Your Ticket Please: A Survey Of Seat Prices, Part I

Section 8 supporters have some of the most affordable seats in the league - just don't complain about standing, or smoke, or an occluded view. - via freebeermovement.com

Ever wonder how the Fire's season ticket prices compare with the MLS or other teams in Europe? First of a three-part series

For most of the Chicago Fire fan base, a season ticket or season tickets are something we do not think about too much when it comes to annual renewal. I know for me, once I have saved enough cash I always put a deposit down, be it in June or August; others wait until right before the season starts to purchase them. In either case, for some of us it is something that remains constant in our lives. For those of us that get a season ticket or tickets, do we really look that deep into the price of them? Do we compare them to other sports teams that we may love just as much? Do we even compare the price to other teams from more established leagues? Well, that's the goal of this three-part series - to examine the cost of tickets.

In the first part let's compare the Fire's season ticket prices with the rest of the league and the other sports teams in Chicago. This is what I did; I checked the sites of the other 18 teams in the MLS and found their cheapest season ticket package and their most expensive. I am not taking into account benefits, bonus games, parking, etc.; I am just looking at the price over a 17-game home season. In the last part I will give my thoughts of the Fire's season ticket benefits and compare them to a couple of the teams in the MLS as well as a couple teams in Europe. So this is what I found:

Team

Min Price

Max Price

Notes

Chicago

$198.00

$2,700.00

CDUSA

$180.00

$1,260.00

Colorado

$238.00

$4,080.00

Columbus

$270.00

$1,026.00

DC

$360.00

$2,394.00

Dallas

$306.00

$2,880.00

Houston

$250.00

$1,825.00

LA

$212.50/$221

$3740/$4590

2 year/ 1 year pricing

Montreal

$308.49

$1,119.30

NE

$270.00

$1,314.00

NY

$320.00

$3,000.00

Philly

$324.00

$4,590.00

Portland

N/A

N/A

No prices due to season tickets being sold out

RSL

$200.00

$1,750.00

SJ

$266.00

$2,185.00

Seattle

$414.00

$1,692.00

SKC

N/A

N/A

No prices due to season tickets being sold out

TFC

$622.44

$3,215.94

Season ticket waiting list

Vancouver

$317.59

$1,819.09

With Portland and SKC, there were no prices listed on their websites due to their season ticket allotment being sold out and having a season ticket waiting list. Toronto, on the other hand, listed their prices despite having a season ticket waiting list. The other thing to note that stood out is that the Galaxy offer prices for 1- and 2-season contracts for their season tickets. As you can tell cf97 has one of the cheaper ticket package options available in the league, while their high-end pricing is middle of the road. The majority of the high end prices for team's ticket packages are for field side seats or tables that include catering. Unsurprisingly, Seattle and TFC have the highest season ticket prices and Chivas has some of the lowest. The one price that stood out to me is that DC United, coming off of one of the worst seasons in league history, has one of the highest low-end season ticket prices.

Now let's compare how the Fire stack up against other Chicago teams. In the table below are listed season-ticket prices for the Bulls, Bears, Cubs, Sox, Hawks, Wolves, and Red Stars.

The Blackhawks did not publish their prices on their website; I found prices here. Are they reliable? Probably not, but for this I will use them, because we all know that they are expensive now that they are a winning team. I took into account the amount of regular season home games since other sports have longer or shorter seasons. So I divided the prices by the amount of home games in each sport and then multiplied that number by 17 to get a better comparison to the Fire's 17 game home schedule. This is what I found:

Team

Min Price

Max Price

Notes

17 game price min

17 game price max

Bulls

$1,710.00

$9,450.00

41 games, season ticket waiting list

$709.02

$3,918.29

Bears

$632.00

$3,160.00

2013 prices, PSLs $2847-$25000 per seat

$1,343.00

$6,715.00

Cubs

$1,625.12

$7,958.72

81 games, season ticket waiting list

$341.07

$1,670.35

White Sox

$616.00

$4,131.00

81 games

$129.28

$867.00

Blackhawks

$2,200.00

$10,000.00

41 games, season ticket waiting list

$912.20

$4,146.34

Wolves

$380.00

$1,482.00

38 games

$170.00

$663.00

Red Stars

$150.00

$600.00

12 games

$212.50

$850.00

As you can tell, that the Fire's ticket prices are competitive with the sports scene in Chicago. Of course the Bears, Bulls, Cubs, and Hawks have the higher season ticket prices because of recent success or popularity. The price that surprised me most was the White Sox prices. If you look at the price for a 17 game schedule $129.28 is really hard to beat. Also if you like minor-league hockey, the Wolves season ticket prices are fantastic - but it is minor-league hockey.

Fire nation, what do you think? Think the Fire's prices are good enough, compared to the rest of the league? Are they competitive with the rest of the sports franchises in Chicago? In part 2 of this series, I will compare the Fire's prices to teams in Europe's "Big 4" leagues as well as the average MLS season ticket prices to the "Big 4" average season ticket prices.

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