When it comes to going to professional sporting events in the U.S., baseball is in its own category.
Of the major sports, MLB knocks all other leagues out of the park when it comes to games, as the 162-game schedule is the only one that reaches triple digits. With 81 home games, baseball fans have plenty of opportunities to see their favorite teams.
But the lowest ticket price for some teams can be more than five times as expensive as other teams' cheapest option, according to data from TicketSmarter shared with USA TODAY Sports, meaning not only will fans be breaking the bank at the concession stands, but they'll need to first spend more just to get in.
"It's a long season, which does do some interesting things to the ticket prices," TicketSmarter CEO Jeff Goodman told USA TODAY.
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How much does the average cheapest MLB ticket cost?
The average price of the cheapest ticket for each MLB team ranges from $5-$27, according to TicketSmarter data.
The teams with the cheapest average price are the San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels at $5. The most expensive tickets belonged to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cleveland Guardians, with the cheapest average at $27. Both teams are followed by the Red Sox at $25.
Of all 30 teams, the average price for the cheapest tickets in MLB is $11.
"Baseball tickets are cheap," Goodman said. "It is a very inexpensive sport to attend, and a lot of it is driven by the fact that there's 81 home games."
What makes MLB tickets cheap?
There are several factors that go into baseball ticket prices on the secondary market, but Goodman says the biggest determinations are the weather, opponents, if it's during a work or school day, giveaways and team performance.
For the Giants, Goodman referenced the team's average play this season as an indicator of its prices; the team sits in third in the NL West.
For the Yankees, who are considered a World Series contender, Goodman cited the availability of tickets. With a 46,537-seat stadium, the Yankees have averaged 39,618 attendees this year.
The issue with the Yankees also applies to the Angels. Despite having arguably two of the best players in the game in Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, Los Angeles averages 31,761 spectators in its 45,050-seat stadium.
"Over half the clubs, they're nothing close to full," Goodman said. "That has something to do with the price."
But cheaper tickets don't mean all tickets are cheaper. Despite the Yankees averaging $5 for their cheapest tickets, the average ticket price for a game on TicketSmarter is $174.
"You'll have some seats − the premium seats − behind the plate, by the dugouts that go unsold if they're $1,000 apiece, but a lot of the seats that are available could be those ones in the upper levels in the corners, and those are just the get in kind of prices," Goodman said.
What makes MLB tickets expensive?
The Dodgers' expensive get-in prices may not be a surprise to those in the Los Angeles area; Dodger Stadium also has the most expensive beer prices in the league, and tickets for the series with longtime rival, the Yankees, are starting at $62 this weekend.
For the Guardians, Goodman says the biggest factor in its price is the availability of tickets, typically less than 1,000 available on TicketSmarter.
Interleague rules in which teams alternate ballparks each year also come into play.
"When you have teams that come in that have never been there before, are very rare, that definitely can drive it, especially if they have superstars," Goodman said. "People can want to come in and see them."
Gannett has a partnership with TicketSmarter that provides readers with access to tickets through Gannett's websites, including USA TODAY.com.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB ticket prices: See which teams are the cheapest, most expensive