Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire—Getty Images
By Brad Tuttle
October 21, 2016

The Chicago Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night to take a 3-2 lead in the National League Championship series. The Cubs now need only one more win to get to the World Series. Even before that happens, though, tickets are on sale for this year’s likely historic World Series games—and they probably cost way more than your monthly mortgage payment (or rent).

At the resale and ticket aggregation site SeatGeek, seats for a theoretical World Series game #3 in Chicago start at $2,116. Tickets for game #5, which would be the final World Series matchup played in Chicago—again, only if the Cubs are in the series—start at an astounding $3,172.

By contrast, if the Dodgers come back and wind up in the World Series, tickets in Los Angeles would cost a tiny fraction of the hypothetical games in Chicago. Right now, the lowest prices on the secondary market for three potential Los Angeles Dodgers’ World Series home tickets range from around $630 to $650.

The one team that we know for sure will play in the World Series is the Cleveland Indians. Less than 20 minutes after Indians’ tickets went on sale to the public on Thursday, they were completely sold out, according to Cleveland.com. That means that the only way to buy Indians’ tickets is on the secondary market. Prices for Cleveland home games have been averaging about $2,500, according to TicketIQ, and the “cheap seats” are being listed at around $700 to $800 at sites like StubHub and Vivid Seats.

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If the World Series winds up pitting the Indians versus the Cubs, it will be a truly historic matchup—because somebody has to win, thereby breaking a monumental losing streak. It’s been 20 years since the Cleveland appeared in the World Series, and the last time the Indians won the Series was 1948.

But the Indians’ championship drought pales in comparison to the Cubs’. The last time the Cubs were in the World Series was 1945, and the team hasn’t come away as World Series champs since 1908. It’s by far the longest streak in Major League Baseball. As one fan chronicled, an amazing amount of historical events has taken place during the century-plus that the Chicago Cubs haven’t won the World Series—including the invention of radio and TV, man landing on the moon, the election of 16 presidents, the additions of five states into the U.S. and 14 new teams into MLB, American involvement in seven major wars, and the playing of some 15,000+ Cubs’ home games.

So in a way, it’s understandable that Cubs’ fans are going nuts because it looks like their team will be playing in the World Series and perhaps even win it all.

For an idea of how Cubs’ World Series ticket prices compare in the grand scheme of things, take note that New York Mets’ home tickets in last year’s championship were starting at around $700 and averaging $1,500 on secondary market sites. The previous year, World Series ticket prices were averaging $1,000 to $1,400 for home games in San Francisco and Kansas City, respectively.

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So, um, yeah, that $2,000+ fans are expected to pay for Chicago World Series’ home games is indeed outrageously expensive. Bear in mind that it’s still very early—remember, the Cubs aren’t even officially in the World Series—and that the prices commanded by scalpers can fluctuate greatly throughout any championship series.

So you could cross your fingers and hope that prices plummet at the last minute. This approach isn’t without risk, though, because it’s anyone’s guess as to whether ticket prices will skyrocket or shrink as each World Series game–and possible history in the making–approaches.

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