For the third straight year, the Chicago Cubs will not be raising ticket prices – a reasonable decision following another year of declining attendance and poor performance on the field. There will not, however, be a clear drop in prices as there was before the 2013 season.
That said, in the aggregate, you could argue that there’s a bit of a drop, because there will be fewer games in the highest tier of ticket prices, and the Cubs will be making available a block of 350 upper deck tickets for $19 apiece to each game, regardless of tier.
Season ticket holders have started receiving their invoices this week, and their prices are flat from last year. Single game tickets, which will go on sale later in the offseason, will likely once again be slightly more expensive than season tickets (gotta provide an incentive for buying in bulk, eh?).
You can read a great deal more about the pricing structure for 2014 Cubs tickets here, courtesy of Danny Ecker at Crain’s. There is also a fair bit on the Cubs’ approach to purging the season ticket holder registry of brokers, and the Cubs’ continued experimentation with dynamic pricing.
With flat prices next year, the Cubs’ ticket will remain the third highest in baseball, on average, behind the Red Sox and Yankees. At the low end, $8 will get you in the door for the cheapest games, and $112 will get you the better seats for the better games.
There is usually an outcry at this time of year – “Grr! The Cubs should be cutting prices in half for the crap they put on the field!” – and it never makes much sense to me. The Cubs’ approach to ticket sales is about as business-focused as it gets. Given that the revenue generated is what drives the future product on the field, it’s precisely the approach they should take. Apologizing to fans in the form of slashed ticket prices might make for a nice two-day story, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense on the pricing curve (to say nothing of long-term organizational health).
The Cubs set ticket prices in such a way as to maximize revenue. Rage if you must, but it’s the only appropriate approach.