Best Time To Buy Baseball Tickets

Baseball fans know that ticket prices fluctuate widely depending on the time of year. Getting the best deals on tickets requires understanding the factors that influence cost. Prices change based on whether it’s regular season or postseason, weekday or weekend, which teams are playing, and much more. Certain times of year tend to have cheaper tickets, making them the best times to buy for budget-conscious fans. With some preparation and planning, you can save substantially on tickets without sacrificing the ability to see your favorite team play. This guide will walk through the primary considerations around when to purchase baseball tickets to maximize value.

Regular Season vs Postseason

Ticket prices for MLB games can vary greatly depending on whether it’s the regular season or postseason. According to Frugal Answers, the average ticket price during the regular MLB season is around $76. However, once the postseason begins, average ticket prices rise significantly to around $303 for playoff games and $1,390 for World Series games.

The increase in ticket demand during the playoffs leads to the jump in prices, as fans are eager to attend the high-stakes games. Teams that make deep postseason runs also tend to have more devoted fan bases willing to pay higher prices. For example, a CBS News article noted that Philadelphia Phillies playoff tickets average around $270, much pricier than regular season games [1].

Overall, fans can expect to pay nearly 4 times more for playoff tickets versus regular season. Planning ahead and buying early can help get better deals.

Baseball Logo

Ticket prices for popular teams like the New York Yankees tend to be higher than average. According to Statista, the average ticket price for a Yankees game in 2023 is $65.93, one of the highest in MLB [1]. The league average ticket price in 2023 is $35.93.

Popular, large market teams like the Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers can charge more for tickets due to high demand from their large fanbases. Teams with smaller markets and less historical success like the Oakland Athletics have lower average ticket prices. Fans need to weigh their budget versus their desire to see popular teams when deciding when to buy tickets.

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Weekday vs Weekend

Research shows that weekday games tend to have cheaper ticket prices compared to weekend games. According to a study, the average price for a Wednesday MLB game ticket is 27% cheaper than a Saturday ticket. The study found that Tuesday and Wednesday games have the cheapest average ticket prices at around $37, while weekend games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday have average prices ranging from $69-78.

This pricing difference is likely due to higher demand for weekend games when more fans are available to attend. Weekend games also tend to feature more high-profile matchups. Teams take advantage of the increased demand by raising prices. Fans looking for deals on tickets should consider attending weekday games to get lower prices. However, weekends may be the only option for some fans with busy work schedules.

Promotions and Giveaways

Promotional Schedule on Baseball

Special promotions and giveaways are a major factor that can influence MLB ticket prices and demand. Research shows that special event days with unique promotions or giveaways tend to drive up ticket prices and attendance. According to a study by the University of Wisconsin, games with promotions had 13% higher attendance on average compared to non-promotional games. Another study in The Sport Journal found that promotions increased attendance by 15-20% in MLB.

Special promotions like bobblehead giveaways, fireworks nights, or appearances by star players can significantly increase demand. Teams will often raise prices for these marquee events to capitalize on the surge in interest. Fans seeking out a popular promotion day will need to prepare to pay a premium. For budget-conscious fans, it’s best to avoid the prime promotional dates on the schedule.

Secondary Marketplaces

Buying tickets on secondary marketplaces like StubHub or SeatGeek can provide access to great deals on baseball tickets, but also comes with some risks compared to buying directly from the team or MLB. According to data from TicketSmarter, the average price for MLB tickets on the secondary market in 2023 is $78.66. This represents a significant discount compared to the league average direct from teams, which is $35 higher at $113.66 according to Statista.

While scoring cheap last-minute or sold out tickets is possible on secondary sites, there is a risk of fraud and counterfeit tickets. These sites also charge higher fees compared to direct team and MLB sales. There is less recourse if problems arise versus dealing directly with the source. Still, secondary resellers provide an option for bargain hunters and flexibility for re-selling unused tickets. Monitoring sites leading up to the game can yield great deals on quality tickets.

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Last Minute Deals

One strategy for getting cheap last minute MLB tickets is to use secondary ticket marketplaces like Gametime or TickPick. These sites can offer big discounts on tickets close to game time when the primary ticket holders are trying to unload extra tickets. The key is flexibility – being able to go to any game at any time with little notice. Weeknight games tend to have more last minute deals than weekend games. Checking sites like Gametime right before the game starts is a good way to find the cheapest last minute tickets.

You can also try posting on Reddit forums like r/baseballtickets to find people selling their tickets. Be sure to use PayPal Goods and Services for buyer protection. Buying last minute tickets at the stadium box office right before game time is another option, as they will discount unsold tickets. The box office is best for single seats rather than groups. Overall flexibility and watching secondary sites leading up to game time are the best ways to score super cheap last minute MLB deals.

Season Tickets

Season Tickets on Baseball

Season tickets offer some of the best discounts on tickets for MLB games, with season ticket holders often saving 25% or more compared to single-game ticket prices (www.mlb.com). Teams use varied approaches to provide value to season ticket holders, like ticket exchanges and complimentary MLB.TV.

However, season tickets also come with drawbacks. Holders must commit to buying a large block of tickets before the season starts, often 10+ games. This requires a big upfront investment and can lead to unused tickets if holders’ plans change. Selling unused tickets can be difficult, as the secondary market is flooded with season ticket resales. There’s also no flexibility to pick and choose different games. Overall, season tickets offer significant discounts but require a big commitment. They work best for die-hard fans who attend most home games.

Best Overall Time

When considering all factors – such as regular season vs postseason, popularity of teams, weekday vs weekend, promotions, secondary marketplaces, and deals – the best time to buy MLB tickets is typically early in the regular season on weekdays. The beginning of the regular season in April and May offers lower ticket prices on average compared to later summer months or the postseason, and weekdays tend to be significantly cheaper than weekends according to analysis.

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However, fans looking for the lowest prices possible can score great deals in the final weeks of the regular season in September when many teams are out of contention. Last minute promotions are common as teams try to sell remaining inventory. The secondary marketplace also has an abundance of tickets during this time with prices dropping. But buying this late carries the risk of missing out on specific matchups or seating locations.

Instead, targeting low-demand games against less popular opponents on Tuesday through Thursday nights in April, May, and September provides the optimal time to get MLB tickets for the best possible price. Early regular season weekdays have below-average attendance and cheaper ticket prices on the primary and secondary market. Fans can often save 25-40% compared to peak season weekends, while still getting good seat locations.

Conclusion

When is the best time to buy baseball tickets?

As we’ve discussed, there are several factors to consider:

  • The most popular teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, and Dodgers will command higher prices, especially for premium matchups and postseason games. Buying early for marquee events can secure seats before they sell out or surge in price on secondary markets.

  • Weeknight games are generally cheaper than weekend dates since they attract smaller crowds. Take advantage of midweek bargains.

  • Look for special promotional nights like bobblehead giveaways or fireworks that boost attendance. Avoid these high-demand games or buy early.

  • Prices fluctuate on secondary marketplaces according to supply and demand. Monitor sites like StubHub for price drops as game day approaches.

  • Last minute deals can sometimes be found for less popular teams or weeknight games if you’re flexible. But be prepared to pay higher prices for top teams and weekends.

  • Season tickets offer the biggest savings for frequent attendees but require a large upfront investment. Mini-plans are a more affordable option.

Overall, the best time to buy depends on your budget, team preference, schedule flexibility and willingness to take risks on the secondary market. Advanced planning for high-demand games allows you to lock in the best seats at the lowest prices. But some deal hunting can uncover bargains on lower profile matchups. Consider all the factors and options to find the optimal time for your baseball ticket purchase.

Adrian Cook
Adrian Cook

Hello, I'm Adrian Cook, and I am the author of BaseballMatchDay.com. I have a deep-rooted connection to baseball as I was once an avid player of the sport. Baseball has always held a special place in my heart, and my personal experiences as a player have shaped my understanding and love for the game. Having been on the field, I intimately understand the intricacies, challenges, and joys that come with playing baseball. It is this firsthand experience that allows me to bring a unique perspective to the content I create.

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