By Elyssa Kirkham, Finance Writer
The 2016 Major League Baseball season opened April 3 with exciting matchups ― including a 2015 World Series rematch between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets ― and some not-so-exciting costs for fans. Some MLB stadiums cater to baseball fans with affordable tickets and great food, but others play hardball with fans' wallets.
The average cost of spending the day at the ballpark is $77.92 for two people, according to a GOBankingRates study of MLB stadium prices. This total includes the following costs:
Prices differ greatly from ballpark to ballpark, with fans who attend a game at the cheapest stadium paying about $110 less on average than fans who visit the most expensive stadium, and that's not even considering the cost for souvenirs like baseball jerseys. Click through to see how the stadiums rank from least to most expensive and find out whether going to a game at your local MLB stadium is a home run for your budget or a total washout.
30. Los Angeles Angels Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim: $47.60
Originally built to house the then-Los Angeles Rams of the NFL, the stadium in Anaheim was completely renovated from 1996 to 1998 for $100 million to become a baseball-only facility. Angel Stadium of Anaheim has a capacity of 45,050 seats and the lowest per-game prices on season tickets, averaging $9.80 each. These cheap tickets, along with lower prices on beer ($4.50 each) and parking, make Angel Stadium the most affordable ballpark, where catching an MLB game is less than $50 for two people.
29. Los Angeles Dodgers Game at Dodger Stadium: $55.10
Built in three years to open in 1962, Dodger Stadium cost $23 million in private financing. Dodger Stadium is the third-oldest continually used baseball stadium in Major League Baseball and the biggest. Sitting on 300 acres of land, it seats 56,000. It has also been home to some of the league's greatest pitchers, from Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax to current star Clayton Kershaw.
Dodger Stadium offers some of the lowest prices overall with cheaper season tickets averaging $10.80 a game. Refreshments cost more than average, however, with the famous Dodger Dogs among the most expensive at $5.50 apiece.
28. Arizona Diamondbacks Game at Chase Field: $57.93
Located in downtown Phoenix, Chase Field was constructed in 1998 and cost $354 million to build. It seats up to 48,633 and has attracted fans with athletes such as Arizona Diamondbacks Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. Attending one Diamondbacks game averages $17.21 per person with one of the cheaper season ticket options. While taking in a game, Diamondbacks fans can also enjoy the ballpark's $4 beer prices, the lowest in this study.
27. Colorado Rockies Game at Coors Field: $59.30
- Two tickets: $24.80
Colorado Rockies fans pay some of the lowest admission fees, with cheaper Coors Field tickets for a season averaging $12.40 per game. In return, they get a good show: Coors Field is known for offering some of the best offensive baseball games in the league thanks to Denver's high altitude a mile above sea level. Coors Field's concession prices are about average, and food options include Rocky Mountain Oysters (fried bull testicles), according to Bleacher Report.
26. Minnesota Twins Game at Target Field: $60.40
Minnesota Twins star players have included Hall of Famers Kirby Puckett and slugger Harmon Killebrew, but only newer players, such as 2015 All-Star Brian Dozier, have played at Target Field in Minneapolis, which had its inaugural season in 2010.
Target Field offers 30 percent fewer seats than the previous Twins ballpark, the Metrodome, but ticket prices are still low ― $15.20 a game on average for cheaper season tickets. The stadium has one of the highest prices per beer, $7.50, but it also has the lowest parking price, just $6, of any stadium that charges for parking.
25. Cincinnati Reds Game at Great American Ball Park: $61.30
The Great American Ball Park is home to the Cincinnati Reds, the first official baseball franchise, whose most famous stars have included player and manager Pete Rose, second baseman Joe Morgan, right fielder Frank Robinson, and catcher Johnny Bench.
The stadium is noted for its innovative features, beautiful views and affordable seating, according to MLB.com. Its low-cost season tickets average $14.40 a game. The Great American Ball Park charges more for parking but also has the cheapest hot dogs of any stadium at just $1.
24. Pittsburgh Pirates Game at PNC Park: $62.43
Pittsburgh Pirates fans are gearing up to build on the franchise's rich history, which includes notable baseball players such as early baseball legend Honus Wagner, pitcher Willie Stargell, and the first Latin American National Baseball Hall of Famer, Roberto Clemente. Fans attending games at PNC Park can get cheaper season tickets that average just under $15 a game, and beer and hot dogs are also relatively inexpensive.
Not only is PNC Park one of the cheapest baseball stadiums for fans, it's also among the best according to rankings from sports magazine Athlon. The $262 million park opened in 2001 and seats more than 38,000.
23. Oakland Athletics Game at O.co Coliseum: $63.71
The O.co Coliseum is home to the Oakland Athletics and the Oakland Raiders and has the third-cheapest tickets in Major League Baseball with inexpensive seats averaging $11.60 each. The stadium has a seating capacity of 55,945, but upper-level seats are typically covered with a tarp during A's games, which lowers capacity by 37 percent. Stadium managers say this arrangement creates a more intimate ball game experience for fans, reported SFGate.
Despite the seating restriction, it's still fairly cheap to see a game in the stadium where Oakland A's greats such as Mark McGwire, Reggie Jackson, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers and Rickey Henderson made their marks.
22. Atlanta Braves Game at Turner Field: $65.34
Turner Field has the fifth-lowest ticket prices of all baseball stadiums, averaging just over $13 a game for cheaper season tickets. Beer is pricier, however, at $7.25 each. Turner Field opened in 1997 but is set to be replaced as the home of the Atlanta Braves by SunTrust Park in 2017.
21. Texas Rangers Game at Globe Life Park in Arlington: $65.60
Texas Rangers fans are among the least loyal in the league, reported Forbes in its annual Sports Fan Loyalty index, which means there's less demand for Rangers tickets. Tickets are relatively cheap, averaging $16.80 per game for cheaper season tickets, and parking and beers are inexpensive as well.
Don't expect any gourmet fare at Globe Life Park in Arlington, however, which was ranked as the worst baseball stadium for food by Bleacher Report. The best option might be the Big Dog, which comes with chili, cheese, and onions ― a regular dog costs $5, which is above average.
20. Baltimore Orioles Game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards: $65.63
Baltimore Orioles legends include shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., third baseman Brooks Robinson, and pitcher Jim Palmer, and today's fans can visit Oriole Park at Camden Yards to see stars such as Chris Davis and Adam Jones. The ballpark was ranked No. 1 by Bleacher Report for its food, which ranges from crab cakes to famous Boog's Barbecue, run by former Baltimore Oriole John "Boog" Powell. Even better, the premium food is still priced low ― hot dogs are just $1.50 each. A beer, on the other hand, is a pricey $6.75.
19. San Diego Padres Game at Petco Park: $65.80
Petco Park opened in 2004, building on the San Diego Padres' rich team history, which includes players such as powerhouse hitter Tony "Mr. Padre" Gwynn and pitcher Randy Jones. The stadium offers an inexpensive outing to Padres fans: Parking is particularly cheap at just $8, and beers are also priced low at just $5 each.
18. Miami Marlins Game at Marlins Park: $65.93
Marlin Park is one of the MLB's newer baseball stadiums, opening in 2012. Marlin Park has about 10,000 fewer seats than the previous ballpark, Sun Life Stadium, but offers added comfort with a retractable roof to shield baseball spectators from the sun and rain. Even though Marlins Park has the lowest seating capacity of all MLB stadiums, Miami Marlins tickets are still inexpensive, averaging $13.46 per game for cheaper season tickets. A Marlin Park hot dog is pricier than most ball parks' dogs, however, at $6 each.
17. Houston Astros Game at Minute Maid Park: $66.23
Longtime Houston Astros fans likely remember the days when Nolan Ryan, the star pitcher who signed the MLB's first million-dollar contract in 1979, played in the Astrodome, but today's fans enjoy Astros games at Minute Maid Park. The stadium opened in 2000 and offers lower-priced beers and average-priced hot dogs.
Minute Maid Park was ranked No. 3 for the best food by Bleacher Report. Its stuffed baked potatoes are a particular highlight, loaded with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, onions, cheese and jalapenos.
16. Chicago White Sox Game at U.S. Cellular Field: $68.45
U.S. Cellular Field opened in 1991 to replace the 80-year-old Comiskey Park, which was home to Chicago White Sox stars such as "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. The stadium has a good food options beyond its cheaper $4 hot dogs, such as its "corn off the cob," which is fresh-cooked corn topped with butter, salt, chili powder and cheese, according to Bleacher Report.
15. Tampa Bay Rays Game at Tropicana Field: $69.11
Parking at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg is free, but tickets are priced higher than average. Cheap Tampa Bay Rays season tickets average $24.55 a game. Overall, the cost of attending a game at Tropicana Field is relatively affordable, but the experience is ranked as the worst in Major League Baseball by Athlon. The 25-year-old stadium has a poor playing surface, catwalks that can interfere with play, and lacks character and atmosphere overall, according to the sports magazine.
14. Detroit Tigers Game at Comerica Park: $70.60
The Detroit Tigers can claim one of Major League Baseball's first legends, star batter Ty Cobb. Their current baseball stadium, Comerica Park, relies on numerous attractions other than its players to draw in the crowd, however. Opened in 2000, Comerica Park cost $300 million to build and has a carousel, Ferris wheel and giant water feature set to music. Tickets and refreshments are priced low, and beers are a particularly good deal at just $5 each.
13. Cleveland Indians Game at Progressive Field: $76.40
Located in downtown Cleveland, Progressive Field seating is among the roomiest and most comfortable because of the stadium's wide aisles. Seats also are slightly more expensive than most, costing an average of $25.20 each per game for cheaper season tickets. Other costs to watch the Cleveland Indians at their home stadium are on the lower end, however, including beers at just $4 each ― the lowest price of any ballpark.
12. Milwaukee Brewers Game at Miller Park: $80
The Milwaukee Brewers' lineups have included some of the best baseball players, such as right fielder Hank Aaron and third baseman Paul Molitor. The team plays home games at Milwaukee's Miller Park, which opened in 2001. Although Milwaukee Brewers fans pay higher ticket prices, they can get a large selection of hot dogs at the park, including brats, sausages and cheaper $3.50 hot dogs.
11. St. Louis Cardinals Game at Busch Stadium: $81.30
The St. Louis Cardinals have the most loyal fans in Major League Baseball, according to a 2015 survey from Forbes. The team's rich history includes Hall of Famers such as shortstop Ozzie Smith, left fielder Lou Brock, pitcher Bob Gibson and left fielder Stan Musial.
With die-hard fans, demand for Busch Stadium tickets is higher ― and so are prices, even though Busch Stadium seating provides a relatively large capacity of 43,975. The average per-game price for cheaper season tickets is $21.40, and parking alone adds another $20. Food items ― which include ravioli ― are more affordable, however.
10. Philadelphia Phillies Game at Citizens Bank Park: $82.49
The Philadelphia Phillies ― known for notable Hall of Famers such as pitcher Robin Roberts and home-run machine Mike Schmidt ― started playing in Citizens Bank Park when it opened in 2004. Although pricing on tickets and parking is average, Citizens Bank Park charges the most of any ballpark for beer: $7.75. For food, try a $3.75 hot dog or the park's famous Philly cheesesteak, The Shmitter ― named after Schmidt ― which includes ribeye steak, salami, onions, and tomatoes smothered in cheese and sauce, reported Bleacher Report.
9. Washington Nationals Game at Nationals Park: $85.90
Nationals Park is the newer home of the Washington Nationals. It opened in 2008 and cost $611 million to build. The Nationals have some of the most loyal fans, according to Forbes, and more than 41,000 of them can fit in Nationals Park at a time. National Park's prices for tickets, hot dogs and beer are all higher than average, but parking is more reasonably priced.
8. Kansas City Royals Game at Kauffman Stadium: $89.40
Kauffman Stadium first opened in 1973 and is named for Ewing Kauffman, the owner of the Kansas City Royals who, upon his death, donated ownership of the team to a local charity and made provisions to keep the team in Kansas City. The Royals have played 44 seasons in Kauffman Stadium, and fans have flocked to the stadium to see star baseball players such as Hall of Famer George Brett and current left fielder Alex Gordon in action.
Kauffman Stadium's seating capacity is on the lower end at just under 38,000, and the limited ticket supply might contribute to the high ticket price. The average cheap season ticket costs $28.20 a game.
7. San Francisco Giants Game at AT&T Park: $90.81
AT&T Park is considered one of the best ballparks in America because most seats have views of the ocean and the Bay Bridge. The San Francisco Giants ranked No. 2 for most loyal fanbase by Forbes and had the third-highest attendance per game during the 2015 season, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
The team's longtime popularity thanks to stars such as hard-hitter Barry Bonds and Giants legend Willie Mays has likely been boosted by the Giants' recent success, including World Series championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014. In fact, the Giants have sold out the 41,503-seat AT&T Park every season since 2010, according to Forbes. The team's tickets are more expensive than most, and parking, hot dog and beer prices are among the highest charged at any MLB ballpark.
6. New York Mets Game at Citi Field: $94.19
Citi Field opened in 2009 to replace Shea Stadium, the New York Mets' home since 1964, where star players such as pitcher Tom Seaver made baseball history. Located in Queens, Citi Field offers seating for 41,800 baseball fans.
Ticket prices are on the high end, but Citi Field's concessions are among the highest, such as its $6.25 hot dog. It does have a Shake Shack, however, so fans can skip the hot dog and go straight for the Shack Burger instead.
5. Seattle Mariners Game at Safeco Field: $94.71
Home to the Seattle Mariners, Safeco Field has hosted great players such as Ken Griffey Jr. It has a capacity of 47,000 and is one of the most expensive places to watch a game. A hot dog at this stadium costs $4.50, but Safeco Field also offers sushi, salmon, and other seafood, which make Safeco the second-best stadium for food, according to Bleacher Report.
4. Toronto Blue Jays Game at Rogers Centre: $109.38
Toronto Blue Jays tickets are pricey, and so are beer, hot dogs and parking at Rogers Centre. One of the older ballparks still in use, Rogers Centre cost $500 million to construct has been in use since 1989. Few improvements have been made to the park, making it feel outdated, according to Athlon. Even though it doesn't have the same modern features as many newer ballparks, it's still one of the most expensive places to catch an MLB game, with average season ticket prices at $31.60 a game.
3. New York Yankees Game at Yankee Stadium: $109.40
The original historic Yankee Stadium stood in the Bronx from 1923 to 2008 and was the home field of some of baseball's biggest legends, including Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Dave Winfield, and Derek Jeter. The new Yankee Stadium, which seats 50,287, cost $1.3 billion to build and opened in 2009. In 2014, an MLB player's poll ranked it as the No. 1 toughest stadium to play in during baseball playoffs, according to Bleacher Report.
Even with ample seating, however, ticket prices are on the high end. The stadium's cheapest season tickets average $28.20 a game. Yankees fans should opt for public transit when possible because the stadium's parking fee is one of the two most expensive in the league.
2. Chicago Cubs Game at Wrigley Field: $116.06
Wrigley Field is one of the most expensive and oldest ballparks to visit. The Chicago Cubs ― including star players such as Hall of Famer Ernie Banks and current third baseman and slugger Kris Bryant ― have played more than 100 seasons at Wrigley Field since it was built in 1914.
Nicknamed "The Friendly Confines," Wrigley Field seating can accommodate up to 41,160 fans, and the average price per game for cheaper season tickets is just over $32. Concessions are priced high as well. A single beer costs $7.75, the highest price of any baseball stadium. For something unique, try the North Side Twist, a giant pretzel that comes with three different dipping sauces.
1. Boston Red Sox Game at Fenway Park: $157
Fenway Park opened in 1912, making it the oldest baseball stadium in use today. Over the decades, Boston Red Sox legends such as pitcher Roger Clemens, left fielder Ted Williams, third baseman Wade Boggs and left fielder Carl Yastrzemski have played at Fenway. The home of the Red Sox is also one of the best and most popular ballparks because of its unique, classic atmosphere and recognizable features, such as the left field, four-story wall known as the Green Monster.
Catching a Red Sox game in the historic ballpark isn't cheap. Even the lowest-priced season tickets average $48 a game, which is the highest ticket price of any stadium surveyed. Fenway Park also has the highest prices on parking and beer. And a trip to Fenway wouldn't be complete without indulging in a distinctive Fenway Frank, even if they are $5.25 each.
Full Ranking of MLB Stadiums by How Much Fans Pay for a Game
Here is a full ranking of MLB stadiums by the cost for two people to attend a game, from the least expensive to the most expensive.
Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed four costs of attending a baseball game at all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums: (1) ticket prices, calculated by averaging the cost-per-game for the five cheapest season ticket prices advertised on the baseball team's official MLB site; and (2) parking, (3) beer, and (4) hot dog prices, as reported in the April 2015 Team Marketing Report. To find the cost of attending a game, GOBankingRates assumed two guests and calculated the total cost of two tickets, two hot dogs, two beers, and one parking spot. Stadiums were ranked by this amount to find the least and most expensive stadiums for baseball fans attending a game.
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