As a kid, I heard stories from my grandfather about attending baseball games at Fenway Park or football games at Nickerson Field for only a couple dollars. My father and uncles would tell me they routinely walked up to the stadiums in Boston and bought standing room tickets on the day of the game for less than 10 dollars.
Their only complaint? Boston teams never seemed to win.
As the Boston Red Sox prepare to begin the 2018 World Series and look to capture their fourth championship in the last fourteen seasons, Red Sox fans across the country will be cheering them on. However, the more success the team experiences will end up hurting their fans in the long run.
Beyond just the Red Sox, all four teams in the Boston market are at the top of their sport during the current season. Each has won at least one round of the playoffs within the last year and look to be in the hunt for more championships for years to come.
When there is so much success by all four teams, the fans do not always benefit. While this concept may seem foreign to fans of teams who have suffered through losing seasons for years, it is something Boston fans have known for the past decade or more.
It is no secret that the New England Patriots have been the most successful NFL team of the last twenty years. With 15 playoff appearances in the last 17 seasons, they are envied by almost all other fan bases. What they might not realize though, is for many football fans in New England, the success of the team has made going to games almost unaffordable.
According to Vivid Seats, in 2017 the average ticket price to a Patriots game was $530. Comparatively, there was over a $200 difference between the Patriots and Seattle Seahawks (the next most expensive team). The difference between the Patriots and Seahawks prices were only five dollars closer than that of the Seahawks and the least expensive team in the league.
One may be able to defend the outrageous prices to Patriots games, stating that they only play eight home games in the regular season, so demand it is naturally high. However, the trend is very similar to the Red Sox, who according to Statista.com, this year had an average ticket price of roughly $57 dollars.
That is a good price as the second most expensive average ticket in the league, trailing the Chicago Cubs by less than two dollars. In contrast, other good teams such as the Brewers, Athletics, and Rockies who all made the playoffs this season, charged less than half that number for their average ticket price.
As someone who has grown up and lives less than 10 minutes from downtown Boston, I have enjoyed watching all of my favorite professional teams celebrate championship victories. However, is the prolonged success good for the fans who love attending games, and simply cannot afford to? In my opinion, no. Not anymore.