Jeter Fever Flooding Secondary Market, Best Medicine is to Wait it Out.. and Asprin
Derek Jeter took to Facebook yesterday to announce his retirement from Major League Baseball. After 19 years as shortstop for the New York Yankees, Jeter – now 39 years old – will play his final regular season home game on September 25 against the Orioles.
The “get-in” price for the Yankees’ final regular season home game against the Orioles on Thursday, September 25 was $26 prior to Jeter’s announcement at 2 p.m. yesterday. Now, the cheapest seats available are listed for more than 10x that price, just below $300. Likewise, the minimum cost of attending the Yankees’ final regular season game on Sunday, September 28 against the Red Sox at Fenway Park was $91 per ticket at 2 p.m. yesterday, but that’s more than doubled since to over $200.
The Yankees had a 12-game season ticket plan available that included the final home game on September 25, but it sold out within an hour of Jeter’s announcement. Likewise, the Red Sox had a two-game flex pack available that, earlier today, included Game 162 against the Yankees on September 28, but the September 28 game sold out less than 2 hours after the announcement.
Last year’s retirement of Yankees legend Mariano Rivera provides an interesting analogue to what we’re seeing today with the ticket market for Derek Jeter’s final games. Rivera’s retirement announcement on March 9, 2013 led to an immediate spike in ticket prices for the final Yankees homestand of the 2013 season. Prices for tickets to any of the three final homestand game bought before March 9, 2013 cost $54 on average, but that average jumped to $84 for all tickets bought after Rivera’s announcement (constituting a spike of over 50%). When isolating out just Rivera’s final home game on September 26, prices effectively doubled (going from $54 to $104) as a result of the retirement announcement.
Based on what we saw last year with Rivera’s retirement, we’d recommend that Yankees fans sit tight and let the hysteria die down. Last year, the average price for a ticket to Rivera’s final game bought within the final 72 hours before gametime was $87.34 — a price a good 20% lower than prevailing average ticket prices to Rivera’s final game paid throughout the season.
It’s also worth noting that the Yankees have not opened up their single-game ticket sales for the 2014 season. The home finale on Sept. 25 will sell out within minutes, but then inventory will flood the secondary market and prices should come down considerably at that point.
All of the latest info on prices and availability can be found on SeatGeek’s event page for Jeter’s final game.