Feb. 25—Baseball fans, clearly, are an eager bunch.
Spring-training tickets in both Florida and Arizona are hot commodities, including the Tigers, who earlier this month sold out all 15 of their home Grapefruit League games in three hours.
The Tigers are operating at limited capacity at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida, with about 2,000 fans per game expected when the home slate begins Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies.
According to Gametime, a last-minute ticket broker which also monitors get-in prices on the secondary market, the Tigers' average spring ticket price as of Wednesday was $56.02. That's nearly double from 2020, when the average price was $30.09. The get-in price for Tigers spring-training games — meaning the lowest possible price — is $35.
Four Grapefruit League teams have average prices over $100, including the Boston Red Sox at $262.40 and Atlanta Braves at $210.70. The average Grapefruit League ticket is more than $100. In the Cactus League in Arizona, four teams are over $100, and the average is $86.50.
There are two big reasons for the ticket-price uptick.
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One, it's been nearly a year since most fans could attend live baseball games. The shortened 2020 season was played without fans, though there were limited ticket sales for the late rounds of the playoffs and the World Series.
Second, most teams are operating their spring ballparks at limited capacity, amid the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, making demand far exceed the supply.
The Tigers are scheduled to open the regular season at home April 1 against the Cleveland Indians. There has been no announcement about fans at Comerica Park, though the team has been selling tickets, including for Opening Day. Crowds at Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings games at Little Caesars Arena have been capped in the low hundreds, much of which has been family and friends of players.