Photo of Washington Nationals tickets laying on a table.

Image Credit: Daniel Borman (CC BY 2.0)

As expected, the surprise team of the 2011 Major League Baseball season will hike their ticket prices by an average of 9% next season. More than 3 Million fans flocked to the beautiful Miller Park in Milwaukee this season to see Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and company.

Every Milwaukee Brewers home game will be placed into three categories; blue, marquee and gold. The marquee games will obviously be the home games vs. the Chicago Cubs as well as Opening Day. Is this increase in ticket prices simply a result of the 2011 playoff appearance? Or could it be an attempt to have a surplus of money in hopes of re-signing 1st baseman Prince Fielder? While the Brewers will make an attempt to keep Fielder with the team, they have made it obvious that Ryan Braun is their prize piece. Earlier this season, Braun signed a deal keeping him in Milwaukee through the 2020 season. The deal is worth in the neighborhood of $150 million.

The Brewers nearby rival Chicago Cubs, plan on decreasing their ticket prices for bleacher seats at Wrigley Field in 2012. Bleacher seats at Wrigley are the general admission sections in the outfield (301-306, 311-316, 337-342). In 2011, bleacher seats at Wrigley Field ranged in price from $18-$75. No other sections at Wrigley will see a drop in ticket price while the bleachers are largely the most popular seats in the ballpark.

Look for Dodger Stadium to have the largest drop in ticket prices in 2012. Seats in nearly every section will be listed at less than $20 face value. There are a number of factors that lead to the decision to slash ticket prices. Who could forget the Bryan Stow incident on Opening Day when he was attacked by two Dodgers fans? From then on, there was a stigma that attending games at Dodger Stadium was unsafe. And who could blame the fans? Just read some of the ballpark encounters from Dodger fans before the Stow incident had even happened.

And then there was the McCourt divorce. Los Angeles Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt could barely afford to cover the team's payroll thanks to his costly divorce with his wife. While this has nothing to do with baseball, it was a huge distraction for the team which likely resulted in huge losses. And when the team is losing, less fans are showing up to the ballpark. A fact that can't be disputed.

Most importantly, the economy in California is in shambles. When jobs and money are scarce, the first thing to go is discretionary income. Who wants to pay $8 for a beer and $6 for a hot dog at Dodger Stadium? Although the Dodgers did have a solid season finishing at 82-79, they were 3rd in the National League-West and finished 11.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. Attendance falls way off in August when it becomes obvious that many teams will miss the playoffs. For those that do have the luxury of being able to afford attending Major League Baseball games, take advantage this upcoming season. Cheap ticket prices means better seats and a wonderful time with family.


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