Take me out to the increasingly expensive ball game

As the Washington Nationals begin a new season, we wanted to take a look at how much it costs a family to attend a baseball game in the nation’s capital. Each year, analysts at Team Marketing Report of Chicago, Illinois calculate the amount of money it costs a family of four to attend a baseball game. The total cost of attending a game is calculated by adding the price of four tickets, two beers, four soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking, and two adult-size hats. Team Marking Report found that in 2015 it will cost on average $211.68 per family to attend a Major League Baseball game. This is a 2.5 percent increase over 2014.

So how do the Nationals compare to the rest of Major League Baseball?

Even though the Nationals price of attendance grew at a slower rate (1.8 percent) than the major league average, the team is one of the most expensive for a family to watch in person. According to Team Marketing Report’s study, a Nationals game cost a family of four $232.08, which is the seventh highest in Major League Baseball. (click to interact)

Cost of Attendance for Family of Four

The primary reason that a Nationals game is so expensive is that regular ticket costs are the fifth highest in baseball. Hot dogs at Nationals Stadium are also expensive too – tying the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics for sixth highest at $5.25 each. On the positive side, average parking for a Nationals game is one of the lowest at $10.00.

If you are a fan that likes a bargain, we suggest attending a game in Phoenix, Arizona where the Diamondbacks take the award for having the lowest cost of attendance at $126.98. Ironically, the Diamondbacks also had the lowest winning percentage in baseball last year suggesting you pay for the product you get.

You can explore the cost of attending a Nationals game and analyze other baseball teams using the interactive tables we created.

The following table compares the cost of tickets, hot dogs, beer, parking, and soft drinks over time for each Major League Baseball team. (click to interact)

Nationals Prices

And to draw comparisons between teams, click on the following graph. (click to interact)MLB Comparison


2 thoughts on “Take me out to the increasingly expensive ball game

  1. I think including the cost of hats in this is a little strange because if you go more than once a season, that’s a one-time expense that most people won’t even incur because they already have hats. Also, why do only the adults get hats? For comparison purposes across teams, this analysis makes sense to me, but I’d argue that the average cost is inflated for effect here by including the purchase of any type of team apparel.


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