A Look At Ticket Prices

A Look At Ticket Prices

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 16, 2009
  • 12 Comments

For a while now I’ve been wanting to examine the state of MLS ticket prices. I had planning on putting together a comparison to other leagues in the US and how economical the league is for the average sports fan. What happen was I put the thought on the back burner for too long and someone beat me to it. Well, half way beat me to it at least.

Buzz Carrick posted MLS ticket prices over at 3rd Degree. I’ve re-posted them here with the exception of the city population that he had in his table.

I may still do the other leagues down the road but it is interesting to see how cheap the league really is. I know here in Dallas the league stacks up nicely to other sports like the NBA, NFL, NHL, and NBA in terms of ticket prices. There are fewer games than three of those leagues but the prices aren’t too shabby for a fairly new stadium, even if it is out of the way for most. Then again Arlington isn’t the easiest drive for some living in North Dallas as Frisco isn’t easy for those in Fort Worth or Arlington. Its a matter of desire for those fans really but that is another topic for another day.

Below is the table of ticket prices in the league along with attendance change in the league based on last year’s numbers. Now I don’t know exactly how accurate these figures are but I would imagine that whoever gave them to Carrick did their homework. I mainly was interested in posting the ticket prices for you all to see.

Team Prices 2008 Att 2009 Att % Change
Columbus $10-$29 Y
$16-$39 A
14,421 12,416 -14%
Colorado $12-$35 13,674 12,409 -9.3%
LA Galaxy $14-$200 26,050 19,297 -22%
Chicago $15-$70 17,052 11,726 -28.6%
Chivas USA $15-$100 15,373 15,311
Kansas City $15-$25 10,673 # 9,703 # -9.1%
Real Salt Lake $18-$60 16,314 15,448 -5.3%
FC Dallas $19-$150 13,097 8,769 -34%
San Jose $20-$60 13,755 10,882 -28.1%
NE Revs $20-$65 14,325 11,509 -26.2%
Houston $20-$74 17,752 15,479 -7.51%
Seattle $20-$85 N/A 29,400
NY Red Bulls $20-$100 16,323 10,966 -18.92%
DC United $22-$50 19,835 14,811 -28.85
Toronto FC $32.58-$184 * 20,241 20,219 +0.43%

* (at today’s conversion rate)
# (capacity 10,385)

Anyways, nearly everyone is down as we already know in terms of attendance. I believe there are a few clubs that are actually doing better than the table shows but I wasn’t able to find too much proof of that. Columbus and Chivas’ numbers are better than what this states but for lack of time I wasn’t able to get the proof.

As far as the tickets go, most clubs are in the fairly cheap range for most folks out there. I love that the Crew offer youth prices. That still drives in the soccer familys but I know the club also does a decent job at getting the average fan into the game as well.

New York is on the higher end based on the stadium they are in right now. Next year will be interesting to see how things go when they are in Red Bull Arena.

Your big value clubs (cheap ticket and decent club): Columbus, Colorado and Kansas City.

Decent value clubs (average ticket with a quality club): DC, Chicago, and New England.

Over priced club (higher ticket with a bad club): Dallas, New York, and San Jose.

Honestly I am really impressed with how cheap Kansas City is here. I know a lot has to do with them being in a baseball stadium but if they can keep those kinds of prices once they move into a soccer stadium in the coming years you could see them do very well at the gate. I honestly believe that out of that club.

Any numbers jump out at you here?

  • Kirk

    Looks to me like the 2008 attendance figures are for the full year, while 2009 numbers would just be for the first 1/2 of the season (or a little less). That could skew numbers depending when some of the bigger drawing match ups take place etc. For instance, here in Houston I would bet that once Chicago, Seattle, and LA roll through we will experience a few 25,000+ games that will bring the average up significantly. I also wonder if playoff attendance was figured into last years numbers, my guess is yes. Bottom line – attendance might be as poor as this makes it our to be, in fact I will bet that many teams'average attendance will be up vs previous year by MLS cup time. It would also be interesting to see the prices with "promotional deals" worked in. I know Houston has a 4 pack for just about everygame for under $60. Thats less than $15 a ticket.

  • Kirk

    Looks to me like the 2008 attendance figures are for the full year, while 2009 numbers would just be for the first 1/2 of the season (or a little less). That could skew numbers depending when some of the bigger drawing match ups take place etc. For instance, here in Houston I would bet that once Chicago, Seattle, and LA roll through we will experience a few 25,000+ games that will bring the average up significantly. I also wonder if playoff attendance was figured into last years numbers, my guess is yes. Bottom line – attendance might be as poor as this makes it our to be, in fact I will bet that many teams’average attendance will be up vs previous year by MLS cup time. It would also be interesting to see the prices with “promotional deals” worked in. I know Houston has a 4 pack for just about everygame for under $60. Thats less than $15 a ticket.

  • Kevin

    Kirk:<br />
    <br />
    Until the economy improves, don't expect to see numbers up anywhere, especially New England and DC. That being said, if Houston really can draw 25,000+ for those 3 games, then more power to you!

  • Alex

    I would suspect Seattle has the best average revenue per seat, as well as total attendance. I'm not sure what the average ticket price is–the additional seating opening up for the COL game onward will be the cheap ($20) seats in the south end–but the bulk of seats are in $29 (sidelines), $35 (midfield), and $39 (club) sections<br />
    <br />
    As far as I can tell, Seattle has also sold every luxury box (on the east side – I can't see the west side from my seats) for every game, along with the field level suites on the north end.

  • Kevin

    Kirk:

    Until the economy improves, don’t expect to see numbers up anywhere, especially New England and DC. That being said, if Houston really can draw 25,000+ for those 3 games, then more power to you!

  • Alex

    I would suspect Seattle has the best average revenue per seat, as well as total attendance. I’m not sure what the average ticket price is–the additional seating opening up for the COL game onward will be the cheap ($20) seats in the south end–but the bulk of seats are in $29 (sidelines), $35 (midfield), and $39 (club) sections

    As far as I can tell, Seattle has also sold every luxury box (on the east side – I can’t see the west side from my seats) for every game, along with the field level suites on the north end.

  • Brian Zygo

    I'm not sure about other clubs, but the Houston Dynamo typically have special packages for home matches that get you four tickets plus extra perks for less then $20 a ticket. Additionally, the Dynamo are currently offering the Futbol Fanatic Pack at $90, this gets you a ticket to the Gold Cup doubleheader at Reliant Stadium plus 5 Dynamo home games.

  • I’m not sure about other clubs, but the Houston Dynamo typically have special packages for home matches that get you four tickets plus extra perks for less then $20 a ticket. Additionally, the Dynamo are currently offering the Futbol Fanatic Pack at $90, this gets you a ticket to the Gold Cup doubleheader at Reliant Stadium plus 5 Dynamo home games.

  • J9

    The Colorado tickets get even cheaper when you consider that parking is, per the FO, &quot;included for the price&quot;. It's definitely nice not to have to pay $10-$20 to park.

  • J9

    The Colorado tickets get even cheaper when you consider that parking is, per the FO, “included for the price”. It’s definitely nice not to have to pay $10-$20 to park.

  • Brian

    $25 for our (KC) high-end seat? I'm not sure that's accurate. If it is, then I'm impressed as well. However, I think the best seat in the house is in our supporters section at $15 a seat and about 15 feet from the end line.

  • Brian

    $25 for our (KC) high-end seat? I’m not sure that’s accurate. If it is, then I’m impressed as well. However, I think the best seat in the house is in our supporters section at $15 a seat and about 15 feet from the end line.