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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Cardinals spring training ticket prices this decade

Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, FL (Brian Walton photo)In previous posts, I reviewed the St. Louis Cardinals spring training attendance this decade and summarized their ownership/lease situation in their Jupiter, Florida home, Roger Dean Stadium. A request followed to look at spring training ticket prices, which I accepted.

The following tables denote the yearly prices this decade for Cardinals spring tickets. There are five levels of seating, listed from lowest to highest prices, left to right. Further right is the yearly percentage change for the most-expensive level, Field Box seats. On the far right is the aggregate increase from 2000 to 2009.

Cardinals spring training ticket prices – weekdays – 2000 through 2009

Weekdays Standing Lawn/Berm Bleacher Loge Box Field Box FB% incr 10yr incr
2009 $8 $15 $15 $25 $27 13% 59%
2008 $5 $10 $10 $22 $24 0%
2007 $5 $10 $10 $22 $24 9%
2006 $5 $8 $8 $20 $22 5%
2005 $5 $7 $7 $19 $21 0%
2004 $5 $7 $7 $19 $21 5%
2003 $5 $7 $7 $18 $20 11%
2002 $5 $7 $6 $16 $18 0%
2001 $5 $7 $6 $16 $18 6%
2000 $5 $6 $6 $15 $17

As you can see, the largest yearly increase was enacted from 2008 to 2009. Over the ten years, Field Box ticket prices escalated 59 percent – from $17 to $27.

That is not the entire story, however. In 2004, a surcharge was added to weekend and premium games. These prices follow, with a five-year bump of 29 percent from $22 in 2004 to $31 in 2009.

Cardinals spring training ticket prices – weekends/premium dates – 2004 through 2009

Weekend/premium Standing Lawn/Berm Bleacher Loge Box Field Box FB% incr 5yr incr
2009 $10 $18 $18 $29 $31 24% 29%
2008 $5 $11 $11 $23 $25 0%
2007 $5 $11 $11 $23 $25 9%
2006 $5 $8 $8 $21 $23 5%
2005 $5 $7 $7 $20 $22 0%
2004 $5 $7 $7 $20 $22

Trying to anticipate the next question, I then took a shot at comparing to regular season ticket prices. This is an inexact effort with surprisingly less data available to me than for spring training. For example, there are a multitude of different ticket prices. For comparison to the spring numbers above, I selected first base/third base field boxes.

There are also complications. Starting in 2000, the Cardinals began to charge more for the same seat depending on the time of year. Generally, there was an increased charge during the summer months. That is denoted below as “higher dates”.

Cardinals regular season 1B/3B Field Box ticket prices – regular dates – 2000 through 2009 (partial data)

Regular dates 1B/3B Field Box Higher dates FB% incr 10yr incr ST/RS
2009 $60 100% 45%
2008
2007
2006
2005 $60/$63 5/23-9/11 22% 35%
2004 $49/$52 5/1-9/5 14% 43%
2003 $43/$45 5/16-8/28 16% 47%
2002 $37/$38 5/31-9/7 0% 49%
2001 $37/$38 5/28-9/6 23% 49%
2000 $30/$31 5/26-9/4 57%

Note: The years 2006-2008 are blank, as Field Box tickets were apparently not sold on an individual basis during those seasons.

While there was a 100 percent increase in Field Box ticket prices from 2000 to today, it all occurred in the old Busch Stadium with 2009’s $60 identical to the 2005 level.

Wait! There’s more!

Beginning with the 2005 season, the Cardinals added an $8 per ticket charge to certain “premium games” such as when the Cubs came to town. That meant the same seat carried four different list price tags depending on the time of year and opponent.

Here are the other two prices.

Cardinals regular season 1B/3B Field Box ticket prices – premium dates – 2005 through 2009 (partial data)

Premium dates 1B/3B Field Box Higher dates FB% incr 4yr incr ST/RS
2009 $70 3% 44%
2008
2007
2006
2005 $68/$71 5/23-9/11 32%

To keep this discussion on topic, I call your attention to the far right of the two preceding tables. The “ST/RS” columns denote the relationship between the prices of spring training Field Box seats (ST) and regular season Field Box tickets (RS) in a given year.

Whether we are considering regular or premium dates, the relationship seems to be about 45 percent. In other words, a spring field box ticket costs about 45 percent of a regular season one.

Final note: For the 2010 regular season, it appears that all Friday-Sunday games are premium games with the additional surcharge for Opening Day and all Cubs games.

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