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The Wild Card: Who Will Punch a Ticket?
After the Cardinals epochal wild card World Series last year and the excitement this year created by the addition of second wild card, even baseball purists have to give the wild card some credit. The ticket market is certainly taking notice, with prices up year over year in cities like Baltimore, Atlanta, Oakland & Los Angeles who would have otherwise moved on to the Gridiron.
The Baltimore Orioles have been most impacted by the increased interest. In the 15 years since the Orioles were last in the playoffs, the Ravens have taken over Baltimore, and have a whopping average home ticket price of $332. The Orioles average price of $72 for this season still doesn’t compare, but at an average price of $212 for the wild card game tickets, the Orioles are earning some respect. If they make a run, prices for an ALCS would likely join the Ravens above a $300 average.
In Atlanta, Chipper will extend his farewell tour to at least one post season game, as the Braves have clinched a post-season berth for the first time since 2010. Tickets for the wild card round have an average price of $169 (213% above regular season average), but those who are willing to look can get in for as low as $40. Despite their track record of lackluster postseason attendance, Braves fans may show up and shell out for Chipper in numbers not seen since the mid-90s.
Although the Athletics have been a big part of the wild-card race for most of this season’s second half, fans are still not blazing a trail to O.co Coliseum. With the Athletics holding a slim lead on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for the final wild card spot and a week of baseball yet to play, wild card tickets can be found for as low as $49 or as high as $331, depending on where your seats are in the stadium. With an average ticket price of $103 compared to the regular season average of $64, this is the smallest increase of the teams explored in the wild-card hunt, at just a 61% price hike.
If Los Angeles can make up some ground on Oakland in the next week, the Angels’ slow start won’t be for naught and a return to the postseason may be in the cards. Tickets for a potential wild card Game range from $40 to $652 and average $151. Compared to their season average of $37, a 308% premium is the highest for any team chasing a wild card spot.