Spring Training: Overpriced or Entertaining?

Major League Baseball’s Spring Training season is coming to Arizona, generating tons of revenue for the state and providing a fun family experience. But is it getting too expensive?

Jake Matise, Columnist

Spring Training. It’s a big deal for Arizona to have 15 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams playing games within a 40 mile radius at the same time. The smaller complexes make for easier access for fans to meet the players, and even grab a few autographs as a keepsake. But with all of these exciting activities comes a price. Even though prices seem to be on a slight yearly rise, the overall game experience is still worth the money.

Having Spring Training here in Arizona definitely has its benefits for the state. The Cactus League averages over $420 million in revenue from just one month-long season. The majority of the cash can be attributed to ticket sales from the games, and the fact that there simply are so many games being played. There are even more games then there are teams due to the new “split squad” idea. It basically splits one team in half some that they can play double the games. Genius idea, right? But all of this new money ultimately comes out of the pockets of the fans.

Over the years, Spring Training games have gotten more expensive. However, I don’t think there is reason for alarm just yet. It’s true that tickets cost more money nowadays, but only slightly. In a study by Yahoo Sports, the ticket prices for the Chicago Cubs have only increased by about three dollars from last year. However, the hometown Arizona Diamondbacks charge 11 dollars for a lawn seat, and prices range from 22 to 35 dollars a ticket for other seats. This is likely because of the state-of-the-art stadium the Diamondbacks use, though. The study also revealed that other teams charge 15 dollars to sit where the Cubs only charge nine.

But tickets are not the only thing that are becoming more expensive. Most teams charge to park at the stadium now, and some of the prices can be a bit ridiculous. The Chicago Cubs, among other teams, charge eight to ten dollars to park for one game. I think this is a bit excessive, considering that there isn’t really anywhere else to park and the teams are taking advantage of it. Some fields, like Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona, don’t charge anything for parking.

The pricing really all comes down to where you want to sit and which teams you want to see. Popular teams like the Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants generally have higher prices than other teams. Games with the Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers have cheaper ticket prices, and the Rangers don’t charge for parking. Overall, going to a Spring Training game is still much cheaper than going on a plane to see your favorite team during the season, and it is still a fan-friendly experience.