We’re still weeks away from the first pitch on Opening Day, but for baseball fans it’s probably a good idea to start thinking now about buying tickets to see your favorite team. We’re sure there’s an early bird catching the worm baseball analogy somewhere here, right?
Last season finally saw average ticket prices stay pretty flat after years of ticking upward , notes MarketWatch, at $26.98 for regular tickets and $88.18 for premium seats. It’ll likely come down to which team you’re seeing this year, who they’re playing and where you want to sit when it comes to the cost of tickets.
But no matter who you’re going to see, the experts are advising fans to buy early in order to snag better prices than they have in the past. Teams are increasingly moving toward using variable pricing with rates differing by game, and dynamic pricing, which changes constantly depending on demand. In the past, many teams set face values for tickets and that was that.
As the season goes along, those dynamic prices will probably rise, a spokesman for SeatGeek.com told MarketWatch, a site that aggregates prices for the secondary ticket market.
“They’re trying to get fans to buy tickets from the team early,” he says, noting that preseason sales can offer some of the best box office prices.
Of course, bad weather or a losing streak could mean that the ticket you bought early is worth less than you paid for by the time you get to the game under the dynamic pricing model, so that’s a risk you have to decide if you want to take or not. On the flipside, if you buy early before your team gets on a hot streak, you could be sitting pretty. And cheaply.
Another way to get deals on tickets early is using daily deal sites that often offer discount tickets for baseball fans buying ahead of time — Groupon teamed up with the Major Baseball League in November to trot out discounts and perks, while Travelzoo had a deal for Mets tickets that cost just $12 a day before they went on sale to the public. Anther site to look out for according to MarketWatch is the new CrowdSeats.com, a sports-focused daily deal site dangling some hefty discounts.
If your team makes it to the playoffs (fingers crossed, am I right? This is OUR year!) then prices are anyone’s game. Keep plunking quarters into that piggy bank.
Snagging cheap baseball tickets [MarketWatch]