It's the give-and-take all fans must cope with during a postseason bid and beyond: Keep winning, and watch ticket prices increase.
That fate has been handed to Chicago Cubs fans this offseason, who after watching their team reach the National League Championship Series last year will break the bank even further for seats (or bleacher spots) at Wrigley Field during the 2016 season. And while prices continue to soar, demand remains through the roof both on primary and secondary market outlets.
The price spike was first revealed in mid-November after the conclusion of the World Series, and a busy offseason with the signings of Ben Zobrist and Jayson Heyward has added even more promise to a team already jam-packed with talent. An invoice sent to season ticketholders said the average price for Cubs tickets will jump about 10% in 2016 on the primary market, which claims to be the highest increase since 2010.
Though single-game tickets won't officially go on sale until the springtime (typically early March), the secondary market is anticipating a massive jump in average price across the 81 games at Wrigley Field. According to secondary market data the average price for Chicago Cubs tickets is currently $175.40, which marks a 105% increase from last season's average of $85.36. That speculative price will likely dip as more tickets become available to the public, but as it stands now the Cubs own the most expensive resale tickets in baseball for the 2016 season.
The Cubs' home opener on April 11 will most certainly be among one of the most expensive games in the majors this year, drawing both local and out-of-town fans. Cubs Opening Day tickets against the Cincinnati Reds currently own a secondary market average of $230.88, 31.6% above the season average, and the cheapest available ticket is listed for $80.
It remains to be seen if the Cubs' big offseason splash will warrant a deeper postseason push come October, but one thing is for certain -- the assemblage of several of the league's biggest free agents has proved that brass is serious about making a run for the franchise's first championship since 1908.
And at the rate fans will be paying just to get past the turnstile, they'll expect nothing less.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.