This morning, the Red Sox announced that there would be an average rise in ticket prices. The average ticket at Fenway will rise 1.7%. That number represents a smaller percentage than the past two years, but the issue remains that the fans of the Red Sox continue to pay higher than average prices to go to the ballpark.
A Trend Continues
The Red Sox have increased their ticket prices steadily over the past decade and as their ticket prices have gone up, there attendance has gone the other direction. Chris Villani sums up the Red Sox ticket increases since 2009 pretty concisely here:
The Red Sox announce Fenway ticket prices will increase by an average of 1.7% next season.
It's the 5th year in a row and 8th in the past 12 in which ticket prices have gone up. pic.twitter.com/I9EdsLbtB4
— Chris Villani (@ChrisVillani44) October 8, 2019
It might not be the highest raise percentage wise, but it still marks a raise from previous years. In 2009, the Red Sox had 3,062,699 fans head to Fenway Park to take in a baseball game. That was an average of 37,811 every night the Red Sox hosted an opponent.
Since that year, the number has steadily decreased, with a couple of outlier seasons where it increased. After the disastrous 2012 season, the Red Sox saw a large dip in attendance that saw 2,833,333 fans attend games in the World Series run of 2013. They had frozen the prices, but only an average of 34,979 showed up to the ballpark each night. The ticket prices rose after 2013 by a 4.8% margin, and the team then underperformed but attendance was still pretty high, sitting at 36,495 per game.
The Red Sox decided no increase for the 2015 season and attendance dropped to an average of 35,564 per game. This can be related to the current situation. The team won the World Series in 2018 in front of an average crowd size of 35,748, which represents the third straight year of rising ticket prices and following two first round playoff exits. After winning the World Series, fans came out to support their team this year, despite the ticket prices rising 2.5%. They averaged 36,107 fans per game and almost eclipsed three million fans over the course of the year.
The Red Sox are again raising their ticket prices after a year which they vastly underachieved and even fired their President of Baseball Operations. There is talks of slashing payroll, and while payroll has nothing to do with ticket prices, it is still tough to draw when you’re talking about cutting salary. Odds are, the product will be much like the 2019 version, depending on how the payroll cutting is performed. That being said, the Red Sox might see a dip like their 2015 attendance. That was following an underwhelming follow up to a World Series title.
The Red Sox ticket prices are rising again, and it’ll be really interesting to see which way the attendance goes. Either way, attendance is down from 2009 by over 100,000 fans as the team has raised their ticket prices consistently. The Red Sox will need a convincing product next year to get the fans to come to Fenway Park.