Baltimore, it will now cost more money to see your baseball team this spring and summer. An average of $4-$5 per ticket, according to The Sun.
If the natural reaction to this news is to bellyache—"Think of the children! Specifically MY children, who I will now have to spend more money on to entertain at a baseball game"—then I kindly ask that you think back to the good ol' days of, oh, roughly 1998 to 2011.
For years, people have griped that Peter Angelos hasn't spent money on the team. During this offseason, before the announcement of this price increase, the team dropped a boatload of money to retain the services of first baseman Chris Davis, reliever Darren O'Day, and catcher Matt Wieters—three guys most experts predicted the team would not be able to keep, at least not altogether. They also brought on designated hitter Mark Trumbo and Korean outfielder Hyun-soo Kim.
At roughly $130 million, the team's payroll is the highest it's ever been, and the Orioles seem intent on spending more, reportedly closing in on a deal for starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo. (There's a great post on the team's apparent new-found financial flexibility over at Camden Chat.)
This is the cost of consistently fielding a winning team, and if paying $5 extra per game means the team will continue to acquire more talent and put a competitive product on the field, then I'm more than happy to fork over the money.
According to the group Team Marketing Report, the Orioles had some of the cheapest tickets in all of baseball last season. And while this increase draws them closer to the league average, The Sun points out that there will still be "an average of 12,000 tickets costing $20 or less, a number that reaches up to 18,000 seats—about 40 percent of the park—on some nights."
So grab some cheapies in the upper deck, tell your kid they'll get cotton candy some other time, and enjoy watching the O's take another run at the A.L. East.