All-Star Ticket Prices Are High, But There’s Free Stuff Too

New York City  hosts this year’s All-Star festivities, just five years after hosting the 2008 summer classic. The Mets are in charge this year, with the All-Star Game, Home Run Derby, Futures Game and All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game all taking place at CitiField. Five years ago, Yankee Stadium was the site for these activities in its last year of existence. In 2009, the Yankees moved across the street to the new Yankee Stadium.

Everything, it seems, is more expensive in New York City — and tickets for the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby are no exception. Tickets for this year’s game range from $195 to $715, according to Major League Baseball. In 2008, the range was $150 to $725. That’s a nearly 33% increase for the least expensive ticket, with a slight decrease at the upper end. By comparison, ticket prices for last year’s All-Star Game in Kansas City ranged from $125 to $400.

The economy’s certainly picked up since 2008, which may have contributed to the ticket price increase. There’s also the issue of supply and demand. Yankee Stadium could fit more than 56,000 fans. CitiField’s capacity, including standing room only, is only 45,000. Not every seat in the ballpark is for sale, either. MLB uses quite a few seats for TV and corporate sponsors and players get seats for their friends and family.

The most direct route to All-Star tickets was through the Mets. Fans who purchased full season tickets or a 40-game plan from the Mets were offered the same number of seats for the game, the derby, the futures game and celebrity softball game, plus a commemorative program and two tickets to the All-Star Fanfest. Fans who purchased 20-game or 15-game packages from the Mets — and paid a deposit by last July — were also eligible to purchase the full All-Star ticket strip. Neither the Mets nor MLB sold tickets to individual events at CitiField; fans could purchase only a strip with tickets for the game, the derby, the futures game and the celebrity softball game. Ticket prices for the Home Run Derby start at $157 and go up to $585. The Sunday games (futures, celebrity) are more affordable: Those tickets range from $35 to $130.

With high base ticket prices and a limited supply, the secondary ticket market is heating up. As of yesterday afternoon, the least expensive ticket strip (for all the events at CitiField) available on StubHub was $396.50 for standing room only. Other SRO ticket strips were selling for nearly $700. Box seats behind home plate were listed at more than $8,000. For just the All-Star Game, you can still get SRO tickets for less than $300. The least expensive “seat” — in the promenade outfield section — was selling for $400. You want to see just the Home Run Derby? You can get in and stand for $155 or sit behind home plate for $16,000. Yes, $16,000! For that price, you should get to cuddle with the participants’ small children while the guys are taking their swings.

If you want to feel the excitement of All-Star Week but don’t have that kind of cash lying around, there’s plenty for you, too. The All-Star Fanfest starts next Friday, July 12 at the Jacob Javits Center on the west side of Manhattan. This year’s All-Stars won’t be there, but many former players will, including 12 Hall of Famers. Adult tickets are selling for $35; kids and seniors pay less.

For the more active-minded, MLB is sponsoring an All-Star 5K run on Saturday, July 13 in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The entrance fee is $35 for adults and $30 for kids, and all proceeds will benefit Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Frank Robinson, Dwight Gooden, Ed Kranepool will be on hand and Eric Byrnes will be running in the race. Mr. Met will also be running, along with mascots from nine other teams.

If Fan Fest or the 5K run don’t excite you — or you’re on a tight budget — there will be two free events during All-Star Week. You don’t even have to a baseball fan to enjoy the first event: a concert in Central Park on Saturday night, July 13, with the New York Philharmonic and Mariah Carey. Then on Tuesday, the National League and American League All-Stars will parade through midtown Manhattan on 6th Avenue, starting at 42nd Street and ending at 59th Street on 42nd Street, starting at Bryant Park and heading east toward Second Avenue. Eighty-thousand feet of red carpet will line the parade route. Players will ride in the back of pickup trucks. It will look similar to the 2008 All-Star Parade, which followed a route up 6th Avenue (photo courtesy of the New York Daily News).


There’s something for everyone during All-Star Week, but the more cash you have, the more festivities you can enjoy. Just like it is for most other sports spectaculars, be it the World Series, the Super Bowl or the Kentucky Derby.

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Wendy writes about sports and the business of sports. She's been published most recently by Vice Sports, Deadspin and You can find her work at and follow her on Twitter @hangingsliders.

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I had read that the Red Carpet event was supposed to go down 42nd street this year.