Team Marketing Report recently released their updated 2018 Fan Cost Index, and it comes with some jarring, but not wholly surprising news: for the first time ever, the Chicago Cubs are the most expensive team to watch at the ballpark.
But before we get into the specifics, a little info on the study. The TMR Fan Cost Index measures the cost for a family of four to attend a game at every stadium. Included in the overall cost is four non-premium tickets, parking fees, four sodas, four hot dogs, two beers, and two souvenir hats. I wanted to point that out, because obviously, if you find parking elsewhere (which is tough, but not impossible, by any means) and skip the ballpark souvenirs, well, the total number drops quite a bit.
You can check out the full breakdown and attendant write-up at TeamMarketing.com, but here are the top ten teams:
- Chicago Cubs: $368.28
- Boston Red Sox: $345.88
- New York Yankees: $301.46
- San Francisco Giants: $271.70
- Los Angeles Dodgers: $268.02
- Washington Nationals: $266.06
- Houston Astros: $262.98
- St. Louis Cardinals: $257.116
- Seattle Mariners: $251.32
- Philadelphia Phillies: $250.14
MLB League Average: $230.64
Again, for a breakdown of each individual cost for each ballpark (admissions, beer, soft drinks, hot dogs, parking, souvenir hat), head over to Team Marketing.
According to Team Marketing, this is the first time since 2009, and only the second time since 2000, that the Boston Red Sox were not atop the list. Though, it’s not much of a surprise to see stadiums from Chicago, Boston, and New York rank out as the most expensive in close proximity.
With that said, it’s worth pointing out that the Cubs +0.1% change in general ticket prices was among the lower marks in baseball this year, and that their total FCI change of +0.3% was lower than all but seven other teams. From the looks of it, their expensive beer ($9.00 was second only to the Mets) and hot dogs ($6.50 is tied for the most in baseball) didn’t help.
Ditto on the $30 parking estimate, but it’s not like the *Cubs* are charging $30 for parking and with the Red Line, complimentary shuttle, and various bus options from the suburbs, there’s really no reason to pay that much to get and hang out around Wrigley.
The Cubs did this year introduce an extremely low cost ticket lottery system for each home game, so at least there’s an opportunity for fans to get a deal at each game.
If you’re curious, the White Sox rank as the 17th most expensive park, while the Brewers (19th), Reds (26th), and Pirates (28th) are among the cheapest. The Arizona Diamondbacks are going on their 10th straight season with the lowest FCI in baseball.