The White Sox have a rich history of signing Cuban players to their roster. The latest success story is slugger Jose Abreu who like his Cuban countryman Yasiel Puig is having a breakout rookie season. Only Abreu and Puig have earned player of the month and rookie of the month nods in their first month in the big leagues.
The 27-year-old rookies’ April numbers may have knocked your sox right off (10 HR, 31 RBIs), but Abreu’s dynamics on the field are not affecting the price of Chicago White Sox tickets on the secondary market. Last year, we took a look at Los Angeles Dodgers ticket prices after Puig’s first week; similarly, ticket prices in Los Angeles did not pop-up either.
Not only did the White Sox organization score a home run with the signing of Abreu, but so too did fans. The average price of White Sox tickets in May at the start of the season was $104. Today, the average price of Chicago White Sox tickets at US Cellular Field this month is $84 (down 19%). To note, the Sox have been on the road since April 30. Windy City showdown tickets on the Southside are down 28 percent since the regular-season opener.
While others argue if Jose Abreu has already passed up Yasiel Puig as the league’s best Cuban hitter, there is one thing no one can debate – the current home run leader is putting on quite a show for fans. Recall Abreu’s game-ending grand slam April 25 against Tampa Bay in front of a home crowd.
To date, Abreu’s record contract among ballplayers native to Cuba (six-year, $68 million) is turning out to be a great deal for both the organization and fans. The Sox are second overall in runs scored (171), seventh in the league in batting average (.260), and sixth in slugging percentage (.417). His on-field performance is not translating to more expensive Chicago White tickets either which is a benefit for the fans. The followup question is: Can Abreu’s stellar play with cheap Sox tickets lead to more black and white in the seats? There’s really no grey area in your decision if you are a sports fan living in Chicago (and not rooting for the ‘other team’).
Image Credit: Nam Y. Huh (AP Photo)