Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Every year some guy puts out a report about how expensive it is for a family of four to attend a Major League Baseball game. Every year sportswriters uncritically accept that data as "proof" that the average cost of taking a family to a game is (in 2011) almost $200 (it's $197.35). Cue hysteria, wailing about how the game is out of reach for American Families, etc., etc.

The whole survey is really dumb (as I've said before). The $200 cost includes not just four tickets, but also two beers, two soft drinks, four hot dogs, two hats (?), two programs (!!), and parking. Obviously, except for the tickets, all those can be discarded if one wants to take one's family to a game without breaking the bank. (Seriously, who buys two hats every time they go to a game?) The survey further inflates the cost of a game by not listing the the cheapest tickets. Instead, the price of tickets means:

"Average ticket price represents a weighted average of season ticket prices for general seating categories, determined by factoring the tickets in each price range as a percentage of the total number of seats in each venue."

Huh? That's ridiculous. If you're taking your family to a game on a budget, you get the cheapest seats. You don't take your family to a weighted average of season ticket prices.

The reality is that it's much, much less expensive to go to a game. I'm still waiting to read an article pointing that out.

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