Hooks sent me this link to SeatGeek yesterday, which is a nifty little site that breaks down average ticket prices to sporting events and concerts on the secondary market. The piece he sent me is another illustration of the ass backwards retardery of the National League Central.
Despite the Cubs dwelling approximately 47 games back in the standings, average ticket prices at Chicago’s Largest Beer Garden more than double those at Great American, Miller or PNC. Although I realize that Wrigley Field is a historical landmark that attracts even the most casual of fans, this just seems weird to me. Somehow this baseball stadium has become one of those places people feel compelled to see in person, much like the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore or the Harry Potter attractions at Universal Studios.
However, the sheer stupidity behind this is impossible to ignore. Does anyone realize that most of these other parks are actually much nicer? Am I the only one who has noticed this? They have unobstructed views! Seats that sometimes have cushions! REAL TOILETS! Even at my most impartial, I can’t ignore the fact that this stadium is a nearly 100 year old concrete relic that has at one point rained rocks on its guests.
Yet people are willing to spend a small fortune to see a game within its walls. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? Although, I guess, good job Chicago Cubs? Despite being an abysmal pock on baseball’s history, they somehow manage to at least lead the division in SOMETHING.
Anyway, it’s been my own personal policy to not ever actually pay for tickets to Cubs games and it’s one I’ve executed quite flawlessly over my nearly six year tenure in Chicago. Less one Cardinals game in 2005, (for which I paid $20 for a standing room only ticket,) I’ve really only been to games that have been on someone else’s corporate dime.
I HAVE PRINCIPLES, DAMMIT!
I mean, if I’m going to be subjected to “Go, Cubs, Go” and Ronnie Woo Woo, the only money I’m willing to spend on it is that which will lull me into the level of intoxication necessary to prevent me from stabbing fellow patrons with a fork. Now, I’ve admittedly not been to Great American, Minute Maid or PNC, but I’ve had the pleasure of seeing games at both Miller Park and at least 13 Busch Stadiums. (There have been 13, right? I’ve started to lose track.) These have all been enjoyable experiences enhanced by the arena in which I watched them. I felt downright classy at times!
Contrarily, I always feel like I should take a shower after I leave a game at Wrigley Field. I just can’t understand why more people don’t feel this way.
The other startling, albeit less surprising statistic, is one that points out that of the 10 most expensive games played in the NL Central this year, 8 are between the Cubs and Cardinals with the other two played between the Cubs and White Sox. No offense to the other four teams in the division, but YIKES! That just seems kind of embarrassing.
Again, it isn’t really a huge shocker, as these are both noted rivalries involving large markets and rabid fan bases, all of whom have experienced some degree of success over the past five years. Plus, the alternatives are games involving the Reds, Brewers, Pirates and Astros and really, who cares? But I still find it kind of sad that a competitive, division leading team STILL cannot scalp their seats for a premium. If the true measure of achievement is how firmly a team can wallet rape their fans, then the Reds are a total failure no matter what the standings might otherwise suggest. Their rape is simply not forcible enough! On the other hand, Cardinals fans practically have to sell a kidney on the black market to see the Redbirds take on the Cubbies at Busch this August. I’ve seen a handful of Cards/Cubs games at Wrigley, but have never made it to one in St. Louis before.
And unless my career in magic REALLY takes off, that’s not likely going to change anytime soon. Call me, Cris Angel!