Yankees or Mets? White Sox or Cubs? Some crosstown baseball rivalries are famously venomous, complete with rabid fans and frequent fist fights.The advent of interleague regular season play gives fans the chance to witness these match-ups several times each year. Before 1997, pro baseball fans would have to wait for the World Series to see an American League team go head-to-head against a National League team in a non-exhibition game.
This weekend welcomes the first interleague MLB games of the 2011 season, including six crosstown/regional match-ups that are often publicized as interleague rivalries and given catchy names similar to New York’s famous “Subway Series:”
(Notably absent this weekend are the popular “Windy City Series/Crosstown Classic” in Chicago and Los Angeles’ “Freeway Series,” both of which will kick off in late June.)
Now, obviously some of these rivalries are longstanding, and greatly anticipated by fans and the media. But some seem a little forced. Using SeatGeek’s proprietary data to analyse the secondary market demand for MLB tickets to these games, we’ve ranked this weekend’s series 1 to 6 according to fan interest.
What follows is a ranking of this weekend’s regional interleague series — according to their relative pricing on the resale market.
Tampa Bay Rays @ Florida Marlins
Average Rays Marlins Tickets Price: $35
Change from average regular season game: -$1
Maybe it was the cutesy name, maybe it was the fact that both teams are doing very well in their divisions, or maybe it was the promise of sunshine -- I don't know, but for some reason, I expected more from the data on this series.
But alas, Florida's Citrus Series ranks last this weekend because tickets to the series are 1) objectively the least in demand of the bunch per price data, and 2) actually about a dollar less than the average ticket at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Oh, and these two teams have never met in the World Series either. In fact, they have yet to make the postseason in the same year.
Cincinnati Reds @ Cleveland Indians
Average Reds Indians Tickets Price: $37
Change from average regular season game: +$5
Though the two Ohio MLB teams have never met in the World Series, they did historically participate in the Ohio Cup -- a preseason exhibition tradition played about midway between the cities in Columbus, Ohio. Though interleague play ended the practice, the name stuck.
Fans aren't paying a huge premium for this series in Cleveland, but they're still paying above the season average, and there are only few seats selling below face value via SeatGeek for any of the three games.
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