2020 MLB Ticket Report + Coronavirus Impact and Safety


MLB 2020 Season Update & Schedule

UPDATE 7/7: Major League Baseball released its 60-game schedule last night. Opening day is July 23rd and will run through September 27th. On the 23rd, the Washington Nationals will host the New York Yankees, and the Los Angeles Dodgers will host the San Francisco Giants. All other teams will play their opening day games on July 24th.  Here is some more detailed info regarding each team's schedule:

40 divisional games (20 home, 20 road)
• 10 games against each opponent, split between three series
• Each of these matchups will have either one team playing seven games at home and three on the road, or six at home and four on the road.

20 Interleague games (10 home, 10 road)
• Six games against the team’s natural Interleague rival (three home, three road)
• Four games apiece against two other opponents in the corresponding division (two home, two road)
• One three-game home series against a fourth opponent
• One three-game road series against a fifth opponent


Major League Baseball and the Major League Players Association have finalized an agreement on a shortened 60-game season. Players have agreed to report to training camps by July 1 for an abbreviated "Spring Training"  with opening day set for July 23rd. The season is expected to end by September 27.

The schedule will feature 40 divisional games, and 20 games coming against teams in the opposite league's corresponding geographical division. 

EAST: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirate, Washington Nationals

CENTRAL: Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals. Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals

WEST: Anaheim Angels, Houston Astros, Oakland A's, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants.

Teams will also have to follow strict procedure for health and safety. You can see a full rundown of those as well as some new rule changes here

Which MLB Stadiums and Cities Have Highest and Lowest Coronavirus Risk?

We’ve analyzed Covid-19 case data along with RT values, which measure the rate of virus transmission, for all 50 states. Based on this data, we’ve created a Safety Index which measures the risk fans take when buying tickets for MLB games in their cities. The Safety Index is not meant as a recommendation to attend events in any market, but just one interpretation of publicly-available data. We’ve broken down our Safety Index into 3 categories. Teams highlighted in Green are the safest. A Yellow rating is low-medium risk. Orange or Red ratings are the riskiest.  We'll be updating every two weeks to track progress by state.

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Coronavirus Impact On The MLB Ticket Market

With nearly half of the season already wiped away, we estimate the lost revenue for secondary market MLB tickets is just over $5 billion. That estimate is based on secondary market value, average attendance from the 2019 season, and the number of games canceled. This is not a precise measure, but the simplest way to benchmark the magnitude of losses, by team. Below is a breakdown:

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The secondary market ticket value for the upcoming shortened 60-game season is just under $1.9 billion. That number grows to over $2 billion with the playoffs included.
 
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Where To Buy 2020 MLB Tickets

On the primary market, tickets are available via Ticketmaster or the team's websites. Several teams single-game tickets have already gone on sale, while others will go on sale throughout Spring Training. 

On the secondary market, TicketIQ has a Low Price Guarantee on all sold out MLB tickets for all games on the 2020 schedule, which means that if you find a secondary market ticket for less on a site like Stubhub or Vividseats, we’ll give you 200% of the difference in ticket credit. TicketIQ customers save an average of 5%-20% compared to Stubhub and Vividseats.

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How Much Are 2020 MLB Tickets

With the Major League Baseball team a little more than a month away, teams are seeing just about what you’d expect — many that had a great 2019 season are seeing an uptick in the average asking price for tickets in 2020. But baseball’s history is one of commitment by fans, and that often translates into high ticket prices for the teams with the most devoted following — whether they’re winning or losing. That culture is most on display in Boston, where the Red Sox are currently under investigation for a cheating scandal and finished third in the American League East a year after winning it all, but still have the highest average asking price across baseball on the secondary market.

The $167 average is up 7.2% from 2019 and is more than $20 higher than the average for the next priciest team — the division rival New York Yankees, who are commanding an average of $145 for a ticket to Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won the East in 2019 but lost to the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series. That average is up 8.3% over 2019. The third priciest average is for the Los Angeles Dodgers, winners of the NL West in 2019. At $108, the average asking price for a Dodgers home game is down 22.2%, proving that fans are tiring of the Dodgers' inability to make the promise of a World Series a reality.

Team

2020 Average Ticket Price

YoY Price Change

Boston Red Sox 🎟️

$167

7.2%

New York Yankees 🎟️

$145

8.3%

Los Angeles Dodgers 🎟️

$108

-22.2%

Washington Nationals 🎟️

$102

30.4%

St. Louis Cardinals 🎟️

$101

-3.0%

Chicago Cubs 🎟️

$93

-51.6%

Cleveland Indians 🎟️

$92

7.6%

Chicago White Sox 🎟️

$81

-1.2%

Philadelphia Phillies 🎟️

$75

-13.3%

Houston Astros 🎟️

$73

-6.8%

Minnesota Twins 🎟️

$73

27.4%

Oakland Athletics 🎟️

$73

-12.3%

Kansas City Royals 🎟️

$72

-11.1%

Toronto Blue Jays 🎟️

$70

4.3%

Arizona Diamondbacks 🎟️

$69

-17.4%

Milwaukee Brewers 🎟️

$68

-8.8%

Texas Rangers 🎟️

$68

13.2%

Colorado Rockies 🎟️

$65

13.8%

Seattle Mariners 🎟️

$64

-31.3%

New York Mets 🎟️

$64

15.4%

Los Angeles Angels 🎟️

$63

14.3%

San Francisco Giants 🎟️

$62

-21.0%

Pittsburgh Pirates 🎟️

$58

-5.2%

San Diego Padres 🎟️

$58

10.3%

Atlanta Braves 🎟️

$58

-35.1%

Miami Marlins 🎟️

$57

8.8%

Tampa Bay Rays 🎟️

$56

25.0%

Cincinnati Reds 🎟️

$55

12.7%

Detroit Tigers 🎟️

$53

-22.6%

Baltimore Orioles 🎟️

$52

-1.9%

Most Expensive MLB Teams In 2020

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As noted above, the three priciest averages belong to Boston, New York, and Los Angeles, and they are three of only five teams with an average asking price of $100 or more. Despite Boston’s ugly season and the threat of results from MLB’s cheating investigation, Fenway Park is the smallest ballpark in baseball, and the Red Sox are part of the fabric of New England. Season tickets have long been sold out at the oldest park still in use, so it’s no surprise that win or lose, Boston finds itself on the top of the price heap.

The Nationals, with their big jump, check-in at No. 4 in terms of the average asking price, while the St. Louis Cardinals, who got to the NLCS before losing to the Nationals, are No. 5. Fans will pay an average of $101 at Busch Stadium, down 3% from 2019.

Next five: Chicago Cubs ($93); Cleveland Indians ($92); Chicago White Sox ($92); Philadelphia Phillies ($75); Minnesota Twins ($73), Houston Astros ($73) and Oakland Athletics ($73). 

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Least Expensive MLB Teams In 2020

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The cheapest MLB tickets this season will cost fans an average of $52 in Baltimore and New York. Baltimore’s average dropped from 1.9% to $52 after it finished last in the AL East in 2019. The Detroit Tigers have the second cheapest ticket after seeing their average drop 22.6% to $53 while both Cincinnati (12.7%) and Tampa Bay (25%) had fairly significant increases, but still remain cheap, at $55 and $56, respectively. The Miami Marlins round out the bottom 5.

Next Five: Atlanta Braves ($58), Pittsburgh Pirates ($58), San Diego Padres ($58); San Francisco Giants ($62); Los Angeles Angels ($63).

Year Over Year MLB Ticket Price Changes

The biggest movers in terms of average increase during the off-season are the Washington Nationals, who won the first World Series in franchise history last year. The average price for a Nationals ticket jumped 30.4% from $71 to $102. The only other team that had a jump of 25% or more is the Minnesota Twins, who won 101 games and the AL Central, before losing to the Yankees in the ALCS. The average asking price for a ticket is up 27.4% from $53 to $73. 

On the downside, the luster of the Cubs 2016 World Series win, which broke a 108-year Series drought, has definitely worn off. Since then, the Cubs got to the NLCS (2017) and the Wild-Card Round (2018), but failed to make the playoffs in 2019, and the average dropped a whopping 51.6% — the biggest move in either direction across the league — from $141 to $93. The next biggest drop is 35.1% for the Atlanta Braves, from $77 to $57 after they won the NL East for the second consecutive season, but got bounced out of the playoffs in the Division Series. 

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Biggest 2020 MLB Ticket Price Gainers 

Big gains don’t always translate into the priciest tickets, though it worked out that way for the Nationals, whose 30.4% upswing in prices makes them the fourth most expensive on the secondary market entering 2020. The Nats have one of the best infields in MLB, and though Anthony Rendon left for the Los Angeles Angels, the Nats added Eric Thames and Starlin Castro, so the infield should remain an asset. The second-biggest gainer is the New York Mets, who have been edging closer and closer to a playoff spot over the last two seasons, but it’s likely that the return of Yoenis Cespedes, who missed 2019, is the real reason behind the 30.4% spike in average asking prices.

The Twins, who had the next biggest price gain, 27.4%, aren’t even in the Top 10 in terms of average asking price — they rank No. 12. And Tampa Bay’s 25% gain is hefty, but they’re still the fifth-cheapest team to see play at home this season. That said, the Rays are always a contender in baseball’s most competitive division and should continue that trend following a 96-win season and their first playoff appearance since 2016 last year.

Across the country in Los Angeles, the Angels are enjoying a 14.3% increase in average asking price, largely because they hired Joe Maddon as skipper and added big bat Anthony Rendon, who won a World Series with Washington last year. Of course, Mike Trout is always a draw.

Just missing the Top 5: Colorado (13.8%); Texas (13.2%); Cincinnati (12.7%); San Diego (10.3%); Miami (8.8%).

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Biggest 2020 MLB Ticket Price Decliners 

A messy roster and front office contributed to the decline in the average asking price for a Chicago Cubs ticket. The team’s average slipped 51.6% against 2019, the biggest drop in MLB, in large part due to uncertainty on the roster and the firing of Joe Maddon, who brought the Cubs their first World Series win in more than a century in 2016. The Atlanta Braves are another team in flux, with a big number of off-season moves that mean what’s coming this season is unknown. That said, the Braves have been building on success every year for the last few, but their failure to advance past the NLDS last season is likely why the average ticket price dropped 35.1%. The Braves will need to make good on their regular-season successes to get fans back into the ballpark. 

The Seattle Mariners had the third biggest price drop during the off-season, with the average asking price falling 31.3% to $64. There’s not much to get fans to the ballpark in Seattle these days — the M’s haven’t made it to the post-season since 2001 and last year finished 5th in the NL West. Both Detroit (22.6%) and the Dodgers (22.1%) also had significant declines in ticket averages. The Tigers can blame the decline on a recent lack of success — since winning the AL Central for four straight seasons between 2011-14, they haven’t gotten back to the playoffs and were fifth in the division last season. The Dodgers just don’t seem to be able to translate regular-season success to the post-season, and L.A. fans are notoriously fickle.

MLB Team Value Index (Cost per win based on projected win totals)

Team Avg Price Projected Wins Cost Per Win
Tampa Bay Rays $56 91.5 $0.61
Atlanta Braves $57 90.5 $0.63
Cincinnati Reds $55 85.5 $0.64
San Diego Padres $58 83.5 $0.69
New York Mets $64 87.5 $0.73
Los Angeles Angels $63 85.5 $0.74
Houston Astros $73 97.5 $0.75
Minnesota Twins $73 91.5 $0.80
Oakland Athletics $73 90.5 $0.81
Milwaukee Brewers $68 83.5 $0.81
Arizona Diamondbacks $69 84.5 $0.82
Pittsburgh Pirates $58 70.5 $0.82
Colorado Rockies $65 74.5 $0.87
Philadelphia Phillies $75 85.5 $0.88
Texas Rangers $68 77.5 $0.88
San Francisco Giants $62 70.5 $0.88
Miami Marlins $57 64.5 $0.88
Baltimore Orioles $52 56.5 $0.92
Detroit Tigers $53 56.5 $0.94
Toronto Blue Jays $70 74.5 $0.94
Seattle Mariners $64 67.6 $0.95
Chicago White Sox $81 83.5 $0.97
Cleveland Indians $92 86.5 $1.06
Chicago Cubs $93 86.5 $1.08
Los Angeles Dodgers $108 99.5 $1.09
Kansas City Royals $72 65.5 $1.10
St. Louis Cardinals $101 88.5 $1.14
Washington Nationals $102 88.5 $1.15
New York Yankees $145 101.5 $1.43
Boston Red Sox $167 85.5 $1.95

Based on each team’s average ticket price on the secondary market and season projections, we can determine each team’s value in terms of dollars per win. There are plenty of opportunities to get the most bang for your buck. The number is derived by dividing the projected number of wins into the average asking price on the secondary market.

In terms of “cost per win,” the best deal in the league will be for the Rays at Tropicana Field, where the cost per win is 61 cents. Tickets are cheap, even though the Rays are projected to win more than 90 games. So if you’re in the neighborhood, it’s a great opportunity to see your team on the road. Other teams that based on their win total vs their secondary market average price that will be providing their teams with great deals are the Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, and the New York Mets.

At the other end of the spectrum, the priciest teams are also the teams that are the worst value in terms of "team value index." For example, the team with the highest “cost per win” is the Boston Red Sox, meaning fans will pay a premium for a seat at Fenway. The New York Yankees, Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals round out the Top 5 highest team value index. Of the five, Kansas City is really the worst deal of the top five as they're projected to win only 65.5 games, but average asking prices are high. 

How To Watch MLB Games In 2020

When the MLB released its schedule, it released its MLB.TV packages. In the past, MLB.TV prices ranged from a $93.99 single-team package to $121.99 for league-wide coverage.

Fans can head to MLB.com to purchase one of the two MLB.TV packages:

  • The 2020 regular season (the “yearly” MLB.TV package) can be purchased for $59.99
  • Fans have the chance to pick their favorite team and purchase the “single team” 60-game package for $49.99

All fans also have the opportunity to try out the yearly package for three days with a free trial. Those interested can log in with their MLB account or create a new account by clicking the free trial link.

When are MLB Games Being Played?

All MLB teams will be playing 60 games apiece, and they will be playing from July to September.

Spring Training began on July 1, and the first games of the season will be played during the evening on Thursday, July 23. Just two games will be played that night:

  • New York Yankees at Washington Nationals (Nationals Park), 7:00 pm eastern
  • San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers (Dodger Stadium), 10:00 pm eastern

Then, the rest of the MLB teams will host their respective Opening Day games on Friday, July 24. The first of the 14 games that day will be the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets from Citi Field at 4:00 pm.

Where To Purchase MLB.TV?

Fans can purchase MLB.TV via MLB.com and watch the home run trots, high-heat fastballs, and beautiful double plays starting in late July.

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