Boston Red Sox Ticket Prices Slump 40% on Worst Starting Record Since 1945

The Boston Red Sox’s worst start to the Major League Baseball season since 1945 has driven down home ticket prices on the secondary market by 40 percent in eight days.

The Red Sox lost yesterday to the Cleveland Indians 1-0, leaving them 0-6 this season. For today’s home opener against the New York Yankees, and throughout the three-game weekend series, ticket prices are off by $100 or more, said Jim Holzman, president of Boston-based Ace Ticket, the largest Red Sox broker, which resells about 1,000 tickets for each game.

“It’s like the stock market,” said Holzman. “If the market dropped 1,000 points, the silver lining for the consumer is that there are deals to be had.”

A Sunday night ticket for a field-box seat is going for its face value of $130, compared with last week’s price of $250 to $300, when the Sox opened 0-3 in Arlington, Texas, against the American League champion Texas Rangers, Holzman said.

As of last night, 5,000 tickets for the home opener were listed for sale on FanSnap.com, the Palo Alto, California-based Internet search engine. The average price was $253, compared with $328 on April 1, a 23 percent drop.

“As the team falters the price of their tickets will generally fall,” said Christian Anderson, spokesman for FanSnap.com.

Still, Red Sox tickets are the hottest ticket by average ticket price on the resale market, Anderson said.

Worst in 66 Years

It’s the worst start for Boston since the team went 0-8 after losing Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky to military service in World War II. Boston finished 71-83 that year.

At Progressive Field in Cleveland yesterday, Boston starting pitcher Jon Lester held the Indians scoreless for seven innings. He was replaced by Daniel Bard in the eighth and the Indians got their only run when Asdrubal Cabrera bunted down the third base line to score Adam Everett on a squeeze play.

In the next inning, designated hitter David Ortiz drew a walk off Indians closer Chris Perez and was replaced by pinch- runner Darnell McDonald. J.D. Drew then singled off Perez’s leg, third baseman Everett scooped up the ball and threw behind McDonald, who had rounded second base and was tagged out scrambling back to the bag on his hands and knees.

The loss makes it three in a row to the Indians and leaves the Red Sox outscored 38-16 this year.

Seeds of Doubt

Early losing streaks are just that: early in the season, said Peter Golenbock, author of “Red Sox Nation” (Triumph Books, 2005). However, they can plant seeds of doubt, especially for a team such as Boston, where the pressure to win is enormous, Golenbock said.

“If the team had lost six games in a row in June nobody would say too much about it,” Golenbock said in an interview from his home in St. Petersburg, Florida. “The problem is, when you start 0-6 is the glass half full or is it totally empty.”

The bleak start has some fans disturbed rather than panicked.

“Considering the kind of money they spent, it’s a disgrace,” said Scott Black, president of Delphi Management Inc., a Boston investment firm, who describes himself as an ardent fan.

The team accumulated the second-highest payroll in baseball last season with about $170 million, behind the New York Yankees’ $207 million, according to ESPN.

As grim as 0-6 is, it doesn’t compare with the 0-21 start the Baltimore Orioles made in the 1988 season.

“You start like that you just don’t recover from it,” Golenbock said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Moroney in Boston at tmorrone@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at jbeberman@bloomberg.net

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