As you know if you tried to buy Cubs tickets over the weekend, they’re expensive this year, in some cases very expensive.
This should be no surprise. Pricing increased last year after the 2015 playoff season, and now that the Cubs are the defending World Series champions, prices have increased accordingly. Monday is the first day that tickets will be on sale in-person at Wrigley Field, at the ticket windows on Waveland shown in the photo at the top of this post.
Through the 2017 season I’ll be tracking attendance and pricing trends with the help of BCBer Lifetime Cubs Fan, who sent me this analysis of the first weekend of sales.
None of us should be surprised that tickets are more expensive this year given the Cubs are defending their World Series championship. Overall, on average, season ticket prices went up about 19 percent for 2017. If you are a season-ticket holder and were upset about this, you could come to realize people trying to get tickets to individual games are even more upset.
Here are some facts to support that claim:
- There are 30 games where bleacher seats are over $100 (for STH, that number was zero). As it stands now, bleachers are averaging $81 a ticket on cubs.com.
- Current Cubs.com prices are already 35 percent higher than what STH paid. It is only going to get worse as demand pricing for the Cubs has never gone down — ever.
- Of the 1296 game/section “price points,” 283 have already increased (21 percent of total combinations).
- The Cubs’ first price point for individual games was about 30 percent higher than STH cost. In the Terrace Box Corner, even though only one game has increased since last Tuesday, the average Cubs.com price is 39 percent more than what STH paid.
Sections that have seen the most increases are Bleachers (37), Upper Deck Reserved Outfield (35), Upper Deck Reserved Infield (33) and Club Box Infield (30).
Here is my advice on how to cope with this pricing behavior:
- Go to a bronze game — remember you are seeing the Cubs play, not the Phillies, Brewers, etc. There are some tickets for Bronze games that are the same as the cost of a movie.
- Think quality over quantity. Instead of going to multiple games in mediocre sections, go to one game in a better section.
- Have patience and be flexible. There will be some games where you could get a 'deal' on the secondary market close to game time. IMO, the elimination of the six-hour cutoff for Stubhub will be a good thing for those trying to get a ticket close to game time at a better price.
- Have perspective — it could be a lot worse (Dale Sveum could be the manager, Jim Bullinger could be the Opening Day starter, at least you're not Warren Beatty, etc.).
Below are what I believe to be the “best value” tickets available, as of 2/26, by month:
April: Game vs. Dodgers on 4/13 (Kershaw has a chance of pitching)
May: Phillies series
June: Marlins series
July: Go to the Rays game on 7/5 (The rest of the month is brutal)
August: Series against Pirates late in the month
September: Any game up to Mets series