Even mired in mediocrity, Cubs remain No. 1 draw in baseball

Despite not living up to expectations on the field, the Cubs have remained the top ticket in baseball at the All-Star break.

The Cubs began the season at the No. 2 overall spot, but have moved up as the most popular team in Major League Baseball, according to ticket sales and information from StubHub. They are followed by the San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers in the Top 5.

The 2016 World Series victory has stoked fan excitement compared to previous years. At this point last season, the Cubs were fourth overall in team popularity. In 2015, they were third-most popular and the franchise didn’t make the Top 5 in 2014. Despite its reputation as a tourist destination, more locals are buying tickets. Wrigley Field didn’t rate in the top ballparks that have welcomed the most out-of-state fans. For Boston’s Fenway Park, 66 percent of tickets sold on StubHub were to out-of-state teams.

Expectations and fan excitement remain strong. Last season, the Cubs sent seven players to the All-Star Game, but only relief pitcher Wade Davis will represent the Cubs this year in Miami. Cubs fans must have expected a larger delegation to the Midsummer Classic because Illinois is third overall in top ticket buyers for the All-Star game. The average price for the All-Star game this year is $472.

A general view of the field during the national anthem in Independence Day celebrations before the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays on July 4, 2017 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)