Over the past two seasons, the American League has been host to the more expensive MLB Wild Card Game on the secondary market and may continue their dominance over the National League this season. With the Pittsburgh Pirates clinching their playoff berth two days ago, they will likely play the San Francisco Giants at PNC Park, though the Giants still have a mathematical chance of earning home field advantage over their final regular season series with the Padres this weekend. Just five days remain until the AL Wild Card game is played and both the Athletics and Royals own an identical record of 86-72. Both teams will determine their fate as to where the game will be played over their remaining four games.
In 2012, the Braves hosted the Cardinals at Turner Field in the NL Wild Card and, according to TiqIQ, the game had an average secondary market price of $199.48. This was significantly cheaper than the AL Wild Card game played between the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers at then Rangers Ballpark in Arlington the same year, which had an average price of $234.56. The 17.5% price increase for the AL Wild Card Game in 2012 was slightly more drastic than last year's disparity between league Wild Card Games on the secondary market, however. In 2013, the Cleveland Indians welcomed the Cincinnati Reds to Progressive Field and the game had an average secondary market price of $203.44, which was 8.5% more expensive than the NL game's secondary average of $187.50 between the Pirates and Reds at PNC Park.
While the American League has dominated over their National League counterpart on the secondary ticket market since 2012, this season's game is likely to see drastically different average prices between its two probable venues in Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium and Oakland's O. co Coliseum. The average price for tickets to see the Athletics vs Royals at O. co Coliseum is currently just $120.53 on the secondary market, a stark 52.3% lower than the current secondary average of $252.94 for tickets at Kauffman Stadium. The game's location will be determined by Sunday, with the A's traveling to Arlington for a four-game series with the Rangers and the Royals playing the White Sox in Chicago this weekend.
The American League will have to wait several more days to finalize where its Wild Card Game will be played, but the National League game is expected to be played at Pittsburgh's PNC Park between the Pirates and Giants. The average secondary market price for Pirates vs Giants tickets is currently $238.55, which will vary considerably in price when compared to both probable American League stadiums hosting the Wild Card Game. If the Royals are the home team at Kauffman Stadium come September 30, the current average price would be 6% higher than the Pirates-Giants game. If the A's host the Wild Card Game, however, they currently have an average secondary market price that is 49.4% lower than the National League Wild Card Game. Such an instance would mark the first time in three seasons that the National League game would be more expensive than the American League game.
The 2014 MLB season has been filled with tight-knit action since its starting month in April, but its early autumn games will prove to be the most significant as the four Wild Card teams cement their place in the standings over the weekend. The American League will again control the more expensive Wild Card Game if the Royals surpass the A's, but may concede such a statistic to the Giants and Pirates if Oakland can outperform Kansas City by Sunday.
For more on MLB playoff ticket prices, check out the TiqIQ blog.