Chicago Cubs: The price of winning is high for too many fans

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The last three seasons have been the best in Chicago Cubs history (or close to it). While it’s been amazing, there’s no doubt ticket prices are an issue for fans.

Tickets for Chicago Cubs games have been on-sale for a few weeks now. It is always an exciting time for fans to start planning the summer days and/or nights to spend at Wrigley. Demand is as high as ever coming off a World Series victory in 2016 and a core that is built to contend for a number of years.

But, with success and high demand comes a price…literally. Cubs tickets are extremely expensive and some fans simply cannot afford them face value. Obviously there are ways to get seats for different prices on secondary markets online, but the demand being so high can make getting those harder as well.

To put it into perspective, the Cubs had the highest average ticket price in 2017. According to, the average price was roughly $150.63. This was about $45 more than the second-highest average price which belonged to the Yankees. That is just the average, meaning there were plenty of seats more expensive than $151.

Looking at 2018

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Last year was expensive. This year is still expensive. Note the days of the week do make a difference in prices. Weekdays are traditionally cheaper than weekends, and that is still the case. Matchups also make a big difference. Comparing weekdays (Monday-Thursday) and weekends (Friday-Sunday) can make a decent difference.

Just as an example, calculating an early weeknight game vs the Pirates on 4/11 vs a weekend game vs the Cardinals on 7/20. For the weeknight game, prices ranged from a base price (no fees included) from $9 to $114. That is an average price of roughly $41. As for the weekend against the Cardinals in July, the range was from $59 to $299, that is an average of $134. Pretty big difference.

Again that is a basic example based on prices from the Cubs site. Overall the average ticket price is going up by the year Even the “cheap” games like in the first example are still more expensive than most other teams during that time of the season.

It is funny to think that just a few years ago in 2014 (according to statista) the average Cubs ticket price was $44.16, the lowest in the 2010s. That was also during the two-year span (2013-2014) when the demand was much lower and the only two years since 2002 which the attendance was under 2.7 million for the year. 2.7 million though is still top-10 in the league, but low for Chicago Cubs standards.

Trying not to complain

This may sound like complaining, but overall it is not. Having a contender year after year and the first elusive World Series under their belt is what fans want more than anything. People saw the same thing happen to the Chicago Blackhawks, the same was expected for the Cubs. This is a “good” problem to have, even if tickets prices are ridiculous.

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Will these prices effect attendance? Nope. The tickets will still be sold and Wrigley will still be packed during the summer. It was expensive last year and it is hard to recall any game that was super empty, even in the bad weather. If the Cubs keep winning, then people will be overall happy despite the price.