The Value Behind Opening Day in Cleveland

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Photo credit: Zachary Fenell 2012

Don’t let the past weekend’s snowfall fool you, Cleveland. Summer will arrive soon–evidenced by the fact that Cleveland Indians baseball returns to the corner of Carnegie and Ontario this Friday, April 4. The Indians once again sold out the home opener, extending the Indians’ streak to 22 consecutive sold out home openers, according to the Tribe’s website.

The Indians offered a special online pre-sale that began Monday, March 3. That morning I found myself and countless other CLE-natives hovering over our computers, ready to snatch up two Opening Day tickets. Because of this pre-sale option, Opening Day sold out before tickets could even go on sale to the general public on Monday, March 10th.

I thought I was one of the smart ones; a true fan devoted to getting tickets before they were even available for public purchase. But after rejecting the $37 cost for two upper reserve seats in favor of trying my luck at cheaper bleacher seats, I realized I was not smart at all. The window to purchase Opening Day tickets closed within 15 minutes, and I had missed out because I wanted to pay less.

Now, do I regret my frugality? Following some thought, I determined answering the aforementioned meant answering another question first. What value does Opening Day in Cleveland possess? Allow me to explain further.

Sizing things up

To provide some perspective, those $37 seats I passed up cost $17.50 regular season. Bleacher seats cost even less. So, in my mind, I figured I could spend $37 on an Opening Day ticket or go to two or three Tribe games for the same price. Don’t you love the dynamic pricing model?

Admittedly, those two or three games don’t offer the exhilarating Opening Day atmosphere. I attended Opening Day back in 2012, and the only spectatorial experience which really compares was last year’s regular season finale.

Bottom line, the value behind Cleveland’s home opener relates to motive. If you want to experience Cleveland tradition, dollar amounts become less relevant. From a pure baseball angle though, paying Opening Day ticket prices remains impractical.

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Zachary Fenell

Zach is a native Clevelander and full-time writer. He is the author of the inspiring, Off Balanced, called "tremendous" and "a rare book" by critics. Zach identifies writing as both "a career and his life's calling." To see more from Zach, check out his blog, Off Balanced, where he is "putting the 'cerebral' in cerebral palsy."

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