USA TODAY - Ford’s Model T rolled off the assembly line for the first time days before the Chicago Cubs won their last World Series in 1908.
Now it will cost about as much as a gently used Ford Focus to get into games at Wrigley Field for the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians. The Cubs' final home game of the World Series is tracking to be among the most expensive tickets in sports history.
Tickets for all three games in Chicago have an average listing price of more than $3,500 the secondary ticket market as of Sunday. Game 5, which wouldn't be played if there's a sweep, has an average listing price of $4,614 on the secondary ticket market, according to ticket sales and tracking site SeatGeek.
“Right now Game 5 in Chicago would be the second-most in-demand event we have ever seen, only topped by Mayweather-Pacquio,” said SeatGeek spokesperson Chris Leyden, whose site has tracked the secondary market since 2010. “That means right now it tops all of the Super Bowls we have seen. That being said, I would expect that price to end up lower, unless the Cubs are going for the clinch that game.”
The average listing price on StubHub for Friday's Game 3 in Chicago was $3,567, which is nearly double the popular ticket website's highest average price for baseball game: Game 1 of the 2004 World Series ($1,825) as the Boston Red Sox hosted the St. Louis Cardinals. StubHub's data goes back to 2002.
"There's no question that Chicago was going to be a hot market," StubHub spokesperson Cameron Papp said. "To this point, it appears the games in Chicago will be the priciest baseball games we've seen."
Ticket prices generally spike in the hours after a team clinches a berth in the next round, only to come down in the hours before series gets underway. The Cubs dispatched the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 5-0 victory in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday.
The games at home for the Indians, who last won a World Series in 1948, cost slightly above average when compared to other World Series in recent years. The average price for the first two games of the series at Progressive Field are each about $1,200. Game 1 is Tuesday.
“We have seen (prices) increase during the NLCS as the Cubs looked more likely to win the series,” Leyden said. “The cities are only about a five-hour drive apart or a one-hour flight. While it looks like almost all the hotels in downtown are booked full, you can stay a short drive outside the city for only a couple hundred bucks or less.”
The cheapest ticket is listed at $700 for Game 1 and that is for a standing-room-only ticket on StubHub. Progressive Field has about 7,000 fewer seats now than when the ballpark opened as Jacob’s Field in 1994. The right upper field seats were removed in favor of a group seating/party area as part of a renovation announced in August 2014 that cut Progressive Field’s seating capacity to 35,225.
The get-in price for Game 3 at Wrigley Field, which has a 41,268-seat capacity, is $2,200 on StubHub as of Sunday, also for a standing-room-only ticket. The cheapest bleacher seat was listed for $3,000.
The games at Wrigley will challenge the last five Super Bowls, which had an average sale price on StubHub that ranged between $2,481 (2013) and $4,445 (2016).
Papp came up with a couple instances where postseason tickets could be in this much demand in other sports.
"I would say the New York Knicks making the NBA Finals or the Toronto Maples Leafs making the Stanley Cup Final," Papp said.
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