Ron Lieber is a Cubs fan who grew up a few blocks from Wrigley Field.
He’s also the "Your Money" columnist for the New York Times, and Friday he posted this column asking this question, stated in the headline: "What Should a Cubs Fan Pay to Realize a Lifelong Dream?"
The column examines what value various places, from StubHub to fans, place on a Cubs World Series ticket.
Last year, Lieber writes, StubHub data give an idea of what people might pay for such a ticket:
The lowest price that anyone paid for a ticket was $2,344, and the average was $3,051.
Lieber asked some other Cubs fans about this, including someone who might have a pretty good idea of finance, a professor at Wharton:
Without having seen the StubHub data, Benjamin Keys, a lifelong Cubs fan and assistant professor of real estate at Wharton, came up with a similar range for what he might be willing to pay: $3,000 to $5,000 a ticket. (Yes, he’s married. Yes, his spouse knows. She paid $2,400 for a ticket to see her beloved Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl in 2006.
Other fans who were asked noted prices in a similar range, or somewhat less considering their personal situations. Professor Keys explained the reasoning behind his price range:
He began by considering what any potential World Series ticket might replace. How many future trips back to Chicago to see friends or regular season Cubs games would he put off? Would he rob his entire tickets and travel budget for many years to come?
Local fans who lack season tickets might pay to attend a handful of games each year. "So if you were told that you couldn’t go to any games for the next 10 years but would get to go to your first World Series game, would you take that offer?" he asked. "It puts things in stark terms."
As a season-ticket holder, I'm fortunate enough to not have to consider these prices. Here are the face value benchmarks. Face on for my bleacher seat for the World Series is $200 (single-game buyers lucky enough to get through the lottery will pay $250). Other season-ticket prices for World Series tickets range from $175 for upper deck reserve to $450 for infield club box seats (again, single-game buyers will pay somewhat more).
If the Cubs do make the World Series, the first game at Wrigley Field will be Game 3, Friday, October 28. What would you pay to get yourself a seat for that historic game?