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Buy Me Some Peanuts and Beer

By Adam K. Raymond 04/05/11

Even though Chicago Cubs ticket prices have gone up as wins have gone down, beer prices remain among the lowest in all of MLB.

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If it's baseball season, it's beer season.
Photo via thinkstockphotos

Over the past 103 years, the Chicago Cubs have worked tirelessly to build a reputation as the Charlie Browns of baseball--completely hopeless but still widely loved. As the Cubs spent decades sucking harder than one of those vaccums that can pick up a bowling ball,  tickets to see them have risen to match the price of a midsize sedan. But neither the utterly embarrassing team nor the money fans have to fork over to see them have affected attendance. One thing has, though: beer prices. According to a new book by University of Chicago finance professor Tobias "Toby" Moskowitz, Cubs tickets sales are more correlated with beer prices than any other factor on or off the field. In the 15 years between 1984 and 2009, during which the Cubs played badly enough to finish in last place and well enough to almost reach the World Series, "attendance was more than four times more sensitive to beer prices than to winning or losing." And it seems like the team may know this, because even though ticket prices have gone up as wins have gone down, beer prices remain among the lowest in all of Major League Baseball. It's all a part of the teams new marketing pitch: "Screw wins, get the spins."

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Adam K. Raymond covers politics and sports for New York Magazine. Visit Adam's website and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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