TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays aren't just one of the hottest tickets in town. They're one of the hottest tickets in baseball.
The Blue Jays host the Texas Rangers in Games 1 and 2 of the American League Division Series starting on Thursday afternoon. Tickets for the games in Toronto have become increasingly expensive on the secondary market, behind only the Chicago Cubs.
As of Wednesday night, the average price for a ticket at Game 1 or 2 of the ALDS was US$250, compared to $400 for a ticket in Chicago. On average, tickets in Toronto are twice as expensive as the games in Texas ($127).
"The Cubs are blowing everyone out of the water, then the Blue Jays are there, and then there's another drop off before the Royals and a few other teams are in that next little pack," said Chris Leyden of SeatGeek.com, an online ticket resale aggregator.
Toronto's average ticket price is especially impressive given the size of Rogers Centre. The stadium's seating capacity of 49,282 is the second largest in the post-season this year, with Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles the biggest (56,000). By comparison, the Cubs' Wrigley Field is 42,374 including standing room.
That increased supply hasn't slowed demand for Blue Jays tickets. Instead, it's the timing of their games that has lowered prices.
"I know, just seeing on Twitter, I think a few Blue Jays fans were not thrilled with mid-afternoon games," said Leyden with a laugh. "I know many bosses don't like their employees to leave work at noon or two o'clock in the afternoon.
"I think that had a slight impact on the market. We saw about a 13 per cent price drop from when they announced it to the following day."
The cheapest ticket for any Toronto home game in the ALDS is $119 and will only climb for any optimist who believes the Blue Jays will make the American League Championship Series.
"I would guess that any tickets would be at least $100 more for the ALCS games," said Leyden. "What's really interesting is that I think the jump from the ALDS to the ALCS will be kind of small compared to if they do make the World Series.
"I think that's when we'll really see a big jump in prices."
The cheapest World Series ticket in Toronto is $686, with that price expected to rise if they advance through the playoffs.
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John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press