Average cost of attending MLB game increased in 2021 following COVID-19 pandemic

·2 min read

MLB teams lost money in 2020 and are looking to make it all back in 2021. The average cost of attending an MLB game increased in 2021 following the COVID-19 pandemic season, according to 2021 Fan Cost Index. 

It costs an average of $253 for a group of four people to attend an MLB game in 2021. That figure is a 4.5% increase compared to what teams were going to charge fans in 2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

That $253 figure is based on a number of factors. Team Marketing Report, which is behind the Fan Cost Index, calculated the price of "four adult non-premium tickets, single-car parking, two draft beers, four soft drinks, four hot dogs and two adult-sized adjustable hats," per The Athletic. 

Groups of four may pay more or less than that $253 figure depending on whether they pay to park, what kind of food they consume and whether they purchase souvenirs. It is possible to pay far less than that figure.

Still, prices are generally up across the league. Only six MLB teams — the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals — saw their average cost drop compared to 2020 prices. The Rockies led the way with a 3% drop. 

Baltimore Orioles see largest increase in average cost to attend MLB game

Incredibly, the 46-99 Baltimore Orioles saw the biggest increase in average price in 2021. The Orioles jumped a staggering 29.4%, an incredible figure for a team that has a .340 winning percentage since 2019.

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The Orioles' figure isn't fueled by ticket prices, the cost of which actually dropped compared to 2020. The team's elevated figure is due to increased costs at concession stands, per The Athletic.

Driving the overall Baltimore fan cost increase is beefed up pricing on drinks and hot dogs, the report shows. The cheapest beer at Camden Yards is now $10 for 22 ounces, per the data, and that’s fueled at least in part by the O’s streamlining drink concessions.

MLB revenue was down last season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fans were not allowed to attend games, which resulted in teams making less money. MLB claims it lost $3.1 billion last season, though the league's figures are not made publicly available, and may not be comprehensive. Individual teams don't make their books public, meaning fans have to take teams at their word regarding how much money a team lost.

Many teams opened the 2021 regular season with limited attendance, but relaxed COVID-19 protocols and allowed more fans in the park once the COVID-19 vaccines became more prevalent. 

Orioles fan gives thumbs down at Camden Yards.
The Orioles saw a huge increase in average price to attend a game in 2021. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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