Plummeting Ticket Prices

RS2004foreever

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Dec 15, 2022
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My son and I go to a lot of games, and we explored a partial season ticket last year. We talked to the STH rep - and at the end of the day it was cheaper to buy them from Seat Geek. I bought tickets for about 8 games yesterday through Seat Geek that were essentially 30% of what it would be to buy them from the Red Sox. And it turns out the tickets were not resales but rather from the Red Sox themselves. They had posted seats on seat geek they had not sold - and I was able to confirm it for one of the games by comparing the seat location.

I then got a call from the STH rep from last year.

I lived in NYC for a while and the Mets would do this pretty regularly. First time I have seen the Red Sox do it.
Not sure if this an appropriate topic for the Red Sox forum so I apologize if it is not.

Red Sox tickets are simply not competitive at face value - they have priced themselves out of the market.
 

Ale Xander

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Oct 31, 2013
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My son and I go to a lot of games, and we explored a partial season ticket last year. We talked to the STH rep - and at the end of the day it was cheaper to buy them from Seat Geek. I bought tickets for about 8 games yesterday through Seat Geek that were essentially 30% of what it would be to buy them from the Red Sox. And it turns out the tickets were not resales but rather from the Red Sox themselves. They had posted seats on seat geek they had not sold - and I was able to confirm it for one of the games by comparing the seat location.

I then got a call from the STH rep from last year.

I lived in NYC for a while and the Mets would do this pretty regularly. First time I have seen the Red Sox do it.
Not sure if this an appropriate topic for the Red Sox forum so I apologize if it is not.

Red Sox tickets are simply not competitive at face value - they have priced themselves out of the market.
Thank you for confirming this.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Jul 15, 2005
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I bought tickets for about 8 games yesterday through Seat Geek that were essentially 30% of what it would be to buy them from the Red Sox. And it turns out the tickets were not resales but rather from the Red Sox themselves. They had posted seats on seat geek they had not sold - and I was able to confirm it for one of the games by comparing the seat location.

I then got a call from the STH rep from last year.
not sure that I follow. How did you confirm that the Red Sox sold the seats? It make sense that they would want to get some money for unsold seats instead of $0.
 

snowmanny

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Dec 8, 2005
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I assume poster means that the tickets on Seat Geek were the same ones still being offered on the Red Sox website, but cheaper.
 

Catcher Block

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It makes sense if it's in an area where season ticket holders have some kind of price protection. The Sox can't undercut the STH on their own site, but they can get 60¢ on the dollar via secondary.

There are some other explanations, but that's the most plausible IMO.
 

RG33

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Nov 28, 2005
7,379
CA
I have gotten four emails from one of the “premium ticket sales reps” asking me to buy seats / packages for June onward. I have explained that I live in Los Angeles each time, but she keeps “checking back in”. They are having a hard time selling tickets, clearly.
 

Ale Xander

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Oct 31, 2013
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In the words of Harvard-educated philosopher James Cramer, bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered. Whatever group of people it is in the Red Sox who sets ticket prices have been greedy since at least 2019. But more like 2015 or so.
 

Jungleland

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The team is mediocre and has little in the way of exciting marketable talent on the major league roster right now. I suspect this will sort itself out as soon as they’re relevant again, but they’re a distant 4th in current interest level for most Boston sports fans right now.

That said I do find the undercutting the face value price on secondary while having the same seats listed on the official site to be pretty fascinating. Totally makes sense but fascinating nonetheless.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Oct 23, 2001
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I had a similar experience buying tickets for a game next month at Busch Stadium, so maybe this isn't just a Red Sox phenomenon. Another storied franchise that is not performing up to historical standards so the fans aren't shelling out the way they used to.
 

JOBU

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Sep 22, 2021
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Pretty embarrassing for the team. Don’t feel sorry for them one bit. I gave my seats up after 20 years. I’ve gotten 2-3 calls since basically begging me to get back in. Sad!
 

radsoxfan

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Aug 9, 2009
14,139
It hasn't really made much sense to buy Red Sox season tickets for years.

Unless you really want the same exact seats for every game (maybe socially it's worth it for some?), there is no benefit to locking yourself into all those games you may or may not be able to go to when the secondary market is this easy and cheap.

If it's a hot ticket and you are getting a good deal (or you can sell the extras easily), sure. But for many years for the Red Sox, it makes far more sense to just go on stubhub, seatgeek etc as needed. Everyone I know who had season tickets has given them up.
 

Hank Scorpio

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It hasn't really made much sense to buy Red Sox season tickets for years.

Unless you really want the same exact seats for every game (maybe socially it's worth it for some?), there is no benefit to locking yourself into all those games you may or may not be able to go to when the secondary market is this easy and cheap.

If it's a hot ticket and you are getting a good deal (or you can sell the extras easily), sure. But for many years for the Red Sox, it makes far more sense to just go on stubhub, seatgeek etc as needed. Everyone I know who had season tickets has given them up.
I'm sure a lot of it is just me getting older - but there was once a time that becoming a Red Sox season ticket holder was atop my bucket list. I thought that if I ever won the Powerball, I'd get season tickets right by the Red Sox dugout, and living within walking distance from Fenway.

Now? I'm 42, and if someone gifted me Red Sox tickets, I'd be like "wow, thanks!", but be muttering "pain in the ass..." later on in the day.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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Pretty embarrassing for the team. Don’t feel sorry for them one bit. I gave my seats up after 20 years. I’ve gotten 2-3 calls since basically begging me to get back in. Sad!
The Sox have been 3rd, 4th, or 5th in the AL in attendance every year since the Henry crew bought the team. Perhaps the marketing department is doing a better job of reaching out to fans? Perhaps they're offering better package deals than in the past? I'm not sure what's "sad" about that.
 

JOBU

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I don’t know. 800 something consecutive sellouts. The entire season basically selling out by Valentine’s Day. Virtual waiting rooms to just get the chance to buy shitty bleacher tickets. That’s all a distant memory. The Sox are not in demand and the owners don’t seem to be motivated to do anything about it. They are down over 6K a game from the glory days. Sad!
 
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Jimbodandy

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around the way
Rather than spending money on live baseball like I once did, I'm using an analytics based approach to my entertainment spending and maximizing value. Netflix is cheaper and doesn't disappoint as often.

If they go out and get better players, maybe folks will be more inclined to go to see them live.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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I don’t know. 800 something consecutive sellouts. The entire season basically selling out by Valentine’s Day. Virtual waiting rooms to just get the chance to buy shitty bleacher tickets. That’s all a distant memory. The Sox are not in demand and the owners don’t seem to be motivated to do anything about it. They are down over 6K a game from the glory days. Sad!
But RELATIVE TO THE LEAGUE their place hasn't changed at all. If they'd plummeted to 9th in attendance, maybe you'd be on to something.
 

JOBU

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But RELATIVE TO THE LEAGUE their place hasn't changed at all. If they'd plummeted to 9th in attendance, maybe you'd be on to something.
I disagree. And why are you only including the AL numbers? For the bulk of the Red Sox high years they have been in the top 10 attendance wise. They aren’t anymore. That number was severely limited by the small size of Fenway Park. They probably would have been top 3-5 most years if Fenway had that capacity. MLB attendance was up 9ish percent last year. The Red Sox were down. They’ve fallen off more than their peers.
 

staz

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The cradle of the game.
Given Giolito, Story, Casas, etc., .500 ball after 40 games is a fantastic outcome.

Besides... not every team operates in a city with NBA and NHL playoff fevah!
 

Ale Xander

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Given Giolito, Story, Casas, etc., .500 ball after 40 games is a fantastic outcome.

Besides... not every team operates in a city with NBA and NHL playoff fevah!
Not ever team operates in a city with so much wealth either and the stadium/Park has a much better location than Dodger, Citi or Yankee2
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

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I disagree. And why are you only including the AL numbers? For the bulk of the Red Sox high years they have been in the top 10 attendance wise. They aren’t anymore. That number was severely limited by the small size of Fenway Park. They probably would have been top 3-5 most years if Fenway had that capacity. MLB attendance was up 9ish percent last year. The Red Sox were down. They’ve fallen off more than their peers.
A related question about leagues and attendance would be why the bottom 12-14 teams in road attendance have all been AL teams over the past 5 years (maybe more, I stopped sorting after I got to 2019)?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Baseball in general just doesn’t seem nearly as popular it was, at least on the east coast, 20-25 years ago. I don’t think Boston’s situation is any different than either of the NY teams, certainly Baltimore, Philly, etc. Going to a game is pricey, and I think people really evaluate their entertainment spending decisions a lot differently than they did even a few years ago, pre-COVID.

If the team was better, sure, they’d sell some more tickets but I don’t know that the relative mediocrity they are in matters all that much. A baseball game, for a lot people, just isn’t as appealing as it used to be .
 

mauf

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I don’t know. 800 something consecutive sellouts. The entire season basically selling out by Valentine’s Day. Virtual waiting rooms to just get the chance to buy shitty bleacher tickets. That’s all a distant memory. The Sox are not in demand and the owners don’t seem to be motivated to do anything about it. They are down over 6K a game from the glory days. Sad!
MLB attendance peaked in 2007. There are obviously reasons specific to the Red Sox why demand for tickets at Fenway is down now, but demand would be down from 15-20 years ago even if ownership and the front office had done everything right.
 

biollante

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Baseball is slowly dying. Fewer day games, more loud jumbotron, expensive beer, less fights, the passion is gone, same with Pats games. Kids don't watch it on tv Concessions and beer drip with greed.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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Jul 21, 2005
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I’ll approach this from the STH angle. I’ve got seats in the CF bleachers that I first got in 2004. That first year I probably attended 25 or so games coupled with all home playoff games. I sold off some games to friends and then took care of the rest on Craigslist or eBay and more than covered the cost of the season and playoff invoices. Demand was crazy.

Fast forward to current times. My higher row seats were upgraded to a lower row a couple years ago, something I’d been asking for since pretty much day 1 which shows that the STH base has been dropping. I’ve kept my tickets but really only go a couple times a year with everything else unloaded on StubHub. Getting concert presales and guaranteed tickets to all playoff games (yeah, I know) has been worth the carrying cost. Honestly, because of the low row my tickets generally sell well and I think the worst I’ve done is lost maybe $500 for the year. This year I think I’m up $100 or so which is kind of crazy since April generally sucks. If I was in the pricier seats I think I would have been killed the past few years and I would have been out.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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Concessions and beer drip with greed.
Have you been to a concert, play, amusement park, movie theater, or any other sport lately? The concessions are always overpriced. It's part of the cost of entertainment. I highly doubt "My beer will cost me $15 so I'm not buying a ticket" is a reason people won't attend an event.
 

YTF

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I don’t know. 800 something consecutive sellouts. The entire season basically selling out by Valentine’s Day. Virtual waiting rooms to just get the chance to buy shitty bleacher tickets. That’s all a distant memory. The Sox are not in demand and the owners don’t seem to be motivated to do anything about it. They are down over 6K a game from the glory days. Sad!
There are a lot of different contributing factors here. Yes the team is certainly in transition and not a lot of fun to watch these past few years, but since the streak ended 11 years ago the team has won 2 World Championships. We've seen declines in attendance for many different forms of entertainment as there are more entities vying for our entertainment dollar. Covid has also caused many people to rethink their desire to attend events with large crowds. For years baseball has been trying to find ways to appeal to a younger audience. I'm not exactly sure where they stand with that, but I can personally say that as a member of an aging fan base my desire to attend 4-6 games in person has waned. I went to opening day this season, my first game since before co-vid and I have to say that it may well have been my last trip to Fenway. While I can still afford to go, the expense is a factor and is for a lot of people who weigh the cost of a day at the park vs where that money might be better spent as prices for everything have skyrocketed these past few years. Also considered is the 5 hour round trip and the discomfort in my legs during the game. Sure that's me, but I'm guessing not JUST me as this and other loyal fan bases age.

As for the owners, it's their asset. Whatever the situation is, I'm sure that they are monitoring it and reacting in a manner that they are comfortable with. An extra 6,000 asses in the seats for 80 games is a considerable amount of revenue, but what do you suggest they do? Are they an outlier in this or are they more of a true representation of the state of today's game?
 
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nvalvo

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Well, I just copped a pair of first-row Sox-Sox tickets behind 3B at Guaranteed Rate for ~$50/each. A weekend day game in June!
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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As you get older, going to a game becomes more of a pain in the ass for a variety of reasons. If you’ve got kids and they aren’t really into baseball (and let’s face it, most are not) then it’s not a really appealing entertainment option.

I will try to go to a few games a year but noticed it’s much more difficult to find friends who are interested in going than it used to be (for a multiple of reasons).
 

YTF

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Have you been to a concert, play, amusement park, movie theater, or any other sport lately? The concessions are always overpriced. It's part of the cost of entertainment. I highly doubt "My beer will cost me $15 so I'm not buying a ticket" is a reason people won't attend an event.
This and people act like they don't have the choice not to buy the beer.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Have you been to a concert, play, amusement park, movie theater, or any other sport lately? The concessions are always overpriced. It's part of the cost of entertainment. I highly doubt "My beer will cost me $15 so I'm not buying a ticket" is a reason people won't attend an event.
Totally true, but usually people go to a concert because the act they are seeing only comes around once in a while, not 81 times a year.
 

tims4wins

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Totally true, but usually people go to a concert because the act they are seeing only comes around once in a while, not 81 times a year.
But if you are going to every game, do you really want a beer every time? I bet that there is a nearly perfectly inverse relationship between concession sales and number of games you attend per year.
 

SuperDieHard

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Jun 13, 2015
11
Another STH weighing in: Had mine since 2000. From a $ standpoint; At first they sucked but there was interest, enough people bought the games I couldn’t use and seats were tax deductible so it wasn’t too painful. Then they got good- no trouble getting rid of most everything, even at a slight premium and after taxes and selling some post season games I was ahead significantly every year. Last few years have been a big L financially - they’re no longer deductible (realistically- apparently there are a bunch of protocols you can go through each game to make them so but way too much work to be worth doing), all but the truest diehards have dropped out and no longer take games and selling on SeatGeek at least gets rid of them but typically at a significant loss. I almost passed them over to the guy who takes the most games this year but in the end kept them one more year. I’ll probably give them up for next year. Aside from the $ loss, I’ve found there are at least a few reasons: 1) Winning has taken the edge off- paradoxically the fact that they’ve won 4 championships works against them. I no longer lose sleep if they lose to the Yankees during the season. I’ll be totally into it come late season whenever they make another run, and it’s still fun to watch anytime but they’re not as life or death anymore- the past 20+ years has spoiled me - it’s been a wonderful run (true for all the local teams- I follow but don’t actually watch a ton until the playoffs) 2) There’s other stuff to do in life (blasphemy I know)- starting with the Covid year this became clear. I might put the game on the radio while I do yard work or weed the garden but the number of games I sit and watch start to finish when I’m not at Fenway get counted on 1 hand these days…just reality. Would probably be true even if they were in first place at this point. Maybe it’s the difference between age 66 and age 26…
 

In my lifetime

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I wrote back when the consecutive sell-out streak was becoming threatened that this became a house of cards:
In the midst of the sell-out streak, it was almost risk-free to buy season tickets, because whatever tickets you didn't lose could be sold at a profit or at least break even. In addition there was a good chance that the RS would make the playoffs giving the season ticket holder more valuable tickets. Once the sell-out streak ends, and sell-outs become the exception instead of the rule, then buying season tickets quickly becomes a financially inefficient way to buy a ticket. It is likely that for most games, a season ticket holder who sells their tickets will lose money. Therefore, people drop or decrease their season ticket plan --> more tickets are available each game-->ticket prices get further reduced on the secondary market-->more people wait and buy tickets on the secondary market. Of course, an equilibrium will be set each year depending on the entertainment value of each game.
 

LogansDad

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Yes MBTA is so awesome!!11
Uhhhh, I don't have a lot to add to this thread, but I will say that MBTA is better than the public transportation in about 90% of the cities in this country. I wish we had anything close to it here where I live.
 

Ale Xander

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Oct 31, 2013
76,240
Yes MBTA is so awesome!!11
1) MbTa seems to work better when there’s a game on since it be more evident when there’s a f up. Fewer “schedule” adjustments too.
2) Walking distance to wealthy STH in Back Bay, Brookline, Cambridgeport etc. Easy ride from Newton.
3) Boston is a bit different from many cities in that close suburbs (Above plus Wellesley, Lexington, etc) are relatively wealthy and relatively easy to get to Park. Compare this to Guaranteed Rate, Miami, Dodger etc.
Getting from Manhattan Beach, PV, Malibu etc to Dodger stadium is a PITA which is why people arrive in the 3rd and leave in the 7th (or at least Pre-Mookie/Freddie)
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
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Oct 31, 2013
76,240
Uhhhh, I don't have a lot to add to this thread, but I will say that MBTA is better than the public transportation in about 90% of the cities in this country. I wish we had anything close to it here where I live.
In fairness though, you don’t have a big 4 pro team or a P5 college team where you live.
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
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Oct 31, 2013
76,240
There are a lot of different contributing factors here. Yes the team is certainly in transition and not a lot of fun to watch these past few years, but since the streak ended 11 years ago the team has won 2 World Championships. We've seen declines in attendance for many different forms of entertainment as there are more entities vying for our entertainment dollar. Covid has also caused many people to rethink their desire to attend events with large crowds. For years baseball has been trying to find ways to appeal to a younger audience. I'm not exactly sure where they stand with that, but I can personally say that as a member of an aging fan base my desire to attend 4-6 games in person has waned. I went to opening day this season, my first game since before co-vid and I have to say that it may well have been my last trip to Fenway. While I can still afford to go, the expense is a factor and is for a lot of people who weigh the cost of a day at the park vs where that money might be better spent as prices for everything have skyrocketed these past few years. Also considered is the 5 hour round trip and the discomfort in my legs during the game. Sure that's me, but I'm guessing not JUST me as this and other loyal fan bases age.

As for the owners, it's their asset. Whatever the situation is, I'm sure that they are monitoring it and reacting in a manner that they are comfortable with. An extra 6,000 asses in the seats for 80 games is a considerable amount of revenue, but what do you suggest they do? Are they an outlier in this or are they more of a true representation of the state of today's game?
This is a great post but I will nitpick on the Covid point since NBA and NHL seem to be doing better than MLB and those are indoors and Fenway and most MLB stadia are outdoors. (Although of course in Boston that counterbalanced by the recent competitiveness of those indoor teams)
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
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Oct 31, 2013
76,240
Well, I just copped a pair of first-row Sox-Sox tickets behind 3B at Guaranteed Rate for ~$50/each. A weekend day game in June!
Different pre-game and post-game environment though, both in options and in safety.
And of course the competition for MLB dollars up north.
 

zak1013

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Jul 14, 2005
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I'm sure a lot of it is just me getting older - but there was once a time that becoming a Red Sox season ticket holder was atop my bucket list. I thought that if I ever won the Powerball, I'd get season tickets right by the Red Sox dugout, and living within walking distance from Fenway.

Now? I'm 42, and if someone gifted me Red Sox tickets, I'd be like "wow, thanks!", but be muttering "pain in the ass..." later on in the day.
40 and this describes me to a tee.
 

RS2004foreever

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I had a similar experience buying tickets for a game next month at Busch Stadium, so maybe this isn't just a Red Sox phenomenon. Another storied franchise that is not performing up to historical standards so the fans aren't shelling out the way they used to.
I know the Mets do it. It makes sense.
 

luckiestman

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Jul 15, 2005
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This is a great post but I will nitpick on the Covid point since NBA and NHL seem to be doing better than MLB and those are indoors and Fenway and most MLB stadia are outdoors. (Although of course in Boston that counterbalanced by the recent competitiveness of those indoor teams)

NHL in person is the superior live sports experience and is still somehow underrated.

NBA in person is not that good. If I was sitting on the floor, I’m sure it would be great but I am not flashing like that. Some of these venues pump in way too much noise way too loud. I used to sit close to courtside a few times watching the Noles and that was good

NFL is fine but optimal as a TV sport

MLB, excellent in person in a good park. My son does not want to sit in his seat for the even shorter 9 innings we get with the clock but getting up and moving around these parks while still being able to see everything is fun for him. He thinks hockey live is the best but he has fun at MLB games and is not a baseball fan.

I love Fenway but I love it for the history and nostalgia. For having a good time at a park if you’re not locked in as a fan, it is not as good as the NYC parks. I’ll say this though, if someone gifted me tickets, I’m taking them.
 

cantor44

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Obviously if the team was winning, ticket sales would be up. Coming out of the pandemic, the Betts trade, and the most depressing season in my memory (2020), the joint was rocking when the team made the playoffs in 2021. Packed, really intense crowds. The interest is still there, in a region where baseball is part of the culture. They just need the winning.

And honestly, at 57, I still love going to Fenway (but keep me out of RF seats). What a soulful aesthetic place, a true work of architectural brilliance.
 

Max Power

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Jul 20, 2005
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I find this interesting. During the sellout streak, they raised ticket prices every year. When the streak ended in 2011, they held steady for a few years before raising prices again. Attendance still head steady at around 2.8-2.9 million a year. It's only been since the pandemic that it's dropped off another 10% to about 2.6 million, but they're still raising prices. They can't count on the die-hards to continue paying whatever is asked to mostly fill the place since then. The pricing plan currently is to soak the season ticket holders and much as possible and get whatever people are willing to pay on the secondary market throughout the season.

It's no surprise that SoSH posters, a bunch of middle-aged guys in the suburbs, don't attend many games anymore. Getting to and from Boston isn't particularly easy. I live in the city and have had my weekend season ticket package for 25 years. It's probably not worth it financially, but I like the season ticket holder perks and getting the ability to purchase playoff, concert, and Bananas tickets. It's also easier to unload weekend tickets than any others, so I'm not hurting.

The demographics of Boston have also changed a lot since the sellout streak. My kids are in BPS and almost none of the other parents are from Boston. The people living closest to the ballpark don't have the background of generations of fandom. They'll get excited when the team is good, like in 2021, but when they're meh, they have no interest in showing up.

82539

82540
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
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Jul 15, 2005
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Hingham, MA
This has nothing to do with (current) ticket prices or attendance, but they have to be terrified of the next generation. My son turns 12 in a couple weeks. I would bet that the only name he knows on the team is Devers. Now us SoSHers are a different breed than most, but that was a million percent not the case when most of us were 12. He and his friends don't wear Sox gear, I never hear them talking about the Sox. They're just not relevant.
 

faceface

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Jul 20, 2005
12
We have had tickets in our family since 1955. I think this is my last year. The seats are incredible, but the prices are killing me. We go 2-3 times a year maybe 5 if the team is good. My kids don't care much (my son is also 12). It pains me to give them up, but the current prices are unsustainable.