The Chicago Cubs’ imminent return to the National League Championship Series pushed playoff ticket prices to record levels on the secondary market Wednesday. On the positive side, Cubs fans have had plenty of time to save up their money.
The average NLCS ticket price for a Cubs home game at Wrigley Field stood at $1,325.93 as of Wednesday morning, according to data compiled by TiqIQ, a secondary market ticket aggregator. That number is nearly double the site’s previous record for the NLCS, established in 2012 when tickets to a San Francisco Giants game cost an average of $687.15.
The average ticket price for NLCS Game 3 -- the first of a possible three games scheduled to be played at Wrigley -- currently holds at $1,233.01, with a “get-in price” for standing-room-only tickets set at $500, according to TiqIQ. The most expensive Cubs ticket will cost one deep-pocketed fan more than $11,700.
Before this season, the Cubs hadn’t reached the NLCS since 2003, when they lost to the Florida Marlins in a tight seven-game series. The franchise’s World Series drought is far longer -- the Cubs haven’t won a championship since 1908, the longest such span in baseball history. The buzz around the team’s championship run helped drive ticket prices to record heights.
The Cubs defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, their archrivals in the National League’s Central Division, in four games to advance to the NLCS. The 97 games Chicago won during the regular reason was the team's most since 2008 and far outstripped its 2014 total of 73.
The successful season had a major effect on the Cubs’ attendance figures. An average of 36,540 fans attended games at Wrigley Field this season, the sixth-highest total of any MLB team. By comparison, the Cubs drew an average of 32,742 fans at home in 2014, according to ESPN.
The Cubs won’t know who they’re playing in the league championship series until the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers conclude their five-game series Thursday, but NLCS tickets will be much more expensive if the Mets win. The average ticket price for a Mets-Cubs game stood at $1,084.31 as of Wednesday, toppling TiqIq’s previous record of $490 for the 2012 NLCS between the Cardinals and the Giants.