Chicago Cubs fans may disagree, but all streaks ultimately come to an end. On Wednesday night, the Boston Red Sox may fail to sell out Fenway Park for the first time in nearly a decade. Including their home opener Monday, the Red Sox have sold out a major-league-record 794 consecutive games, a streak that dates to the 2003 season, the year before the team ended an 86-year drought and won the World Series. Since then, rain or shine, freezing temperatures or summer heat, the Red Sox have sold all 37,000 or so seats at Fenway Park. The Red Sox’ streak dwarfs the 455 consecutive sellouts by the Cleveland Indians in the 1990s, and it is nearly five times as long as the second-longest current streak, 169 games, by the San Francisco Giants. (The Philadelphia Phillies’ sellout streak ended last August at 257 games.) But even Red Sox fans, who are among the most involved in baseball, finally have reasons to stay away. The team’s epic collapse in 2011 was followed by a last-place finish last season. The improvements to Fenway Park, including seats added to the top of the Green Monster, are no longer a novelty. Ticket prices have pushed up over the years. Tickets in April are also more difficult to sell because the weather is cooler and children are in school. Worse, the Red Sox will play 17 home games this month, a team record for April, making it that much harder to sell every ticket. The streak may end as soon as the second home game of the season — Wednesday’s matchup against the Baltimore Orioles — when the Red Sox expect ticket sales to surpass 30,000, but not reach capacity. If the sellout streak does continue Wednesday — the Red Sox are, after all, off to a good start and the weather has warmed, at least temporarily — it will probably end at some other point in April, Larry Lucchino, the president of the Red Sox, said in a telephone interview Monday. “Combined with the disappointment of last season and the disaster the year before, we are anticipating the streak coming to an end,” he said. It does not help the streak that interest has dipped on the resale market, where the average price of tickets for the home opener at Fenway Park fell to $171.68 this year, about half what they cost for the home opener last year, according to TiqIq.com, which tracks online ticket resellers. Fans could have paid as little as $63 to see Monday’s game, down from $103 last season.
The End Seems Near for a Sellout Streak at Fenway Park
New York Times | Apr 10