NEW YORK — It's cheaper to sit in much of the lower deck at Yankee Stadium this year, with the Chicago Cubs overtaking New York and Boston for the highest-priced regular tickets in the major leagues.
Overall, the average cost of a non-premium ticket for a major league game is up 1.5 percent to $26.74, the Team Marketing Report said Wednesday in its annual survey. The rise is the smallest since TMR started tracking baseball tickets in 1991.
The NFL's average last season was $74.99. In seasons still underway, the NBA is averaging $48.90 and the NHL $51.27, TMR said.
Many baseball teams mostly held off on increases following a drop of 6.7 percent in Major League Baseball's average attendance last season, from 32,528 to 30,350.
Tickets at Wrigley Field for non-premium sections average $52.56 this season and Fenway Park is second at $52.32 following a 4.1 percent hike.
At Yankee Stadium, where 3,304 lower-deck infield seats without free food were reclassified premium by TMR at the request of the team, the average is $51.83, up 0.4 percent. Last year's average was adjusted from $72.97 to $51.64.
The Yankees cut the price of their $375 tickets, many of which went unsold last year, to $300 and in all lowered the cost of 3,400 field level seats.
Their premium ticket average dropped from $510 to $312 as 538 seats along the foul lines were reclassified Champions Suite instead of Legends Suite, with ticket holders no longer allowed access to the duplex restaurant behind home plate. The shift left 1,357 seats in the Legends Suite, which cost $500-$2,500 last year as part of season tickets and up to $2,625 for individual games.
This year, the Legends Suite seats cost $450-$1,600 for individual games and the Champions Suite $350-$550 for individual games.
The Cubs have the second-highest premium average at $257, followed by the Dodgers at $222 and Washington at $193. San Diego has the lowest premium average at $31.
Minnesota, moving into Target Field, raised its regular average price 45 percent to $31.47 – the only team other than the Cubs with a double-digit increase.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have the lowest average at $14.31. The New York Mets cut their average 12.9 percent to $32.22 following a dreadful first season at Citi Field, San Diego fell 15.4 percent to $15.15 and Detroit dropped 14.2 percent to $23.48.
TMR's fan cost index declined 0.6 percent to $195.08, ranging from $335 at Fenway Park, $330 at Wrigley Field and $316 at Yankee Stadium to $115 in Arizona. The figure includes two adult tickets at the average price, two child tickets at the average if available, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking, two programs and two adult caps.