BOSTON (CBS) – Today is Opening Day for the Red Sox, and when they open on the road for a week like they have this year, it’s really not about the baseball. Real fans are already neck deep in who’s hot, who’s not, and what is wrong with our manager?
Instead, Thursday is more of a celebration of the ballpark itself. Other than Wrigley Field in Chicago, there is nothing quite like Fenway Park, and the return of baseball to it is a celebration of being Bostonian that transcends the game itself.
Fenway will be a safer place to watch a game this year thanks to extended netting along the foul lines, but it’s also a more expensive place than ever. The Sox announced last fall that ticket prices will rise by an average of 2.5 percent, the sixth price hike in the last decade.
That makes a day or night out at Fenway Park the most expensive in the Majors, an average of $157 for two tickets, two hot dogs and beers, and parking. By contrast, the least expensive Major League Baseball experience is at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California where the average price for two is only $48.
In life, you pay for your thrills, and Fenway is no exception. The Red Sox have the highest payroll in the majors by far, $20 million more than the San Francisco Giants in second place. And the Sox do offer cut-rate tickets to students, clergy and members of the military.
But at these prices, you can buy a cheap used car for little more than it costs to take a family of four to a ballgame. If they win, no one will care – it costs a lot less to watch the games on TV.
But this day is special because Fenway is such a great place to see a game. And it’s too bad more and more people are being priced out of the experience.