Stubhub’s MLB Season Preview: Historic Yankees-Red Sox Matchup in London Drives Highest Demand; Yankees Best-Selling Team

Player Moves Shake Up League in Ticket Sales and Fan Merchandise; StubHub Offers 10% Discount With MLB Ticket Purchase

Published March 14, 2019

Baseball season is upon us and StubHub – an Official Partner of MLB – is the destination for all things MLB, from Opening Day, where all 30 teams will play on March 28, through the postseason excitement in October. Here’s a look at ticket demand and trends as we head into the regular season.

See past MLB previews: 2018, 2017

MLB Is Going Global; New York Ticket Buyers Driving Greatest Demand for International Game

Major League Baseball is headed to Europe for the first time in history, with a key matchup, Yankees vs. Red Sox, so fans everywhere are taking notice. As MLB continues to gain global relevance with successful matchups in Mexico and Japan in years past, they couldn’t have picked two better franchises – Boston and New York – for the League’s European debut, as both teams again atop StubHub’s Top 10 list in 2019.

  • The June 29 matchup is already the #1 best-selling game heading into the season.
    • The matchup is outpacing #2 game, the Red Sox home opener against the Blue Jays, by nearly 50%.
  • Fans from 44 different states and 27 different countries have already purchased tickets.
  • New York buyers outpace Massachusetts buyers:
    • 15% of all tickets purchased come from New York
    • 11% of tickets purchased come from Massachusetts

“The appeal of  MLB to a global audience continues to grow, and the overwhelming response for the rivalry matchup between the Yankees and Red Sox in London certainly proves that the sport has fans worldwide,” said Jill Krimmel, StubHub’s General Manager of MLB. “So far, fans from 44 different states in the U.S. and 27 different countries have already purchased tickets for the MLB London series, demonstrating that baseball has tremendous potential overseas much like the NFL and NBA have seen.”

Top-10 of 2019

Business Is Booming in the Bronx: Yankees #1 Again
The New York Yankees have been in the top five for the last five years, and take the top spot for the second year in a row on StubHub.

  • Yankees lead is strong, outselling StubHub’s second and third best-selling teams, Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants, by 18% and 78%, respectively.
  • The New York Yankees have the 5th-highest growth in ticket sales over the last three years.
    • Sales for the Yankees are up 25% on StubHub from this time in 2016.

“The Yankees’ staying power has been unbelievable to watch over the last few years,” said Jill Krimmel, StubHub’s General Manager of MLB. “StubHub has seen a 25% increase in sales over the last three years, proving the Yankees fan base is as energized as ever.”

Houston Has Healthy 3-Season Haul

The Astros have made the postseason three times in the last four seasons, including their World Series victory in 2017, make the top-10 list for the second year in a row, coming in as StubHub’s 10th best-selling team.

  • Houston has seen a staggering 148% growth rate over the last three years, the league’s second-largest lift.

Other Top-10 Insights

  • Phillies break into Top 10 for first time in 10 years.
  • Cubs remain in Top 10 for 5th year in a row, at #4 for 2019.
  • Red Sox are featured in three out of the top five games overall this MLB season, and are outpacing their 2018 World Series opponents, LA Dodgers, by 62%.

In addition to the Top 10, we’ve got our eye on these trending teams this season:

StubHub’s Teams on the Rise in 2019

Harper’s New Home: The Phillies are #1 Team on the Rise
The Phillies have seen the most growth in demand over the last three seasons, making them our #1 team on the rise for 2019. Also, for the first time in a decade, the Philadelphia Phillies earn a spot on StubHub’s top-10 teams, thanks to an excited fan base and a team on the upswing… and, oh yeah: BRYCE. HARPER. The right-fielder signed a 13-year contract in February to assure Philly fans that he’ll be there for a whiiiiiiile.

  • On the day of the Harper trade announcement, ticket sales on StubHub jumped nearly 1,280% compared to the day before.
  • The team’s ticket sales are up 93% on StubHub from this time last year and up 157% over the last three seasons, the highest three-year growth out of all the teams in the league.
  • StubHub teamed up with eBay data analysts to identify how “Phanatics” rallied around Harper.
    • eBay saw a 14% spike in Phillies and Bryce Harper memorabilia and jersey sales from January to February and over 2.8K searches for jerseys and memorabilia on eBay from January 1 – March 4, 2019.

San Diego Signs A Superstar; Introducing the Machado Effect

Let’s remember Harper wasn’t the only big off-season move, Manny Machado has decided to take his talents to San Diego with the Padres, driving an anticipated spike in demand.

  • Machado’s announcement on February 19th caused Padres ticket sales on StubHub to surge by nearly 300% compared to the day prior.
  • The Padres have seen the league’s second-largest jump at 44% in ticket sales from last year.
  • eBay saw a 17% increase in Padres and Manny Machado memorabilia and jersey items sold from January to February.

Proving that your gear game should always be strong no matter the season, Harper/Phillies and Machado/Padres memorabilia and jerseys drove over $1 million in sales on eBay from January 1 – March 4, 2019.  

“At eBay, we see baseball loyalists gearing up for the ballpark, fan caves and beyond, from game-worn jerseys to hot trading cards to classic memorabilia,” said Sam Bright,  Vice President of Merchandising, eBay North America. “As a cultural barometer for what’s trending in sports, pop culture and beyond, the hype around Harper and Machado is real on our online marketplace, where we saw notable upticks in fan gear sales after two blockbuster moves this off-season.”  

With a lift in Padres’ sales and the Phillies breaking into the top-10 for the first time ever, StubHub has seen the beginnings of a potential change in the MLB landscape.

“StubHub’s top-ten MLB teams for 2019 show MLB’s consistency in the top markets over the last few years,” said Jill Krimmel, StubHub’s General Manager of MLB. “At StubHub, we’ve seen the Yankees, Red Sox, Giants and Cubs atop the charts consistently. Now, with two superstar players, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, making big moves this offseason, we will be watching a potential shift this may signal as fans will be eager to see them play in their new homes.”

Milwaukee Making Moves

Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich became just the second NL player to win MVP with a new team, and he’s not going anywhere, proving the Brewers have a lot to look forward to in 2019.

  • The Brewers have seen a 22% lift in overall sales after reaching the postseason in 2018 for the first time in seven years.

St. Louis Shines

The Cardinals are an honorable mention on StubHub’s trending list as they are widely expected to be a postseason contender this year.

  • St. Louis is up 25% in sales since last year.
  • The Cardinals have the 4th and 7th-ranked top MLB games after Opening Day.

LA Dodgers Host Biggest Opening Day Game This Year; Phillies Hype Puts Their Game in Top Three

Coincidence that it’s likely a forecast of 75 and sunny in LA for MLB’s top opening day game and 45 and snowing in the Bronx, dropping Yankees’ home opener to #2? We think not. And with Bryce Harper heading over to the Phillies, we feel fans may have been anticipating this for a while, putting that game into the top three.

  • The Dodgers’ opening day game against the Arizona Diamondbacks currently outsells #2 Yankees home opener by nearly 10%.   

As we look past opening day, these are the top-10 games heading into the season:

In other exciting baseball news: StubHub is helping fans see their favorite MLB teams by offering a promotion for regular season games. When fans buy a ticket now, they’ll receive 10% off their next MLB purchase.

As an official partner of MLB, StubHub wants to make sure fans have these tips to be safe ticket buyers:

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