What is 100,000 tickets sold worth to the White Sox?

Like most people, I was disappointed when the White Sox failed to sign Manny Machado and angry when they claimed they couldn’t afford it.  When the Philadelphia Phillies signed Bryce Harper yesterday, I skipped the disappointment stage.  When I read Ken Williams’ comments yesterday I was angry and frustrated, because it was framed entirely around not being able to afford the player.  And then I saw this tweet from Bob Nightengale, about what happened when Harper joined the Phillies:

Which got me thinking, what would those ticket sales mean to the Chicago White Sox?

According to sportrac, the average ticket price for the White Sox in 2018 was $26.03.  While the team keeps the food and drink sales in the Rate private, informal polling makes me think that saying an average spend of $50ish per person is a reasonable argument.  So we’ll call it a $75 per person per game spend.  So lets to the math:

100,000 x $75 = $7,500,000.


Parking Passes:  $20 for parking (M-Sat) and $10 Sunday, and I’ll assume 1/4 of these new ticket sales will need a pass and go a weighted $17.50 per pass.

25,000 x $17.50 = $437,500

T-shirts and Jerseys

Pure conjecture, but if 30,000 of those attendees buy a tshirt, and 10,000 buy a jersey you get:

$35.00 x 30,000 = $1,050,000 in t-shirt sales

$110.00 x 10,000 = $1,100,000 in jersey sales

Add it up:

$7,600,000 in ticket and concession sales +

$437,500 in parking passes +

$1,050,000 in t-shirt sales +

$1,100,000 in jersey sales =

$10,187,500 in combined upfront ticket sales and estimated pull-through revenue in one afternoon.

I get that my math isn’t perfect – hardcore #108ing in the Rate will blow out a $50 estimated spend pretty quickly – and the overall t-shirt and jersey sales will blow my “gameday” estimate out of the water pretty quickly.  But the next time this organization passes on a marquee player because of the cost, its worth remembering that half of Harper’s 2019 cost was essentially covered in an afternoon.


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Really enjoyed this. I wonder if the lease agreement is also part of the problem? In a way it incentivizes low attendance since White Sox have to pay a cut if they draw over 1.9 million. I’m just disappointed because I was hoping for vision and instead got cheap games from the White Sox.

David I

How do you insert a picture into your post?