Love him or hate him, the fans still want to see Alex Rodriguez play.
Rodriguez's first home game on Friday night against Detroit has led to an approximately 50 percent increase in ticket sales and traffic to ticket search engine TiqIq.com, as well as about a 16 percent raise in average ticket price, according to TiqIQ.com CEO Jesse Lawrence.
The lowest ticket price, as of mid-morning, was $21, and the average price was $94.
"There's definitely a lot of demand," Lawrence said. "I think A-Rod, for better or worse, whether to cheer or boo him, people are interested in seeing him. I think the circumstances here are pretty unique."
Lawrence explained that the 50 percent increase is based on a comparison to comparable Friday night games at Yankee Stadium. He added that the increase is significant due to the team's slump, as the Yankees have lost four straight and are just 57-56, as ticket prices would normally be sliding.
"We've seen more ticket sales and a lot more traffic for this particular game," Lawrence said.
Friday will mark Rodriguez's first game in the Bronx since Game 2 of the ALCS on Oct. 14, 2012. Rodriguez's home debut has outsold the return of teammate Derek Jeter, who made his home and season debut on July 11. Lawrence said Jeter's comeback led to about a four-percent increase.
"It's a little deceptive in that Jeter's return, people had a day to process it," Lawrence said. "With A-Rod it's almost been a week where fans and sellers have been able to circle the date and know he's going to be on the field for that specific game."
The three-game set against the Tigers is shaping up to be fourth in terms of series price average for the Yankees remaining home series this year. Lawrence said its slated to be the high-seller in August, but will likely be beat out, in order, by the final home series against Tampa Bay from Sept. 24-26, the Red Sox four-game set from Sept. 5-8, and the slate against the Giants from Sept. 20-22.
The final home game of the season has already created a frenzy, with the average ticket price costing approximately $291. Fans are much more excited about watching Mariano Rivera potentially pitch for for the final time at Yankee Stadium than seeing Rodriguez's first time at Yankee Stadium in 2013.
"People are anticipating it's going to be Mo's last game, and you would imagine he gets into that game, regardless of what the score is," Lawrence said.