If the Boston Red Sox lock up a World Series win in tonight’s Game 6 against the St. Louis Cardinals in Fenway Park, it will be the first time the franchise has clinched a Series win at home since 1918. And if you’d like to bear witness to that historic event, you’ll be paying dearly for it.
Ticket prices for tonight’s game are shattering price records, for both Major League Baseball and Boston sporting events in general. On the secondary ticket marketplace Stub Hub, standing room tickets are listed just south of $1,000 apiece. TiqIQ, a ticket price aggregator for sporting events, lists the average price tag for a Game 6 seat (or non-seat) at $2,296. And those are for the nosebleeds; a more choice seat could easily set you back over $10,000. Darren Rovell at ESPN reported that one StubHub user shelled out $24,000 for a pair of tickets between home plate and one of the on-deck circles. SI.com found one field box seat listed at Stub Hub for $42,000 on Wednesday morning.
Money-wise, Game 6 is making a run at some of the most expensive events in any sport. Tickets for Super Bowl XLVII between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans this past February averaged a comparatively paltry $1,210, according to NOLA.com (though that figure was for face value, and third-party tickets sold for as much as $316,000). For this past summer’s Stanley Cup Finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and another Boston franchise, the Bruins, average ticket prices reached $1,380 – a huge figure in hockey terms but nowhere near tonight's game.
A few key factors are driving the World Series price surge (inflation aside). For one, the site, Fenway Park, is the fourth-smallest Major League stadium, with a capacity of only 37,402. Second, though Boston has enjoyed two World Series titles in the past decade, neither the 2004 series against the Cardinals nor the 2007 series against the Colorado Rockies were clinched in Boston. Die-hard fans had been waiting nearly a century for the Sox to end their World Series drought when they did it in ’04, but many of those same fans didn’t get to see it live and would relish the opportunity to finally do so.
Third, championship series in the Major Leagues, NBA, and NHL aren’t destination events like the Super Bowl and college football national title games, which are held in neutral site cities (this year’s BCS title game, for instance, will be held in Pasadena, Calif). That means many World Series attendees don’t have to shell out big buck for airfare and hotels, leaving them more money to spend on tickets.
"People want to see them win it here," Jim Holzman of Ace Tickets, a vendor in Boston, told ESPN. "That's what has made this the biggest ticket we've ever seen. It's the Super Bowl except people don't have to pay $1,000 for a hotel and $2,000 for airfare."
The kicker? If the Cardinals win tonight and force a Game 7, those ticket prices will be even more eye-popping than Game 6.