The Toronto Blue Jays have been filling the Rogers Centre during their 11-game winning streak. A full house on Thursday afternoon against one of the league’s bottom-dwellers is the new reality in Toronto, and with fans now eager to pay top dollar, someone‘s pockets are growing thicker.
It would be fascinating to see a full economic study on the impact of the Blue Jays trade deadline. Not only do ticket sales spike, but local restaurants will be seeing significantly more patrons, hotels will be busier and merchandise shops will be packed. As Jeremy Appel of the Toronto Sun explains, parking on game night has become a huge source of cash-flow.
“It costs $40 to park beneath the Rogers Centre and fans looking for cheaper parking elsewhere near the stadium will likely be disappointed,” Appel writes. As someone who’s three weeks away from moving to Toronto from the Maritimes, I think I need to sit down and catch my breath.
Perhaps the most noticeable price spike has been for tickets, as recent sellouts have opened up the secondary channels as pure seller’s markets. John Chidley-Hill of the Canadian Press tells us the recent three-game set against the Athletics saw Toronto’s highest ticket prices of the season. They’re not about to go down, either.
“The average cost to see Toronto ace David Price start against the Yankees on Friday climbed to $91 over the past week. The average price is $103 for Saturday’s game and $87 for Sunday.
Two weeks ago a ticket for Friday’s game in the upper bowl at Rogers Centre overlooking the outfield cost $13. That same ticket has now climbed to $56, meaning just to get in to the stadium the price has more than quadrupled since the beginning of August. The lowest price isn’t any cheaper on Saturday ($60) or Sunday ($58).”
Obviously, fans will see these numbers as padding the “David Price account”, but that’s not necessarily the case. The dollars, when treated as pure profit, would still fall well short of reeling in the big fish, but this should offer a valuable lesson for Rogers ownership. These numbers, if sustained over several seasons, could turn the Blue Jays into one of the MLB’s most economically successful franchises.
If you’re looking to see the Blue Jays live in 2015, the time to buy your ticket was five minutes ago. Prices and crowds won’t do anything but rise if the Jays continue their winning ways, and for businesses around the Rogers Centre, that’s beautiful news. Save your pennies, though. I shudder at the thought of buying an Alexander Keiths for $11.25 (seriously), let alone taking a family of four to the ballpark.