Together We Are Giant-ly Ripping Fans Off

I was supposed to go to the A’s-Rangers game today. Delays at baggage claim forced me to consider a later game, the A’s-Giants tilt at Scottsdale. After a late lunch I headed over to Scottsdale Stadium. At the ticket window I was greeted with the grisly reality: no tickets for the near-sold-out game were available for less than $55. Just as bad, the cheapest ticket by face value was $30 for lawn or standing room, which is the Giants’ weekend pricing policy. $30 for lawn during an exhibition? No thanks. $16 for the same ticket during weekdays? Now that’s a lot more reasonable.

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I’m upset enough that I may take Scottsdale Stadium out of my trip completely because of the price-gouging that the Giants are practicing. These are exhibition games, people. But I get it. The Giants are finding a market for these tickets. There are tons of Bay Area fans making the short flight to Phoenix to take in a weekend of games, so in the grand scheme of things $60-100 for two games is not that big a deal. If like me, you want to take in two weeks of games, the pricing is completely out of line. It violates the spirit of Spring Training, which is supposed to be a cheaper, more accessible alternative to regular season Major League Baseball.

Part of the problem is the enormous popularity of the Giants. Like it or not, A’s fans, down here Giants fans outnumber us significantly. I saw it on my plane, at Sky Harbor Airport, and around the stadium. As long as Giants fans are willing to make the trek and pay these prices, the Giants will continue to charge silly amounts. The franchise has always taken advantage of every opportunity to rake in the dollar, whether it was by pioneering dynamic pricing, overcharging to sit on top of the right field wall (Arcade), or their Cactus League pricing. It’s not only the American way. It’s the Giant way.

15 thoughts on “Together We Are Giant-ly Ripping Fans Off

  1. Thanks for this post, ML. I was looking at the ticket prices for the Giants in Scottsdale and was shocked!! $40 to sit on the grass for practice games? They have some the highest ticket prices in all of spring training. The Giants are very arrogant. Thankfully there are other options in the Cactus League.

  2. You couldn’t pay me to attend a Giants game. Besides the greedy owners, the team stinks (76-86 W-L, .469 pct in 2013) NL ball sucks and is inferior. Besides that, one runs the risk of getting shanked going to, in, or leaving the SF ballpark – that place must be the most dangerous sports venue in the US. The giants? – no thank you.

  3. Hey, I thought the superior league was the one where they have the pitcher hold a bat for 3 strikes?…

  4. Ultra Capitalism at its finest…

  5. Wow ,I had no idea the Giants are charging these kinds of prices! 2 years ago I went to a sold out Giants at Athletics weekend game and a standing room ticket at Phx Muni had been raised to $10. Not bad at all to get in the door. This year you can get excellent SEATS for $12-15,depending on the opponent.
    I think all of the Giants fans you see are from out of town or coming from the Bay Area. Arizona has a lot of transplants, so they root for a lot of different teams. I’ve never really noticed a huge Giants contingent. In fact throughout the year , I usually see more A’s Hat’s. Good luck with the rest of tour trip ML!

  6. Just noticed the sidebar. $55 for Bleacher seats!! That’s even worse. I assumed you were talking about scalper prices. Absolute gouging! I doubt if any of the other teams are doing this. I bet the new Cubs Park is not even charging this much.

  7. I was at the game yesterday–4 lawn seats bought the day they went on sale: $141.50 ($30/ticket + $4.50/ticket fee + $3.50 order fee.)

    Tickets for today at Cubs Park–4 lawn seats bought the day they went in sale: $44.00. ($8/ticket + $3/fees.)

    The Cubs often have the highest attendance in the Cactus league, though some of that is a function of HoHoKam and Cubs Park being so large, and their ticket prices being priced like spring training tickets should be. But even the Cubs aren’t immune to making a buck…

    Tickets for tomorrow at Cubs Park–4 lawn seats bought online March 5: dynamically priced all the way up to $60.00 ($12.00/ticket + $3 fees.)

    Lawn tickets Tuesday at Maryvale are $8 (no fees, bought on-site)

    Bottom line, lawn tickets for OAK @ SFG >> Lawn tickets for my 3 next games.

    And don’t get me started on the Giants charging $7 for a bottle of water.

  8. When you win 2 WS titles in 4 years in the what is the wealthiest market in MLB this is what happens.

    If Giants blow ass for the next 3-5 years and the aura from the WS titles fades away only then will you see the prices fall.

    If the A’s were to leave the Bay Area imagine the ticket prices then? Regardless if the team was bad or good it would be on ridiculous levels.

  9. Even so, only evidently Giants fans value the team. The national networks that broacast MLB games always complain that the Giants do well locally, however, are not so valued nationally. The giants recent post season tv ratings have been dismal to say the least. They have set two record lows for all time worst world series ratings ever recorded. Their NL playoff game ratings have been bad also. In 2010, the NL playoff ratings were way down, while the AL playoff tv ratings for the same year were up. Also, the 2013 NL playoff and world series ratings (minus the giants) were 20% up. Giants fans react by saying “who cares about national tv ratings” Selig and MLB do care, and the giants poor national tv ratings must be a concern for MLB.

  10. You guys sure like to complain a lot.

    But you sound jealous – isn’t this exactly what you want?

    • @freddy – You seem to be comfortable with people getting ripped off. How about I charge you $5 per comment you make here? Would that make you comfortable?

  11. The A’s have won four world series and made 17 playoff berths in 46 years – that’s a world series title each 11.5 years and a playoff berth each 2.7 years

    The Giants,on the other hand, have won two world series titles and made 10 playoff berths in 56 years – a world series title each 28 years, and a playoff berth each 5.6 years. Even since phone company park opened, the A’s played better than the giants, making the playoffs seven times to the giants five. This fan is 0% jealous of the giants.

  12. @ Freddy,

    This thread is about enjoying Spring Training baseball AT AN AFFORDABLE RATE and not being gouged. That’s it; but apparently that went way over your head (imagine that)…

  13. We’ll the Giants prices may be ridiculous, but I found the Cubs prices right now to be functionally higher thanks to the scarcity at new Cubs Park. And that despite it being far and away the largest spring training stadium in the country.

  14. Moved to Tucson last year and, as a Giants fan, I was very disappointed to see these prices when ST rolled around. I immediately decided no weekend or night games at Scottsdale Stadium, which is unfortunate because I live in Tucson. I am hand-cuffed by fans willing to pay those prices. So when I go up on weekends I only attend away games. Alternatively I took a day off work to run up for the opener (Giants-A’s @ Scottsdale mid-week) and grabbed tickets behind the 1st base (home) dugout that morning on StubHub for $6. I dislike it but I’ve figured out how to play the game. I blame the Giants but gotta blame the fans willing to pay the prices too

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