Summer is in full swing, and for baseball fans, that means games at the ballpark. But as anyone who’s taken their family to see a game knows, America’s pastime can be pricey.
There are ways to save money on baseball tickets throughout the season. How much you can save depends on a few factors:
- When the game is
- Which teams are playing
- How far in advance you buy tickets.
To figure out the best time to buy, our team reviewed StubHub sales from more than 1,300 games and more than 2.2 million tickets sold from the first half of the 2023 season. We also examined which teams command the highest and lowest prices for tickets at home and on the road.
- The average MLB game costs $78.66 on the secondary market.
- The best time to buy baseball tickets is the day of the game. Tickets are 25% cheaper on game day on average versus one week prior. And compared to average ticket prices three months prior, game day tickets cost only about half as much.
- The Dodgers have the highest average cost for home game tickets at $117, while the Yankees have the highest average ticket cost for games where they are the visiting team ($143).
- The least expensive team to see at home is the Marlins, with average ticket prices of just $35 for games at loanDepot Park.
- Weekend night games are the most expensive. During the week, daytime games are more expensive than night games.
The best time to buy MLB tickets
For the frugal fan, it’s important to know when to click the “buy” button to ensure you get the best deal on baseball tickets. So does that mean it is better to buy tickets weeks or even months in advance, or are the best deals closer to game day?
Fortunately, sales data provides a pretty definitive answer to that question: The best time to buy a ticket on the resale market is on game day. The data shows that Major League Baseball tickets purchased 90 days before the game cost $103 on average, but prices start dropping 65 days or so before the game. On game day, they average just $55.
Fans who are willing to wait to buy tickets until the last few hours before first pitch can save nearly $50 (and nearly 50%) compared to fans who purchase tickets three months early.
TipThe average ticket cost for an MLB game on StubHub is $78.66
While ticket prices drop consistently as game day approaches, some of the biggest decreases come in the days just before the game. One week before a pitch is thrown, tickets cost $74 on average, but, by the actual day of the game, the average cost has dropped to $55 — a 26% decrease in just seven days.
Which games are most and least expensive?
The MLB season is a long one, with 30 different teams playing 162 games each. This means there are games being played at different times of day nearly every day from April through September. Beyond the popularity and on-field success (or lack thereof) of the teams on the field, the convenience or inconvenience of different game dates and times impact how much people are willing to pay for baseball tickets.
Weekend games tend to be more expensive on average than weekdays. Tickets for games on Saturdays are the most expensive, costing $91 on average. Friday tickets are nearly as expensive, costing an average of $89. Both of these prices cost around $25 more than tickets for games played on Wednesdays, which run just $65 on average — the lowest of any day of the week.
Beyond the day of the week, the time of day a game is played can also impact how much people pay for tickets. Fewer people attend evening games during the week, likely as a result of work and family schedules. As a result, tickets for weekday night games are less expensive ($73) than tickets for day games during the week($78).
On the weekends, night games ($97) cost $15 more per ticket than day games ($82).
Teams with the most and least expensive tickets
Perhaps the biggest factor in ticket prices is the city you live in and how much locals like going to games. Some MLB teams are marquee attractions that draw in devoted fans at home and on the road. Alternatively, less popular teams often have bargain-basement ticket costs no matter where they play.
We found out which teams’ tickets are the most and least expensive, both at home and on the road.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the league’s most historic teams, and one of the premier teams in the sport today. Angelenos have embraced their hometown squad, making Dodgers tickets to home games the most expensive in all of baseball, costing $117 on average.
On the other side of the country, the New York Yankees are the only other team with average home ticket prices in excess of $100. Tickets to Yankee Stadium cost $108 on average over the first few months of the season.
The rest of our top-10 most expensive teams include the Boston Red Sox ($97), the San Diego Padres ($91), and the Atlanta Braves ($89), the last of which entered the All-Star break with the best record in the league.
On the flip side, baseball fans in Miami enjoy the most affordable home tickets in all of baseball — they cost just $35 on average. So much for having the reigning Cy Young Award winner.
On the road
Of visiting MLB teams that raise local ticket prices, the Yankees are the undisputed champs. Resale tickets for Yankees road games cost $143 on average. That’s more than $40 more expensive than any other team.
Once again, New York finishes one spot ahead of their bitter rivals from Boston. Red Sox road game tickets are the second-most expensive at $102 on average.
Some visiting teams don’t show much local appeal. The Pittsburgh Pirates are at the bottom of the barrel, with tickets to their road games selling for just $57 on average. That’s even lower than road game tickets for the Oakland Athletics ($60), a team that’s actively tanking its season in anticipation of a move from Oakland to Las Vegas.
More ways to save at the ballpark
Attending a baseball game doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some tips for how to save on your next trip to the stadium:
- Travel wisely. Use one of the best travel credit cards if you’re going to see your team on the road. These credit cards offer high rewards rates on travel purchases, such as hotel stays and airfare.
- Budget effectively. Manage your money in a way that allows you to spend on the tickets and games you really want to see. These budgeting hacks help you focus your finances and get you to your savings goals.
- Buy experiences, not gear. Did you know that certain credit cards let you redeem rewards points for events? This guide to gifting experiences with credit card points tells you how to give (and get) experiences.
FinanceBuzz used data provided by seatdata.io to analyze over 2.2 million MLB tickets sold on StubHub for all regular season games played during April, May, and June of the 2023 MLB season.