Are Red Sox tickets now cheaper than water?

The cost of a Fenway Frank has increased to $5 from the $4 shown in this file photo, but both prices are higher than the cost of a ticket to last night’s game.

For the last few years it’s been as elusive as a parking spot in South Boston in the winter: a Red Sox ticket you can pay for with spare change.

While a below-face value ticket is not an impossible find, a ticket that costs less than a Fenway Frank that you don’t have to buy from a scalper after the game has already started is nearly unheard of.

Tickets available through online resellers like StubHub and Ace Ticket for last night’s game against the Oakland Athletics were selling for below face value well before the game. The prices dropped as low as $3 for outfield grandstand as time ticked closer to first pitch. Those seats are normally $30.

“Wow,” said a surprised Amanda Judd as she snapped pictures outside of Fenway Park with her husband. The couple bought their field box seats for last night’s game well in advance.

“It’s a good thing,” said Chris Judd. “People that couldn’t afford to come to Fenway to see a game can now. It opens it up to everybody.”

Fenway has been near or at the top of the list of the ballparks with the most expensive ticket prices in recent years. A survey by Team Marketing Report said that the average price for a nonpremium seat at the park this year was more than $53, making Fenway the park with the most expensive ticket average.

Joellen Ferrer, a spokeswoman for StubHub, said that demand for Sox tickets is up, but that it started climbing just 10 days ago.

While the Sox are struggling to pull themselves out of last place in their division, so too are the ticket prices.

While the normally $30 outfield grandstand tickets cost only $3 last night, they were selling on Ace Ticket for $9 for the May 14 game against Seattle.

Pricing theory

While a spokeswoman for StubHub would not comment on the ticket price variation because of the company’s relationship with the Red Sox and Major League Baseball, fans had their own theory.

“It seems like they vary depending on the weather and how they are playing,” said Chris Judd, of Hardwick, while standing outside Fenway yesterday. “If they were winning every game the ticket prices might be a little different.” 

By the numbers

$3.99
Price of one bleacher section ticket on StubHub yesterday afternoon, available about 8 hours before game time.

$12
Face value of an upper bleacher ticket

$4
Price of bottled water at Fenway

$5
Price of a Fenway Frank at the park

$8.25
Price of a domestic draft beer at Fenway

$40
Price of parking in a lot near Boylston and Ipswich streets for the game


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