For over a generation, the Royals have been an example of a small market team's inability to compete in a big market world. The last time they advanced to the American League Championship series, Ronald Reagan was president and the Internet domain naming system had just been created. That year, the Royals beat the Blue Jays in seven games to win the American League Pennant and then did the same against the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series. Little did Royals fans know that it would be almost 30 years before they'd make it back to the playoffs. As a result, the average secondary-market price for their first playoff game in 30 years was the most expensive LDS game on record, according to TiqIQ. The second LDS game wasn't much less expensive, however, it tuned out that the Royals didn't need it to advance to the LCS. In fact, they have yet to lose a game this post season, and took the first two games against Baltimore in the ALCS to bring the series back to Kansas City with a comfortable 2-0 lead. Normally, prices for the LCS are considerably more expensive than the LDS, however, because of the unusual dynamics at play with the Royals, the opposite is true this year.
The average price for the first league championship game at Kauffman stadium was $420. When those tickets were being bought and sold Royals fans were not sure if they'd get more than one game. As it became clear there would be more games, prices began to drop. With a 2-0 series lead and the World Series on the horizon, the average price for the three potential Royals LCS games is now $318, with the cheapest ticket for today's game now going for under face price, at $99. A week ago, the cheapest ticket was almost double that price. Over the last five years of tracking the ticket market at TiqIQ, we've never seen a playoff run where LCS prices are cheaper than LDS prices. When the LCS started, however, that was not the case, and prices for the LCS were 10% more expensive than tickets to the LDS game. Now, on the precipice of a World Series, LCS prices are almost 30% below the average price for the LDS game.
After winning the first two games of the series, Royals fans are sending a clear signal that they believe the party won't stop until the World Series, and that there will be a lot more baseball in Kansas City this October. On the other side of that demand curve, World Series tickets are as expensive as they've been over the last five years. At an average price of $1,881, World Series tickets at Kauffmann Stadium are the most expensive of any of the four teams that could make it, and more expensive than World Series tickets for any team over the last five seasons, including last years Red Sox. While fans in Kansas City seem to be banking on a trip to the World Series in 2014, it appears they've lived through enough drought years to know that it's hard to predict whether they'll be back anytime soon.
For more on MLB playoff ticket prices, check out the TiqIQ blog.