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World Series resale prices soar despite restrictions

North American resale sites reported huge inflation of World Series tickets ahead of last night’s start of the best-of-seven match-up between Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tickets for the restricted-capacity Major League Baseball (MLB) season finale games in Texas were being offered for up to $17,000 according to data from Gametime and SeatGeek, as reported by CNBC. Gametime said ordinary tickets are in line with historical prices, with 2020 at $500 compared to $528 last year and $413 in 2018.

Just ahead of the start of Game One last night – which the Dodgers won 8-3 – tickets on SeatGeek were being offered for between $242 and $2,692. Primary tickets were priced between $75 and $450 when they went on sale earlier this month via MLB and the league-owned ticketing technology provider Tickets.com.

Gametime chief executive Brad Griffith, speaking to CNBC, said the quantity of tickets available and neutral site did not slow demand, with buyers seemingly keen to obtain a once-in-a-lifetime experience by attending a limited World Series.

Resale prices were impacted by the restricted capacity of just 11,400 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, as well as the fact the games are being played some 1,400 miles from Los Angeles and 1,100 miles from Tampa Bay in Florida. World Series games are usually split between the two competing teams’ venues, but all this year’s fixtures are at the Texas Rangers’ new 40,300-seat ballpark as part of a bubble agreement announced last month.

“It will be a fascinating experience to have been a part of,” Griffith said.

Gametime added that the Dodgers’ qualification for the World Series at the expense of Atlanta Braves boosted prices by 21 per cent. The Los Angeles team has not won the World Series since 1988, although they reached the championship match in both 2017 and 2018.

Under plans unveiled at the start of the month by MLB, tickets for the World Series are sold in sets of four due to social distance guidelines in the stadium. However, resale sites are offering tickets in pairs and threes.

Although the State of Texas currently allows up to 50 per cent capacity for sporting events, Globe Life Field will be around 28 per cent full for the games. Fans are required to wear masks, except for when they are actively eating or drinking.

While Game One was a sell-out, the attendance of 11,400 was the smallest crowd for a World Series fixture in more than a century. Just 10,535 attended Game Six in 1909 between Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers at the latter’s 14,000-capacity Bennett Park.

Image: Globe Life Field (Facebook)