Each October, brisk autumn days at the ballpark give way to hot-stove winters, and America’s national pastime adds another season to the record books with a World Series. It’s been that way since 1903. Sure, some things have changed. Everyone’s a lot richer now. Games are played under the lights, often into the early hours of the morning. And TV cameras pitch all the action, plus a lot of ads, to viewers worldwide.
But the bases are still 90 feet apart. The pitcher’s mound is still 60 feet, six inches away from home plate. And there’s no shortage of intrigue and excitement surrounding this year’s matchup, as the Washington Nationals square off against the Houston Astros in the 115th World Series.
So as we wait for the boys of summer to play ball in the Fall Classic, why not take a closer look at everything that makes the Series such a special event? WalletHub crunched the numbers to collect the most interesting World Series facts and figures we could find. You can check them out in the infographic below, followed by an Ask the Experts discussion with predictions and commentary on the business of baseball.
5 World Series Facts for 2019:
- $2,069 vs. $1,658: Average ticket prices for 2019 World Series games in Washington, D.C. and Houston, respectively
- $2.25 Million: Amount the Washington Nationals spent on each regular season win, compared to the Houston Astros’ $1.93 million
- $39 Million: Salary of Stephen Strasburg in 2019, Nationals’ highest-paid player, compared to Zack Greinke’s salary of $34.5 Million, Astros’ highest-paid player
- 14.3 Million: Average viewership for the 2018 Series (down 23% over 2017)
- $305 Million: Total ad revenue generated by the World Series in 2018 compared to $408 Million in ad revenue generated by the Super Bowl in 2018
Excitement is running high right now, but how healthy is the business of baseball, and what does the future hold for its stature as America’s pastime? We asked those questions and more to a panel of esteemed sports business experts, and their responses figure to make for some interesting reading as the World Series cedes to the Hot Stove and, ultimately, a brand new season.
- How is the business of baseball doing? What trends/issues do you expect to be most important on the corporate side of things over the next 5-10 years?
- How has playoff baseball fared against encroaching college and professional football schedules, in terms of television ratings and overall fan engagement? What kind of ratings do you expect for this year’s World Series?
- Does the MLB playoff format need further changes?
- Do you still consider baseball to be the national pastime?
- What type of economic impact do you expect for the host cities?
- Who do you think is going to win?