By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There was more than one unfamiliar sight at Citizen’s Bank Park toward the end of the 2012 season. The most obvious was a team that for the first time in years, was not competing for a playoff spot. There was something else missing from the stadium that hadn’t been seen in a while as well, empty seats.
As the Phillies fell out of the race last year, people stopped showing up. The sellout streak ended, and suddenly it was easier, and cheaper, to get Phillies tickets.
According to TipIQ, a website that aggregates secondary market ticket sellers, the average price of a Phillies ticket in 2012 on the secondary market was $54, a giant 27% drop from 2011’s average of $73 a ticket. The average price of a Phillies ticket on the secondary market in 2012 was $62.
In 2013, prices on the secondary market seem to have made a comeback, as the average price sits at $86. That number is deceptive though, as a few factors play into the jump from the previous year. First, there are fewer cheaper tickets on the market, because there are fewer people buying the cheaper tickets from the team and trying to sell them for a profit (cheaper tickets meaning Pavilion Deck, 400’s Infield, and Terrace Deck, with an average price in the $35 range). There is also now a minimum ticket price for Phillies games listed on Stubhub of $6, as per the league’s new agreement with the person-to-person ticket reselling site. So the days of getting game day seats for $1, just so the seller can get rid of the tickets are over. Finally, the biggest drop off in ticket price last season was the second half of the year, when it became apparent that the Phillies weren’t contenders. The tickets for the second half of this season, are the most expensive right now, and have the furthest to drop.
Here is the monthly average price for Phillies tickets for 2013:
And here are the average prices for Phillies tickets in 2012 before, and after June 4th:
2012 (Before June 4th): $148
2012 (After June 4th): $138
2012 (Before June 4th): $89
2012 (After June 4th): $70
2012 (Before June 4th): $78
2012 (After June 4th): $66
2012 (Before June 4th): $42
2012 (After June 4th): $26
2012 (Before June 4th): $43
2012 (After June 4th): $24
2012 (Before June 4th): $47
2012 (After June 4th): $28
Phillies attendance is still more than respectable, sitting at #6 overall in MLB, averaging over 38,000 fans per game. But it has declined sharply from 2012, at over 6,000 per game. It’s the second biggest drop in all of baseball, only the Marlins, who have one of the worst teams in baseball, have a bigger attendance decrease in 2013.
The fans are still coming, and they’re still paying a good price to do it. Whether that continues will likely depend on the team’s performance over the next month or so. The Phillies finally got back to the .500 mark after a sweep of the Marlins, but as last season proved, .500 might not be enough to keep fans in the stadium.
All statistics have been provided TiqIQ, and Phillies tickets can be bought and sold on the site at this location.
Follow Spike Eskin on Twitter @SpikeEskin.