Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Take ME Out to the Ball Game

Every year an outfit called Team Marketing Research puts out a report about the cost of taking a family of four to a major league baseball game, and this year the Brewers ranked fifth-lowest. According to this report, the cost of the day at the ball park for a family of four is $146 at Miller Park, compared to a national average of $197.

Their figures are based on what they call “average-priced” tickets, and I won’t quibble about what an average-priced ticket costs. When my wife and I go to Miller Park, which is frequently, we tend to buy really good seats, on Stub-Hub, because we love baseball, love being up close to the action, and we consider our treks to the ball park our “summer vacations”. So we don’t buy “average-priced tickets”.

The report adds the cost of the tickets, parking, two programs, four soft drinks, four hot dogs, two beers, and two caps. The latter is presumably for the kids, and I do take issue with tossing the cost of two caps into the “average”. It’s around 40 bucks, give or take, and I suppose parents of children who really aren’t into baseball and don’t already own a team hat might buy them hats.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that the most expensive place to take a family of four to a baseball game is at Yankee Stadium. Their ticket prices are up about 50% from last year to pay for that new stadium, and their food costs are astronomical. Have you ever gone to a ball game and come back telling your friends about what you ATE?

The top five most expensive places are, in order, the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Mets, and White Sox. The least expensive places, in order, are Arizona, Pittsburgh, the Angels, the Reds, and the Brewers.

The average ticket price at Miller Park is about 20 bucks, which is about five bucks below the league average. The average price at the new Yankee Stadium is….well, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. They say the average price of a “premium” ticket is about 53 bucks for the Brewers, and around $510 for the Yankees. They’re using, of course, the “face price” or “stated price” of the ticket, not what you actually pay on Stub-Hub or a similar site.

My wife and I bought “premium” seats for a Brewers game at Miller Park on my birthday at the end of May, and paid 44 bucks apiece, 11 rows back of home plate in section 117. Those are primo seats by any definition. Of course, if you want to sit in a skybox, isolated from the game, you’ll pay more. A lot more. But I’ve always thought those seats suck, and you’re better off at home in front of a big-screen hi-def TV.

So, a Brewers game is still a bargain. They have some very good and talented players, great fans, a top-notch ball park, fine amenities at the game, reasonable parking, and now….all they need is a pitching staff.


  1. And to move back to the AL so Prince can DH.

    Barry (not the Alvarez)