Other than the home of the National League Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, there is no venue in major league baseball more historic than Fenway Park. In fact, some baseball fanatics see Fenway as a baseball shrine; a museum. It is the site of the (in)famous Yankees-Red Sox duels that have captured baseball headlines for decades.
But don’t expect to pay museum ticket prices to get into the ballpark. One of the reasons is that the Red Sox carry one of Major League Baseball’s highest payrolls, and somebody is going to have to pay for it. On a more positive view, the Red Sox are consistently competitive, so it’s not like you’re paying to see a team like the Baltimore Orioles.
So let’s take a look at what you have to pay and what you get for your baseball visitor dollars’ worth that you plunk down your hard earned money for. It should be noted that this year they did put up additional netting for the safety of the fans.
Ticket prices are the most expensive anywhere (in both leagues)
The ticket prices were expected to bump up this year, and true to form they rose by 2.5 percent. This is the 6th time since 2008 the Red Sox found it necessary to charge more. Over the past 4 years the price has moved up from $52.32 in 2014 to $52.34 to $54.79 and now to the 2018 average of $56.97. It may be unfair to count the 2 cent bump as an actual increase, so we’ll give them a pass on that one. On the West Coast, where things always seem to be more expensive, you can see a California Angels game for half that price. As a fan, you have to be pretty serious about your Bostonian roots to spend $57 for a single game ticket. So you are.
Concessions can be pricey, depending on what you want.
Fenway Park being located in Boston brings some of the more unique concession foods in the league. You can choose from chicken tenders, chicken cheese steak, or Italian sausage for some of the more common offerings. The standard faire of a Fenway Frank for $5.25 and a beer for $7.75 will run you a total of $13.00. The beer is the priciest around the league, while the hot dog falls into the middle price range. That puts the total cost in the above average division for ballparks. If you are looking for something beyond the ordinary, you can opt for Yankee Lobster Rolls or even some Lobster Poutine Steak.
Parking prices can be reasonable if you like to walk
While this may be seen as a criticism, Boston is one of the country’s most pedestrian-friendly cities. You can walk for about a mile and find cheap parking at just $10 for weekday games. Then there are the closer options that, like every other major city, get pricier the closer you get – as much as $57 for a day game. But the key word to remember is “reservations.” Virtually every reasonable parking lot requires advanced reservations, so plan ahead.
It is estimated that the average Bostonian hourly rate is just under $20 an hour, so you have to work about 3.5 hours to get roughly 3 hours of sports entertainment. That total doesn’t include the time it takes to preplan the outing, nor does it account for the requisite stress brought about fighting the traffic. On a dollar for dollar value basis, going to Fenway Park to see a Red Sox game seems more suited for people who make twice as much per hour as the average Bostonian.
You can find ways to save money by getting discounted tickets in the nosebleed sections for $10, and you can opt for public transportation, which drops you right near the park. Generally, that trek will take you more time, so add that to your total cost. If you are making your visit to Fenway a one-time annual event you are likely to add a few souvenirs to take home. Some local sports journalists believe staying home is the better option, and watching the game on TV. For $7.75 you can buy a lot more beer.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker