Yeah sure, Thursday’s playoff game between the Royals and the Houston Astros is officially sold out. But in this age of on-line ticket bazaars, fans are never without ticket options depending on what they are willing to pay.
A hundred bucks on Wednesday would get you a standing-room-only ticket through StubHub. Pony up $250, and you’d have the right to plant your Royal blue behind Thursday in section 119, a few rows behind the visitor’s dugout.
Of course, for the same money, you could buy a basic 39-inch, flat-screen TV at Best Buy and still have cash left for a cold beer and a bag of peanuts.
But for many Royals fans, actually being in Kauffman Stadium at playoff time is worth the extra dough. And as during last year’s playoffs, tickets to games at Kauffman were demanding some of the highest prices of all playoff teams.
For the first two games of the American League Division Series on Thursday and Friday at The K, the median asking prices was $237 this week across all resale platforms, according to an analysis done by the online ticket broker SeatGeek at the Star’s request. (For point of reference, tickets averaged $51 during the regular season.)
As of Tuesday, that was fourth highest among the 10 teams in both the American and National leagues who at the time could have possibly hosted a divisional series game — the six division winners and four Wild Card Game contestants.
The highest median asking price was $404 for games at Wrigley Field, should the Chicago Cubs advance after tonight’s National League Wild Card Game in Pittsburgh.
Next were the Toronto Blue Jays ($267 and the New York Mets ($255).
Of those Top Four, only the Royals have been in post season contention this decade. The Mets and Cubs had appearances in 2006 and 2008, respectively, while the Blue Jays have sat out playoff baseball since the second of their back-to-back World Series wins in 1993.
Asking prices for Royals tickets to this week’s games are down some from the average $267 for the two 2014 divisional series games played in Kansas City.
SeatGeek analyst Chris Leyden is not sure what to make of that. “That may have more to do with the circumstances (chance of clinching the series last year) than any drop off in demand for tickets this year,” he said.
In fact, signs point to even tighter supply and demand.
If the resale market for future games is any judge, people with Royals tickets to sell are more optimistic than last year.
Back then, as you’ll remember — and what Royals fan has forgotten — the team had just come off its surprising and dramatic 12-inning Wild Card win to advance to the playoffs in 29 years.
Demand was sky high. Before a single divisional series game had been played and with no guarantee the Royals would go further, ticket prices for American League Championship Series games at Baltimore at Kauffman were averaging $432.
This year it’s $532, meaning many sellers see the divisional series with the Astros as a mere formality.
And as for World Series ticket prices, get out your credit cards. Where the median asking price for World Series tickets to home games was $1,438 at this point last year, it’s $1,732 in 2015.
Again, the median price, which means many tickets are going for much less and many for more. Much, much more. One ticket broker is asking $6700 for front row seats in the Crown Seats section for a possible Game 7.
My big takeaway,” Leyden said, “is that it seems sellers are pricing the tickets a bit higher off the bat, likely because they think the odds of the Royals advancing deep into the playoffs are higher this year than they were the day the postseason started last year.”