Taking your family to the ballgame and buying them some hot dogs and sodas is a beloved summer pastime. Unfortunately, depending on the stadium, the price you pay may be a shame.
MoneyGeek analyzed budget ticket options for the rest of the 2023 season, along with parking and concessions, to calculate how much it costs on average for a family of four to attend a game with all 30 MLB teams.
Overall, the personal finance website found that an average trip to an MLB game for a family of four costs $140.
A family visiting the most expensive team on the list, the Los Angeles Dodgers would spend about $219, MoneyGeek found. If you’re looking to save a buck — or way more — you’ll need to go across the country to Miami, where a Marlins game will cost an average of $83.
A combination of more affordable ticket, parking, and concession prices (four hot dogs, two beers, and two sodas) helped keep a game in Miami below $100. The Marlins sport the lowest cost of food and drink for the family and the second-lowest ticket fares.
The Dodgers, however, had the second most expensive ticket fares and the most expensive food and drink.
LA’s other team, the Angels, was far more affordable. With an overall cost of $100 for a family of four to attend a game, the Halos had the cheapest tickets at $26. The team also had among the lowest rates of game costs-to-weekly income in the league at 5.5%. The Dodgers ranked the worst in that category at just over 12%.
The Minnesota Twins have the lowest game costs-to-weekly income rate at 4%, followed closely by the Seattle Mariners at 4.1%. The Boston Red Sox had the most expensive tickets for a family of four at $144.
Five teams — the Baltimore Orioles, the Pittsburgh Pirates (which have the best ballpark, according to a recent analysis), the Cleveland Guardians, the Atlanta Braves, and the Seattle Mariners — had the most affordable parking options at $10 each. The New York Yankees have the most expensive parking at $47, followed by their Subway Series rival, the New York Mets, at $40.
Overall, MoneyGeek found attending home games for these 10 teams were the most or least expensive:
|Most Expensive||Least Expensive|
|Los Angeles Dodgers ($219)||Miami Marlins ($83)|
|Boston Red Sox ($215)||Minnesota Twins ($85)|
|San Diego Padres ($203)||Seattle Mariners ($97)|
|Houston Astros ($182)||Los Angeles Angels ($100)|
|San Francisco Giants ($174)||Kansas City Royals ($106)|
Unsurprisingly, certain rivalries can drastically change the cost of attending an MLB game. MoneyGeek found that, for games between natural rivals (like the Dodgers versus the Angels, or the Chicago Cubs versus the Chicago White Sox), tickets were an average of $12 more expensive, totaling $48 for a family of four.
Even otherwise unnatural rivalries can have a major impact on ticket prices. Based on MoneyGeek’s analysis, when certain teams are the visitor, tickets can become much more expensive.
The Yankees had the largest average impact on ticket fees, raising prices by 67%. The Dodgers weren’t far behind, increasing prices by 65%. No other teams came as close, according to MoneyGeek. The Red Sox ranked third, having a roughly 40% impact on ticket prices.
On the other hand, there are some teams that appear to have a negative — or for you, cheaper — influence on tickets.
That was especially true for the Arizona Diamondbacks, which dropped ticket prices by nearly 20% when they’re the visiting team. If your team is playing the Pittsburgh Pirates, you may see a 16% decrease on ticket price tags. The White Sox and the Royals could have a -15% impact.
If you are trying to save a buck or two, but still want to take in a game, MoneyGeek recommends shopping for the cheapest available tickets, attending weekday games, and bringing your own food and skipping the drinks.
If you can’t resist a beer at the ballpark, there are some fields that have better brew deals than others. A recent analysis found Coors Field, home to the Colorado Rockies, offers the cheapest beer at just $3 — if you’re willing to put in the work to find it.