Despite meager enhancements over final 12 months’s lackluster residence attendance, the Red Sox will as soon as once more be asking their season ticket holders for more cash subsequent 12 months.
“We’ve had a very modest, low single-digit increase on season-ticket prices,” group president and CEO Sam Kennedy confirmed throughout Monday afternoon’s end-of-year press convention.
With that, the Red Sox prolong their streak of upping the price of admission to 4 consecutive seasons. Not precisely an olive department to the Fenway Faithful after the group’s third last-place end in these 4 years.
Hours earlier than Kennedy and supervisor Alex Cora fielded questions from the media, Major League Baseball introduced that the 2023 season drew 70 million in collective attendance for the primary time since 2017, with a 9.6-percent enhance over 2022. Not together with the COVID-impacted 2020 and 2021 seasons, it’s the very best share development since 1983.
The Red Sox are among the many 24 groups that noticed attendance rise this season, and one in every of 17 groups that exceeded 2.5 million. For some golf equipment, that’s an incredible achievement.
For this one, not a lot. According to Baseball Reference, America’s Most Beloved Ballpark completed the 12 months with simply over 2.672 million. That’s about 47,000 greater than final season, when the Red Sox posted their worst residence attendance since 2000, earlier possession’s penultimate season.
“We actually are incredibly appreciative of the fan support that we had this year,” Kennedy mentioned. “Our attendance was slightly up, which is somewhat remarkable if you consider coming off of a last-place finish in 2022, and obviously, we know where we are in 2023. So, we’re incredibly grateful for the support that we had night in and night out… For a team that fell short of our own expectations, it’s something we’re incredibly grateful for.”
Of course, the elevated attendance included droves of visiting followers who packed Fenway all season lengthy. At occasions, it felt like there have been extra Mets, Dodgers, and Astros followers within the stands.
As for non-season ticket numbers, that’s a extra fluid scenario. “We price the rest of our ticket inventory dynamically,” Kennedy defined. “Prices change based upon market conditions over the course of the year, so we don’t have set prices as we enter the year other than the season ticket packages.”
Indeed, by mid-September, Red Sox-Yankees tickets have been going for a mere greenback plus charges on apps like Gametime, main legendary outfielder Fred Lynn to jot down on X (previously Twitter), “They are literally selling tickets for $1. Got more than that when I played.”
Normally, although, Fenway is kind of an expensive expertise, and has been for shut to 3 a long time.
It was costly earlier than present possession arrived. In May 2000, the Society for American Baseball Research introduced that the Red Sox have been MLB’s most costly ticket for the fifth 12 months in a row. In these glory days of Pedro Martinez, the common ticket rang in at $28.33, a whopping 17.8-percent leap from 1999, and greater than double the associated fee simply 5 years earlier.
In 2011, the common worth was as much as $52.32, second solely to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. By April 2015, Team Marketing Report’s MLB Fan Cost Index® introduced that even with out elevating costs after a last-place end the 12 months earlier than, the Red Sox have been the costliest sport within the league. The report additionally revealed that whereas a “small” beer price $7.75 at Fenway, the Cubs’ Wrigley Field, and Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park, Boston’s concept of a small beer was solely 12 ounces, in comparison with 16 in Chicago and 21 in Philadelphia.
Less than two weeks in the past, Statista introduced that though the Red Sox have been the third-most costly common ticket in baseball this season (behind the Dodgers and Yankees), the Fan Cost Index nonetheless had them as the costliest time out in the complete league, with the price of taking a household to Fenway coming in at over $396. (Their calculations embrace “four average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one hour, two game programs and two least-expensive, adult-size adjustable caps.”)
The Red Sox are presently a group with out a prime baseball operations government, sooner or later faraway from their third last-place end in 4 seasons, and sitting on the sidelines whereas different groups play postseason ball. On Monday, Kennedy acknowledged that so much wants to alter.
“There’s a desire to compete. You’ve heard us say it,” he reiterated. “And generally, these phrases ring hole whenever you’ve had two very disappointing seasons, however there’s simply nothing like successful in Boston, and we have to get that again.
“We want to get back. Forget the championships of the past. We need to focus on what’s in front of us, and we want to get that feeling. We want that winning feeling, and our fans deserve that, so we’re going to have to do what it takes to get there, and that’s what we’re committed to do.”
However, Kennedy additionally acknowledged that the Fenway Faithful are a robust variable within the equation.
“We’re always concerned if we’re not performing on the field and what that might do to our attendance,” he mentioned. “We need to have a packed house each and every night. It’s a competitive advantage, what it does for the environment and what it does to create resources that can be reinvested back into the team.”
If that’s actually the case, then it might be smart to provide followers extra causes to pack the home.
Instead, Kennedy wouldn’t affirm (or deny) that the Red Sox plan to spend huge this offseason, claiming that such a declaration would reveal their hand, and he was equally noncommittal when requested if this offseason is an “all-in” scenario.
“No, I don’t really even know how to define ‘all-in,” he mentioned. “Maybe it’s just ‘cuz on the inside, we feel like we’re all-in every year in terms of the work, and the preparation, and the commitment, and the dedication. So I feel like we’re all-in from that perspective each and every year.”
The Red Sox group is stuffed with hard-working people whose contributions aren’t all the time adequately mirrored within the group’s closing product. Nonetheless, the one factor this franchise has persistently gone all-in on in recent times is elevating the price of admission for these nonetheless devoted sufficient to pay for season tickets.
If they need more cash from their followers, they need to must show they’re price it first.