Last season, MLS Cup tickets prices peaked the Tuesday before the Championship match. On November 27, prices averaged $242, 12% more than the previous week and 11% more than the cost of a ticket two days later. The fact that the Beckham era was coming to an end was a main draw in 2012; also, some thought it could be Donovan’s last season. The LA Galaxy hosted and became American soccer’s most decorated professional club with the win. Flip the calendar to December 2013, and MLS Cup ticket prices for Saturday’s matchup between Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City are averaging $266, 12% less than last week.
Sporting Kansas City, host of the 2013 MLS Cup, sold out their Eastern Conference Championship game in less than 24 hours (21,650 tickets). As expected MLS Cup tickets were in high demand following Sporting KC’s Championship berth; at that time, the average list price of a ticket on Razorgator was $354. By Wednesday, the average cost of a ticket had fallen to $303 on the secondary market. While prices have slowly declined leading up to the Championship game, the 2013 final still boasts a more expensive ticket than previous years.
One reason for the increase in demand, prompting a rise in ticket prices, is the league’s decision to go without a neutral site in the finals. Now, the league’s championship match is played at the home venue of the participating team with a higher regular-season point total. Not only does this ensure an energetic and celebratory environment but also allows fans of the home team to conveniently enjoy the game without traveling a great distance. Adding to the excitement in 2013, is the fact that Kansas City sports fans have not seen a professional sports team in their town win a Championship since 2000 when The Wiz boasted the league’s best regular season record. The Kansas City Wizards played again for the title in 2004, but fell to D.C. United 3-2. The 13-year drought is also affecting Kansas City Chiefs tickets; following a 7-0 start, the Chiefs saw an 81% bump in price for their remaining games (the largest increase in the NFL).
“The fans deserve it (a Championship). They’ve been unbelievable to help us get to where we are today and we’d love to reward them with a championship. Just hosting in our own stadium is a great achievement in and of itself, but I really hope we can bring the championship home.” – Robb Heineman
Sporting KC fans regularly fill Sporting Park; the club sold out all 17 regular season matches and set a new club attendance record of 335,058 for the regular season. There’s no question that Sporting fans are passionate; and, if they get to experience KC win their second MLS Cup Championship in franchise history, we’d guess that the cost of their ticket was well worth it … even if they’re looking at a price tag five-times the cost of a regular season game at Sporting Park.
When the two clubs met during the regular season mid-July, Sporting KC came out on top 2-1.
Image Credits: Alistair Tutton, Rick Bowmer