Fans enjoying a game at Skydome.

What kind of impact will the Blue Jays increasing ticket prices in 2018 have on attendance figures?

It was announced yesterday that the Blue Jays would be raising the price of season tickets in 2018 anywhere from 7 to 17%.  It’s a weird and disappointing move considering that the only reason the Blue Jays have been drawing so many fans the past three seasons is on account of how well the club played in 2015 and 2016.

Not to sound too pessimistic, but the chances that the Blue Jays do as well in 2018 as they did in 2015/2016 is highly unlikely.  Rogers and the Blue Jays are playing a risky game, as they might very well find out the hard way what the repercussions of raising prices can be when the team is not playing all that great.

One of the things that bothers me most about professional sports is the greed of the teams.  Especially when it happens to be my favourite team, the Blue Jays, that’s doing the gouging.  Baseball has always been the sport that was most affordable for the masses.  With 81 home games annually, and a 50,000+ seat stadium, an organization like Toronto can afford to have significantly lower ticket prices compared to the Leafs or Raptors and still do very well for themselves.

In fairness to the Blue Jays, at the moment they have some of the lowest ticket prices in baseball with an average ticket going for $48.32 (good for the 5th lowest in baseball).  But at the same time, they also have a much larger venue compared to most other teams, especially with Skydome’s massive 500 level (i.e. cheap seats) that has a good percentage of its total capacity.

It’s strange to think that the Blue Jays are raising the price of season tickets so substantially given how poorly the team has played this year.  Had they been winning and playing quality baseball in 2017, it would make a lot more sense for them to raise prices in 2018.  What they’re essentially doing is providing a significantly inferior product to the previous couple seasons and thinking they can still get away increasing how much they charge for tickets.  When 2018 comes around, and the regular season begins come April, we’ll see what kind of impact such a change has on the number of people coming out to the ball park.

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