As the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, two of the most championship-starved franchises in all of sports, prepare for Tuesday night’s Game 1 of the 2016 World Series, ticket prices on the secondary market are reaching sky-high levels and according to StubHub it’s the most expensive Fall Classic it’s seen since the ticket site began in 2002.
Stadium size has likely contributed to higher prices. Cleveland's Progressive Field has a capacity under 38,000, making it the smallest in the Majors, while Chicago's Wrigley Field isn't that much bigger at less than 43,000. The average price for a Game 1 ticket at Progressive Field is $1,050, while the lowest price is $325 and the highest is $7,500, according to StubHub.
Those prices might seem reasonable, given the major historical significance to this year's Fall Classic. The Cubs made the World Series for the first time since 1945 and are aiming for their first championship since 1908—by far the longest drought in baseball.
But the Indians own the second-longest title drought in the Majors, last making the World Series in 1997 but unable to claim the crown since 1948.
And the chance to witness either long-beleaguered franchise ending those droughts has set a very high premium as the potential seven-game series stretches on.
Game 2’s average price is $1,053. Things get pricier when the series shift to Chicago, with Game 3’s average jumping nearly 200 percent to $3,075 at Wrigley Field.
That exponential increase nearly shatters the previous high that StubHub saw in 2004 when the Boston Red Sox erased their 86-year championship drought and defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in four games, a StubHub spokesperson told IB Times in a phone interview Tuesday. The average cost for Boston’s games exceeded roughly $2,000, still far less than the prices Cubs fans are seeing.
Game 4, assuming either team is in a position to sweep the series, sees the average price climb to $3,750 and a high of $18,000.
Also taking place at Wrigley, Game 5’s average price ($3,575) is currently the second-most expensive average, which makes sense given the shortage of opportunities Cubs fans have had for more than century.
But, should the series go a full seven games, it will turn back to Cleveland, where the average price slips to $1,588 for Game 7 and the highest cost reaches an apex of $19,999. Those figures are likely to change as the series progresses.
The prices also appear to reflect just how expensive it is to live in Chicago compared to Cleveland. The Cubs reside in the 10th most expensive city in the United States while Cleveland is ranked No. 41, according to Expatistan’s Cost of Living Index in North America.
There's always watching the game on television. Fox will air every game of the series.