5 Useful Charts for Baseball Fans: MLB Ticket Prices by Day / Time

May 24, 2010



This is the latest installment of SeatGeek’s TicketBeat Reports

SeatGeek TicketBeat™


In our latest installment of sports and concert ticket reports, we analyzed customer sentiment data concerning ‘day of the week ‘and ‘time of day’ variables and their impact on MLB ticket prices. Our goal was to quantify the most popular MLB time slots as determined by the purchasing behavior of the fans. We crunched the numbers on resale ticket prices from our unique database and cut the data a few different ways. Read below for a full set of charts, analyses, conclusions, and recommendations on buying baseball tickets.

Charts: (Note: weekends are Friday – Sunday and night games are any game after 5:00 PM)

**Ticket Prices and Day of the Week**

Above we examined the average ticket prices per game for each day of the week. Looking at the chart from Monday-Sunday, you can see the ebb and flow of baseball game attendance. Fans are more willing to pay for weekend games, but this drops off heavily moving into the work week.

It is fairly obvious that the weekend would be the most popular time due to the larger base of people available to attend games. To look beyond this we have isolated weekend prices from weekday prices. Saturday really jumps out as the day people attend baseball games with ticket volume representing 25% of all weekly activity and double the daily average. Corresponding to this volume, Saturday ticket prices jump up over 11% and 13% compared to Friday and Sunday tickets respectively, and a staggering 45% compared to Wednesday games (see the chart above). Note: In the aggregate day/time chart at the bottom of this report, Sunday night is the most expensive due to “Sunday Night Baseball” which represents only 10% of Sunday ticket volume.

Notes on ‘Day of the Week’ Analysis:

  • Not surprisingly, average ticket prices rise towards the end of the week, peaking during the weekend

  • There is a  “Monday hangover” where prices stay high following the weekend ticket spike

  • After Monday, MLB ticket prices drop sharply, hitting a trough on Wednesday as people settle into the work week

Ticket Prices and Time of Day

Above, we looked at the impact of night games versus day games to see if there was a consumer bias in either direction. We discovered that night/day price difference varies significantly and there are a few key takeaways.

On weekdays, the general trend favors night games. This is pretty intuitive considering that a lot of fans work day jobs. Within the set of weekday data points, Tuesday is significantly higher than the others. This is driven by an extremely low average ticket price for day games on Tuesday – Tuesday day games are ~10% of the volume. Although speculative, it is interesting to think of this in relation to studies which show Tuesday to be the most productive day of the week.

Sunday also has a high variation between day and night prices, which will be explained in the next section of this report. There is an intriguing inflection point on Friday and Saturday, where fan sentiment favors day tickets over night tickets.  One might assume that fans would make a night of going to the ballpark on the weekend, however, this data suggests that they would rather pay premiums for a day game and leave the rest of their night free for other activities.

Note: some of the Friday variation is due to a low volume of Friday day games – Saturday, though, is very evenly mixed between day and night volume.

Note: Sunday night is only ~10% of total Sunday volume and Tuesday day games are even less of the total Tuesday mix.

This chart clearly indicates how far behind Tuesday days are compared to other time/day slots. The second lowest average ticket price is still a 41% increase over Tuesday day games. Sunday night is the highest overall time slot driven by the popular ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ game which is marketed by Major League Baseball as the “game of the week”.

If you are interested in being a part of Sunday Night Baseball, you can check out the 2010 Sunday Night Baseball schedule and search for baseball tickets at SeatGeek such as the upcoming July 11, 2010 Chicago Cubs at L.A. Dodgers game of the week.

Ticking Buying Conclusions and Suggestions:

  • If you are looking for the best value tickets, focus your search on day games at the beginning of the work week (excluding the “Monday hangover” effect

  • Overall, the best value tickets can be found on Wednesdays

  • If you are time agnostic, focus your search on Tuesday/Wednesday day games for the absolute lowest prices

  • It is becoming hard for families to afford a MLB outing – if this is you, focus your search on early/mid-week day games

  • If you are looking for an electric atmosphere, focus on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday games

  • If you love night games, Saturday night tickets offer the largest “discount” compared to their respective day game tickets

  • Most 9-5ers focus on going to weekend games – if this is you, your path for the best value is to purchase night tickets

That concludes our analysis of MLB ticket price fluctuations by day of the week and time of day.  If you have any suggestions for future reports or comments on this report, please share them below and we will get back to you.