Jisoo Ku Jserra Catholic High School 10 th Grade
Recently, I had the privilege of attending the World Series Game 6 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros. The excitement leading up to the game and during the game was incredibly high, and Dodgers Stadium was quickly packed with eager fans cheering their team to victory. Having grown up in Dodger’s royal blue, my heart was racing even hours before the game. But moments after the game had ended, even with a Dodgers win, I realized that all I had gotten out from the game were some pictures and a free stadium souvenir. World Series tickets are worth thousands of dollars, but all that for just some bragging rights?
Most sports culminate in a series of playoff series to crown the best team of that year. It causes major hype and excitement around the sports community, and it is not rare to find people paying thousands of dollars for a ticket at the venue. It was reported that someone spent 20,000 dollars for a Game 7 ticket of the most recent World Series. But what is it about sports fandom culture in America that gets people to spend an enormous sum of money on sports games?
Surely, some fans go for the history. Every championship is a chance for sports history to be rewritten, and the opportunity to see that in-person is appealing to many. Most recently, the LA Dodgers made their first world series appearance since 1988, and history could have been made with a win in Game 6 and 7. But like most other economic phenomena, the exorbitant sports ticket prices isn’t solely driven by demand. To continue our example with Major League Baseball, professional teams charge exorbitant prices for their games to pay their players millions of dollars. Each them wants to build a legacy of winning, to win, teams need to invest money into players. But if a team is broke, they can’t sign big-name players or recruit talented individuals. It’s a vicious cycle that, at the very core, exploits Americans willing to pay this gross sum of money for a stadium ticket.
My recent trip to Dodgers stadium brought to my attention how “irrational” spending, as a part of fandom culture, can propagate an economic inequality. We often love sports for its fair, yet competitive, nature, but the very sports we love might be exploiting the very pockets of the middle and lower class.
<Jisoo Ku Jserra Catholic High School 10 th Grade