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Baseball Prices Cause Home Run
Subject Demand
Topic Supply and demand
Key Words Cost, corporations, price
News Story

Yankees fans are complaining that it is getting too expensive to attend baseball games, and that it is far cheaper to see them on television and pay for drinks in a bar, or stay at home. Field level box seats run $42, while tier box seats cost $33, and upper-deck seats $17. It does not end there: food and drink in the park is expensive. Bottled water is $4, super-pretzels $3.50, peanuts $4, and Crackerjacks $5. According to the Team Marketing Report, a sports business information publisher, it cost a family of four a total of $197.09 to attend a Yankee game, and buy programs, caps and refreshments. Only watching the Boston Red Sox costs more ($214.33).

Many families prefer to make car payments or pay for groceries rather than go to games. Although the average family has a hard time affording trips to baseball games, it is hard to resist the wishes of young children who yearn to have Yankee sweatshirts ($30) or baseball hats ($15) and cannot be bought off with pennants ($3.50) or plastic batting helmets ($6).

The cost has spiraled over the last decade in part because big corporations love to do business at the games. The businesspeople do not complain about the price of parking ($16), for example, because they are reimbursed. Not surprisingly, the fan base has switched from families to large corporations.

(Updated October 10, 2002)

Questions
1.

The price of attending Yankees games is spiraling.
a) Draw a price-quantity diagram of the demand curve for attending Yankee games. Show the effect on the quantity of games demanded as a result of the change in the price of going to games.
b) Has there been a change in demand or quantity demanded?

2. Fans are finding it cheaper to watch Yankee games in sports bars.
a) In another diagram, show the effect of this on the demand for attending Yankee games.
b) Has there been a change in demand or quantity demanded?
c) What kind of economic goods are Yankee games at the park and Yankee games in bars?
3. Not only has there been a rise in ticket prices, but also in the prices of drinks and food.
a) In another diagram, show the effect of this on the demand for attending Yankee games.
b) Has there been a change in demand or quantity demanded?
c) What kind of economic goods are tickets and ballpark food?
4. There has been a change in the fan base from families to corporations.
a) In another diagram, show the effect of this on the demand for attending Yankee games.
b) Why has the demand curve shifted?
c) Has there been a change in demand or quantity demanded?
d) Are Yankee games normal or inferior goods? Why?
5. Families increasingly prefer to pay off debt and buy groceries rather than attend games.
a) In another diagram, show the effect of this on the demand for attending Yankee games.
b) Which determinant of demand has changed?
c) Has there been a change in demand or quantity demanded?
Source Alan Feuer, "An Expensive Habit, Those Yankees," New York Times, April 7, 2002.

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