The theory being, if ownership starts seeing empty seats as a result of the crummy product on the field, they’ll realize that more money needs to be spent to build a winner. I’m not 100% sold on the idea that taking money away from the very people we would like to see spending money on the Cubs is the best approach, but I could be convinced.
Either way, it’s academic at this point: Cubs fans aren’t staying away despite the expense of a trip to Wrigley Field.
At an average price of $46.90, Chicago Cubs tickets are the most expensive in the National League, according to April statistics compiled by Team Marketing Report, an industry newsletter in Wilmette.
While the team’s losing record and fifth place standing in the National League Central Division might not suggest that fans are getting equal value for their investment, the Wrigley faithful have few complaints about the team’s pricey tickets.
“They’re probably the most popular team in the National League,” said Justin Botts, who had just moved to Chicago from Omaha and was attending his first game Monday. “They have a good fan base here so they can charge high prices, and they’ll get them sold.”
Botts’ assessment is correct—at least so far. Despite poor weather for many home games during the first two months of the season, the Cubs are averaging 35,063 fans per game. The team is filling 85.2 percent of Wrigley Field’s capacity, third in the National League behind the two teams that played in the league championship series last season – Philadelphia and San Francisco.
A season ago under the new ownership of the Ricketts family, the Cubs overtook the Boston Red Sox as the most expensive average ticket in baseball at $52.56. Despite finishing with a record of just 75-87 that season, fans of the Lovable Losers continue to flock to the ballpark. Medill Reports.
Now, those of us who’ve watched the games can attest to the fact that the 35,063 number is merely the tickets sold figure, rather than the actual attendance. That means, setting aside the tickets, the Cubs probably still are losing money on concessions.
That said, clearly, the attendance thing is all relative. We’ve been hearing all year that attendance is down across baseball, and, although attendance is down at Wrigley, the Cubs are still doing better than almost every other team.