On Monday, the Astros began offering single game tickets to season ticket holders. One of them posted a snapshot of the cost of tickets for opening day and let's just say it was a tad higher than last year. Others began weighing in on Twitter almost immediately, some with outrage, and others with resignation that this is the cost of doing business when your team wins the World Series. Still, looking at the prices, it's not surprising some fans received a jolt of sticker shock.
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The cheapest ticket at Minute Maid Park for the home opener against Baltimore on April 2 is $83...for standing room only. If you want to sit behind the dugout, you'll need to shell out $400 per ticket. Tickets quickly began hitting Stubhub and other secondary ticket marketplaces including Ebay and Craigslist with increases ranging from modest to fairly high. By comparison, a ticket in the Crawford Boxes will set you back $270 if you purchase through the Astros, but on Stubhub, they start at just over $300.Those prices are bound to increase on secondary markets as demand grows closer to opening day.
This isn't to say fans weren't warned. The Houston Business Journal reported in July of 2017 (well before even the playoffs let alone the World Series), that certain seats, especially those closest to the action, could increase as much as 80 percent in the 2018 season.
And ticket prices overall have increased steadily over the last few years for both season ticket holders and those taking in a random single game (especially if the opponent is the Yankees or Red Sox, for example). But even with those increases, the average ticket to an Astros game remains well below the most expensive tickets in Major League Baseball. In 2017, the Astros ranked 18th out of 30 teams in average ticket cost at just under $56 per game. Compare that to to their opening day opponent, the Orioles, at over $78 per game, nevermind the Cubs $150 per game average, and it feels like a bargain.
Still, $400 for one seat at a single game against the Orioles even if it is opening day after a World Series victory is tough to swallow for fans who have been bringing their families to home openers for years. That just seems to be the price we all pay for winning a championship.