs Tickets, you get them at the best possible price

  • If you are selling Cubs tickets you get the most for your tickets

Approach

  • Took a high demand game (Opening Day) and watched the following each day from 3/24 to 4/4 on Stubhub

    • The Cost of Bleacher tickets (they are a "commodity" since they are general admission)

    • The Cost of the lowest tickets for sale

    • I mimicked "selling" Bleacher tickets to get access at recent sales to determine median sales price of those Bleacher tickets that actually sold

Results

  • On 3/24, Bleacher tickets were selling for a median price of $83, they steadily declined in prices to about $60 prior to Opening Day tickets "expiring" on Stubhub 6 hrs before gametime (~33% cheaper than cubs.com price of $90 for one bleacher seat)

  • Bleacher tickets "sold" for a given day were 10% cheaper than the lowest available seat for sale

  • On 3/24, the cheapest tickets on Stubhub were $45 and hovered at that price for ~10 days, but from 3/31 to 4/4 they plummeted down to $24 as the game got closer. With the exception of the Mastercard 19.14 seats, the cheapest ticket for opening day for one ticket on Cubs.com was $47 after fees

Findings

  • This aligns to my experiences when I had to sell tickets in 2010-2012 – Tickets were most valuable before the season started, and plummeted if you had to sell at last minute

  • The weather did not help this game as it is miserable today. If it was 60 degrees, I think prices would have been higher with increased demand.

  • When tickets are for sale on Cubs.com, you will likely always find tickets cheaper on the secondary market (Stubhub / Ebay / BCB). In other words, NEVER buy from Cubs.com the rest of the year (with the exception of Mastercard 19.14 seats)

  • If selling the tickets, if you undercut the lowest ticket in section by at least 10%, it has a much better chance to sell. This is especially true for the bleachers.

  • Ticket prices will go south in a hurry the last few days before a game. If you are selling tickets, get rid of them ~2 weeks or more from game. In this case study you could have sold a bleacher ticket for $83 on 3/24, but would have received ~$60 if you had to dump them yesterday.

  • You are likely to NOT get a profit from selling most seats to most games in 2014. Sorry, but it is true. (Club Box and Club Infield and some Saturday summer games may be the exception here as businesses are willing to pay more to entertain clients/employees as well as tourists don’t know better).

  • If you have season tickets, leverage friends and family to use/buy tickets to games you will not attend. Use the phrase "I will remember who supported me during the bad years to help determine who watches playoff games with me in the future"

  • If everyone going to the game will be going together, I would HIGHLY recommend the Mastercard 19.14 seats (if you can get the Upper Deck Box seats (400 section) and upgrade as the game progresses)

  • And lastly, if you really want to get in for cheap, go to Wrigleyville, have a beverage at a bar and buy tickets after the game has started (though beware of bogus tickets).

Hope this helps - Enjoy



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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