New York Yankees fans don’t just want to be in the stadium to witness Aaron Judge’s 61st home run of the season—they want a chance to catch the ball.
The average secondary market list price for remaining home games has increased 121% from $114 to $252 since Judge hit his 50th home run in late August, according to data from TicketIQ. The two games directly following Judge’s 60th dinger have been the largest movers: last night’s matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates—a 14-2 win—and Thursday night’s showdown with rival Boston Red Sox.
The data indicates greater fan interest in the fate of Roger Maris’ mark of 61, recognized by many as the “clean” record for home runs in a season, than Babe Ruth’s 60. Friday and Saturday, when Judge could potentially tie or pass Maris, have seen larger price increases than Tuesday night’s game in which he tied the Bambino.
Not all seats are created equal, though. For Wednesday’s game, outfield ticket prices increased by 376%, while field-level infield seats, grandstand seats behind home plate and grandstand seats along the foul lines only increased by 55%, 50% and 42%, respectively.
The particularly hot tickets are the field and bleacher sections in both left and right field, where most home runs land. For the remainder of the regular season, outfield bleacher prices are up 496% relative to other Yankee home games this season, and the lower field seats are 502% higher than they would typically be.
Interestingly, despite Judge being a right-handed batter, there is little difference in price hikes between left and right field. Either fans aren’t thinking that deeply—or they’ve done their research. This season, Judge has pulled 35 homers to left field, compared to only 19 to opposite field and six to center. From 2017 to 2021, however, he actually hit slightly more bombs to right field, according to Baseball Reference.
If you want to sit in the outfield in Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the best you can do price-wise is a nosebleed seat for $142, as of Thursday morning.
Judge’s 2022 salary is $19 million, and he’s up for a new deal after this season. When contract negotiations come around, the increased ticket revenue brought in by his home run pursuit could certainly be cited by Judge as evidence that he’s worth the bag.