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A Look At Cubs Secondary Market Playoff Ticket Pricing

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Some observations on how prices rose and fell on StubHub.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

BCB reader Lifetime Cubs Fan, who provided data for us throughout the season on bleacher (and other) ticket pricing at Wrigley Field, sent me some interesting data and charts on how prices rose and fell for Game 1 of the NLDS at Wrigley Field, and also some information on future playoff games.

With that, I turn the rest of this post over to him.

What a game! What a victory! I wonder if Tom Lawless is somewhere going “Hey, my 1987 World Series home run cleared the fence by a greater distance than Javy’s dinger. It is time to give me a break for my bat flip and ‘no doubt about it’ trot from the batter’s box.”

I promise that will be the only Cardinals reference I make here.

I have captured some data to illustrate price trends for playoff games. Hopefully those of you on the fence to purchase tickets can benefit from this information and pull the trigger at the right time

Though prices did decrease for NLDS Game 1 from a few weeks ago, the best “time” to purchase tickets was from late Thursday night up until about 1:30 p.m. Friday (45 mins before the StubHub cutoff time). If someone is trying to dump tickets, very few change the price within the last hour (a few did, but not many). Rather, they are giving the market some time to purchase tickets at the “reduced” price.

Also, if you are willing to spend $15-30 more per ticket, you can improve the quality of your seat significantly (i.e. move from Upper Deck Reserved outfield to Upper Deck Box- Midfield) as many sections are bunched together.

Lastly, though this game the prices dropped significantly from 10 days ago. Though other games will likely drop compared to late September prices, I would be surprised a bit if it is by 50%. Time will tell.

Winning drives prices up

Looking at NLDS Game 2, the price for most sections tracked increased from before Game 1 until after that game was completed.

Looking at NLDS Game 3, the price jumped after the Giants won the wild card game. It also increased from before Game 1 compared to after Game 1. A MadBum / Arrieta matchup in the Bay Area (hopefully with a chance for the Cubs to clinch) is a likely driver for the price increase. (These prices are with sections compared to equivalent sections at Wrigley Field.)

How does winning affect pricing? Look below and you will see the teams winning their division series are seeing the cheapest World Series ticket prices have increased, while the two American League teams who are currently down two games to none saw prices decrease.

So what is the best opportunity out there? In my opinion, if you are able to take the time off from work and head out west for the NLCS against the Dodgers, there are plenty of good seats at reasonable prices ($110 – 150 per ticket). I would imagine the prices will tick up if the Dodgers win their series. If, God forbid, the Cubs do not win the NLDS, your risk of losing significant money dumping the tickets is minimal as the Dodgers would face the Giants, their arch-rival. For flights, your best options are Southwest (great refund/exchange policy) and American Airlines (you can ‘hold’ a fare for up to seven days for $7.99 per seat).