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2016 Cubs Attendance Watch: July 4-7 Homestand

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The Cubs continue to sell out Wrigley Field.

Wrigley Field just before the game Thursday, July 7
Wrigley Field just before the game Thursday, July 7
Al Yellon

This brief little homestand comprised just four dates, a three-game series against the Reds and a makeup of a game rained out April 30 against the Braves.

Date     Announced Crowd     In-House Estimate
7/4         41,293              40,000
7/5         41,310              39,000
7/6         41,262              40,000
7/7         41,480              38,000

There were small numbers of scattered empty seats for all four of these games, but not many. The largest number of empties was for the makeup game -- not because it was a makeup game, but probably because of the weather, which caused a long rain delay before the game started.

For the homestand, the Cubs sold 165,345 tickets, or 41,336 per game. My in-house estimates totaled 157,000, or 39,250 per game. Thus there were an estimated 8,345 no-shows for the four dates, or 2,086 per date. Better weather would have reduced that number.

For the season, the Cubs have sold 1,563,669 tickets, or 39,092 per game. My in-house estimates total 1,402,000, or 35,050 per date. That means the total estimated no-show count is 161,669 for the 2016 season, or 4,042 per date. That's down about 200 per date from the last post in this series.

At the current average the Cubs would sell 3,166,209 tickets for the season, though that number is likely to go up as the summer goes on. They won't break the team attendance record of 3,300,200 (2008), but might get into second place. The second-highest Cubs season attendance was in 2007, 3,252,462.

The Cubs rank eighth in total attendance -- but have played the fewest home games of anyone in baseball (40). That shows in the average tickets sold per game ranking: the Cubs rank fifth in that category, only a couple hundred behind the Blue Jays.

Now, as I have been doing for much of this season, I turn the rest of this post over to BCB reader Lifetime Cubs Fan, who has done research into bleacher ticket pricing.

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First, let me apologize for the recent Cubs five-game skid. I was on vacation starting July 5. The Cubs lost every game until I returned home on Sunday (and I was not even home a minute when Kris Bryant knocked in the go-ahead run against the Pirates). The good news for all, I do not have any other planned vacations until November.

Below are some observations on demand pricing, etc. for the last home stand that was completed on July 7.

Through 40 games:

  • 27 games have sold out in the bleachers (vs. 20 sellouts for the entire ballpark)

  • The average final cubs.com price in the bleachers has been 93% higher than what a bleacher season ticket holder paid

  • With the exception of the three-game series against the Padres, it would have been cheaper to purchase bleacher tickets on the 15% Premium MasterCard pre-sale vs. the day of the game

  • Average attendance has been 39,092. I do not see any games for the rest of the season that will have an attendance lower than the current average.

  • Below is the average premium (final cubs.com to STH price) and average final cubs.com price per bleacher ticket, by day of the week. No surprise that Saturday is most expensive, but Monday is close behind due to holidays and Opening Day occurring on a Monday in the first half of the season.

chart #1 bleacher pricing 7/11/16

Lastly, here is the secondary market (StubHub) vs. cubs.com price behavior for the July 6 game against the Reds. I was amazed that tickets were hovering near $115 per ticket 2-3 weeks from the game on StubHub. However, once again, a poor weather forecast drove secondary market prices sharply downward in the days leading up to the game.

chart #2 bleacher ticket pricing 7/11/16