Dodgers, Astros World Series Commands Big Bucks

In addition to 100-degree-plus temperatures Oct. 24, the opening of the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros was historic for a variety of reasons.

World Series 2017
AP Photo/Matt Slocum
– World Series 2017
World Series opener at Dodger Stadium

The Astros, a former National League rival of the Dodgers, is now in the American League and playing in its first Fall Classic. The Dodgers haven’t seen late October play since appearing in, and winning, the Series against the Oakland A’s in 1988 – before many of the current players were born.

So interest, as well as the temperature, is sky high in both Los Angeles and Houston – and, unsurprisingly, so are ticket prices.

Just before the 5:05 p.m. start of Game 1 at Dodger Stadium, standing room only tickets in the top rows of the upper levels were going on StubHub – MLB’s official secondary ticketer – for nearly $900. Individual box seats next to the visitors’ dugout (and in the shade) were selling for as much as $20,000 per.

And those seats weren’t anywhere near those behind home plate, where Dodgers fans know to look for celebrity season-ticketholders like regulars Larry King and former “Entertainment Tonight” host Mary Hart.

Times have certainly changed since 1988, when scalpers lined Stadium Way and other ingress roads to Dodger Stadium waving tickets in the air, practically giving away their unsold wares at game time.

Parking at Dodger Stadium, $5 during the 1988 season, is no bargain, either, with spots available in advance for $30 and at the gate for $50.

Some fans are apparently recouping at least part of the expense by selling the “rally towels” handed out free at the gate for as much as $100 on eBay

Astros fans are getting only a somewhat better deal for their first shot at the championship of America’s Pastime.

Tickets are, as they were at Dodger Stadium, officially sold out. However, a few clicks through the team’s MLB website takes potential buyers to StubHub pages, showing tickets for standing room only spots available in the crow’s nest section of Minute Maid Park – fondly known by fans as the “Juice Box” – for $620. Tickets in the Diamond Club section were available for $22,500.

Yet, a look at World Series ticket prices in 1988 – before the existence of StubHub and other secondary ticketers – reveals there isn’t much of a top-end inflationary difference in 29 years for a marquee event like the World Series – though the “cheap seats” are now anything but.

In 1988, choice Dodger Stadium box seats cost $50 and resold, during that year’s World Series, for $750, according to the Los Angeles Times archives