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An Updated Look At Cubs Secondary Market Playoff Ticket Pricing

Thinking about going to NLCS games? Here’s some info that will help you.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

BCB reader Lifetime Cubs Fan has done significant research all season, and also for the division series, into Cubs ticket pricing on the secondary market.

I turn the rest of this post over to him as he has updated info, through Friday night, on pricing not only for the National League Championship Series, but for potential World Series games.

When it comes to purchasing Cubs tickets to National League Championship Series games, good things come to those who wait.

This post might be very beneficial for those teetering on purchasing tickets for Games 1 and/or 2 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field. I have good news for you if you have waited: Prices have come down significantly. Comparing price observations taken on 9/26 to observations made at 11 p.m. on 10/14 (just a few hours ago), you can see that tickets have decreased by more than 50 percent for the sections observed (which is consistent with what we saw for NLDS games):

In addition, the variance across the 11 least expensive sections has compressed in the last 10 hours. At 1 p.m., $146 separated the sections, at 11 p.m. that difference was only $59.

This behavior aligns with a suggestion I have made previously: If you are willing to spend a little more per ticket, you can significantly increase the quality of your seat.

For those willing/wanting to take action for seeing game 1 tonight, I have some information you may find useful. As of 11 p.m. Friday, there were almost 3,000 seats available for NLCS Game 1 (which is a lot so close to the cutoff). Though some tickets have been listed at really, really high prices, there are many seats that must be sold (as the person selling them has no means to get to Wrigley). If you are reading this between 9:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. CT on Saturday, you are in luck as this is the prime ‘panic selling’ time period. Though you will need to scour Stubhub, and be quick to pounce when you see a reduction, you should be able to get tickets at/near the lowest price they have been offered. However, if you wait too long to pull the trigger, you will enter the ‘panic buying period’ as the reductions become fewer are farther between.

Interested in going to NLCS Game 2? I think you are in luck (relatively speaking). Since there are almost 6,000 tickets available, it is a Sunday, and with a slightly iffy weather forecast, there is a strong possibility tickets will decrease from their current pricing. See below for some recent observations made at two different times Friday.

How many of you are heading to Los Angeles to see a game? Tickets are easy to come by and a lot cheaper than what we are seeing for games at Wrigley.

If you do not have tickets, but want to see NLCS Game 3 in L.A., my advice is simple: wait. There are 14,000 tickets available for Game 3 on Stubhub. I predict that you could get tickets for under $50 if you time it right (Though a 5 p.m. local time start is better than the afternoon starts for the NLDS, it is still not for everyone.) For the August 28 Cubs/Dodgers game, I paid $14 for an $80 ticket. For both NLDS games, tickets could be had for as little as $11.

Pricing behavior for Games 4 and 5 will depend on if a team has an opportunity to clinch. If not a potential clinching game, they will likely follow in the footsteps of Game 3. Is now a bad time to say I might have two extra tickets for Game 4?

A brief update on World Series ticket price trends. Below is a chart for the cheapest seats by home team by the date of price observation. As you can see, Cubs home game tickets are still multiple times more expensive than for Indians or Blue Jays home games, and it will be interesting to see how that trend continues if the Cubs are able to win the NLCS and get to the World Series.

And speaking of the World Series, I had an interesting conversation with someone this weekend on grappling with the expense one might encounter seeing the Cubs in the World Series. I will share his perspectives with you. When I said it could cost $3,000 just to get into Wrigley (and not have a very good seat), his reply was simple:

“If it was me, I would do it (go). Yes, you would likely spend far more than you ever have on a game, but if it has been a lifelong passion, would you regret not going? Though it could take many months and maybe even up to a year, could you recoup the $3,000 by avoiding certain expenses? Do the math, and I don’t mean to sound like Sally Struthers, but $3,000 is about $8 per day. There is a lot of little things one can do to save that $8 per day, and if you still come up short, tell your wife, no gifts are needed for Christmas, birthday, and Father’s Day for the next few years.”

Since Al is too smart to post the barcodes to his World Series tickets, I wish all of you searching for a World Series ticket, the best of luck in finding that $8 per day.