Cardinals Remain #7 in MLB Fan Cost Index

Prices paid by fans to attend St. Louis Cardinals games again rank seventh-highest across Major League Baseball in 2008.

With the rain-induced postponement of Monday afternoon's St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day to Tuesday evening, it seemed the appropriate time to run this article on the costs of attending games.

While Monday's tickets are good for Tuesday, those fans will still be out additional cash in returning see the rescheduled season opener. After all, the hotels, parking garages, concessionaires, etc. aren't about to start issuing rain checks.

Annually for 18 years running, Team Marketing Report has published their Fan Cost Index (FCI) survey, which tracks the cost of attendance at major league sporting events for a family of four. The FCI includes two adult average price tickets, two child average price tickets, four small soft drinks, two small beers, four hot dogs, two programs, parking and two adult-size caps.

In the just-released 2008 edition of the report, the Cardinals come in at number seven among the 30 teams in Major League Baseball, same as 2007. One positive is that their FCI increase year-to-year of 3.8% is the smallest increase of any of the teams currently ranking in the top ten and is well below the MLB average FCI growth of 8.3%.

The relatively small growth is directly due to the modest ticket price increase set by the Cardinals for the 2008 season. Season ticket prices were kept flat for approximately half of the Cardinals 28,000 season ticket holders, with the remainder experiencing a 2.9 percent average price increase, equating to an average increase of $1.15 per ticket.

Following their World Series win two seasons ago, the Cardinals had frozen season ticket prices across the board for the 2007 season after major changes with the opening of the new, but smaller capacity Busch Stadium (III) in 2006. That resulted in a double-digit FCI increase, temporarily catapulting the Cardinals into the top four two seasons ago.

The following table shows the FCI for the Cardinals over the last five years in comparison to themselves as well as the MLB average. The highest and lowest of the 30 teams are also listed for reference.

With the exception of that big spike for the 2006 season, the Cardinals have ranked consistently with between the seventh and ninth-highest FCI in MLB in recent years.

Cardinals Fan Cost Index History

Busch III
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
StL FCI $217.28 $209.23 $207.21 $177.66 $170.45 $164.04
StL YTY 3.8% 0.8% 10.6% 4.2% 0.9% 6.6%
StL Rank 7 7 4 9 9 8
MLB avg. $191.75 $176.55 $171.19 $164.43 $155.52 $148.66
MLB YTY 8.3% 3.8% 4.1% 5.6% 2.0% 3.3%
#1 FCI $320.71 $313.83 $287.84 $276.34 $263.09 $248.44
#1 Team Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston
#30 FCI $136.91 $123.42 $120.35 $119.85 $108.83 $94.62
#30 Team TB KC KC KC Montreal Montreal

Data from Team Marketing Report.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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